Can you imagine being able to spew up liquid fire? That would be fantastic really although you would have to