EE01: XIPHOID DEMENTIA – EMBALMED IN PURITY CDR
Cascading waves of distortion weave through seething ambience. Echoes of dying machines invade the psyche only to be swept up into the metaphysical tempest. Tendrils of (super)natural phenomena tear the last thread of flesh and bone. A raw twist of fate overloading your sixth sense. Embalmed in Purity is the manifestation of one man’s existence alongside this brutal world.
- Recollection of Lost Thoughts [Excerpt]
- Secret Kept In Exile
- Brilliant Curse [Full Track]
- Paradoxical Void [Excerpt]
- Fighting Fate [Excerpt]
- Embalmed In Purity [Excerpt]
- This release is no longer available.
- Over 70 min of sound.
- First 55 copies come with special hand made packaging.
- Each copy hand numbered.
- Full color, pro-printed artwork.
- Unique DVD sized case.
- Limited to 120 copies.
From Aversion Online:
Here’s a massive, god damn near 80-minute outing of high quality dark ambient material, with damn near every track surpassing 10 minutes in total running time. This is the debut full-length from this project, and it’s been three years since his last release, so a lot of time and effort must’ve gone into this fucker, and it really does show. The disc contains six tracks divided into three parts, each consisting of a couplet, beginning with “Recollection of Lost Thoughts” and its 13+ minutes of surging dark ambient tones that interestingly fall back to some orchestral synths midway through – which is actually one of the only moments on the entire record in which these types of influences are explored (though that’s probably for the better in the long run). “Secret Kept in Exile” is the shortest track, but still hits more than nine minutes, stripping down to buzzing hums and resonant swells with some percussive textures and cascading drones for an ominous yet consistent piece that carries along nicely. “Brilliant Curse” changes things up quite a bit, as the sounds of birds and faintly crashing waves lead into some flitting wisps and distant percussion that gives way to a minimal ambient throb that gradually builds into a sizzling distorted pulse before dropping back to a sparse take on the style of ambience delivered in the previous piece. Minimalism initially continues as “Paradoxical Void” slowly builds in with ethereal textures that fade around in several directions as sparse, tribal sounding percussion starts to present itself at the fringes of the drones. This basic approach continues, increasing in density and volume over time, for the greater portion of a whopping 17 minutes – making for a rather hypnotic affair. “Fighting Fate”, like “Brilliant Curse”, marks another significant shift, introducing some excellent vocal shouts over another crispy distorted hum that grows more and more oppressive over 14 minutes (nothing too aggressive or abrasive, mind you). The vocals are mixed way back in the distance, so you can’t make out too much of the content, but the shouts aren’t heavily distorted or manipulated (sans plenty of delay), which sounds awesome, and kind of ties the style in this piece to power electronics as easily as it does to Bastard Noise or even Godflesh or the like. Very fucking nice. All of this climaxes in the title track, which gets immediately harsher off the surge at the end of its predecessor, using thicker, rawer sounding distortion amidst wails of feedback and windy swells for the duration of its 10-minute running time. A nice, deliberate touch that definitely falls into place well. There’s just a lot of detail to the recording and mixing here that I really enjoy. Everything sounds full and resonant with lots of bright intricacies as well as foreboding low-end that gels together very nicely throughout the very specifically arranged compositions. The packaging looks pretty damn nice, too. I don’t care for the back of the booklet or the art under the tray as those panels seem a little off from the cover/back cover, but the outer visuals are all top notch and depict strangely colored doorways and passages that kind of have a cavernous sort of appearance. The CD-R is jet black and has the Existence Establishment logo stamped on the front, hand-numbered out of 120 copies, and the disc is housed in an oversized plastic case probably generally used for DVD’s (with a hard shell though, like a big jewel case or something). The printed matter has those perforated edges that suggest home printing or whatever, but the print quality looks totally pro, so… it’s a nice looking affair for what basically amounts to a D.I.Y. release. There’s even a little bit of text (Lyrics?) inside offering some insight on the subject matter, with the entire package being housed in a sewn gauze sleeve. Not too shabby. This project’s just gotta get more attention out of this one. There’s honestly a lot more thought and effort put into this than most of the dark ambient material you’re gonna come across out there, especially at this level, because this disc is definitely of the caliber you’d expect from some of the better known labels dealing with this niche of the scene, and that should count for something. I’m actually pretty damn impressed by this. There are areas that might need a little work, for example, it might be worth considering to keep things a little less heavy handed as far as the total length is concerned (79 minutes is a long fuckin’ time), but that’s not such a big deal. I’ve love to hear more of the vocal work, and I think that over time this motherfucker could really do some severe damage as his skills progress even further. And that’s the thing that drives me nuts about the noise scene: It’s so damn oversatured that it’s extremely difficult for an album like this to make a dent, hence an excellent piece of work is so limited that a mere 120 people will get the chance to hear it, and that’s just offensive. Quality should do the talking, and this work should reach a greater number of listeners. Well done. (8/10)
From Aural Pressure:
To survive in an overcrowded tank teaming with bigger fish the baby fish needs to be strong and resourceful or it will surely die. This is an aquatic metaphor for all you fish keepers out there. Out of interest the fish species in question are from the family Cichlidae. Bet that will have 99.5% of you scratching your head in bewilderment. Read overcrowded tank as ‘musical genre’, bigger fish as ‘established artists’ and baby fish as ‘debutant’ and it all makes a kind of illogical sense.
Although to be fair to Egan S Budd, who records as Xiphoid Dementia, he has released a couple of tracks on three compilations and a 3″ CDR on the Soulworm Editions record label so strictly speaking “Embalmed In Purity” isn’t his debut recording but it is his first full length debut release. With so much competition around a recording needs to be either highly original in concept and sound or to have unusual packaging, preferably a combination of both, to stand out from everything else currently available in the market place. Egan cannot be faulted on the packaging. This limited edition (don’t get me bloody started on frigging limited editions again) of 120 copies housed in a Perspex (well it looks and feels like Perspex) DVD case with a nice informative, although very difficult to read, inlay card. Possibly I need new reading glasses. Must go to Specsavers. Even better is the first 55 copies which comes in a hand made stitched white bandage cover. Definitely different and unusual and a huge plus point in its favour.
Music wise “Embalmed In Purity” is 6 tracks and 70+ minutes of aggressive black ambient that sounds a little like a melding of Maeror Tri & Stratvm Terror…if you can imagine what that would sound like. The soundscapes, for want of a better word, are nicely developed and realised with suitably evolving passages that expands on the bleak isolation and desolation that they ultimately invoke. Not the newest or original of concepts it has to be said but “Embalmed In Purity” has that certain ‘edge’ to it so often missing from similar recordings. Gliding seamlessly from Industrial hum and clamour to spatial black segments with ritual overtones (which sounds strange yet is so cohesive and perfect), onto grunted distorted vocalising and back again the music is a compelling mixture which justifiably cannot be ignored.
As full length debuts go “Embalmed In Purity” is a highly rated and worthwhile addition to anyone’s collection and if Aural Pressure marked recordings out of 10 then this is surely worthy of a 9. Swim Egan swim. I foresee you with the big fishes in no time at all.
From Worm Gear.
This 6 track CDR is probably the nicest and most professional looking CDR release I have seen. For starters it comes in an oversized gauze bag, the case is a DVD sized case, but the design is more like a jewelcase, thinner, harder and clear plastic with a tray. The artwork is full color inside and out, and nicely designed as well I may add. Very impressive before even putting the disc in the machine. “Embalmed In Purity” is made up of three parts, and each part of two tracks. So there’s 6 tracks all together and only one of which is under the 10 minute mark and some well over. Xiphoid Dementia create a style of Dark Noise that is right in line with the way I love to hear it done. These are richly developed tracks that evolve through the elements of Death Industrial, Dark Ambient with some heavier levels of noise, elements of Power Electronics, as well as pieces of melody that emerge. I’m not going to dissect each track here because it works so well as a whole, and with the shifts in tone throughout the review would be an epic text. This is lush and dense music, with a heavy emphasis on atmosphere and subtle detail. The mix of sounds is great, cavernous clangs and drones, dirty noise swells, more pure electronics, synths tones and melodies, environmental recordings, tactfully executed vocals, percussive rumbles and strikes, scientific pulses and chirps… I could go on. The tone is one of active dread, not anticipatory, but rather immersive in a flailing darkness where everything you see and hear is not to be trusted… and the moments where you don’t see or hear anything are to be trusted even less. The flow instituted by XD on this release is impeccable really, everything grows and changes so fluidly, and yet dramatically and the length of the tracks, one of which just stretches the 17 minute mark, is a non issue because they are crafted so delicately. This project has been around for a few years now, and has very few releases because they have obviously invested themselves in going slow and getting it right. “Embalmed In Purity” is a testament to that philosophy and an incredible release. Xiphoid Dementia is now on my very short list of rising Dark Noise projects that qualify as essential listening.
From Vital Weekly #483.
The name Xiphoid Dementia is new to me, and so is it’s creator: Egan Budd. The whole thing looks grim, very dark with all the ‘wrong’ touches: that of a pitch black world in which life is no fun at all. The crowded world of the darker than life industrialists, the world of Cold Meat Industry, Old Europa Cafe (even when both labels are not often present in these pages) and Ant-Zen. So far the complaining, because the musical content may not be a surprising new light on the world of ambient industrial, Xiphoid Dementia executes his stuff with great care. Occasionally he leaps into the mighty world of noise and distortion, but most of the times he covers his sounds with tons and tons of reverb but it evokes the right atmosphere: abandoned industrial sites, post war landscapes and other such imagery that connects with sci-fi movies. And with a length of almost eighty minutes this is almost the length of a soundtrack. Those who love aforementioned labels or seek the right connection between the raw Maeror Tri and the more refined Troum, this might be right up your alley. Limited to 120 copies, in a DVD box with likewise alienated graphics – as said: nothing new under the sun, but nevertheless executed with great care.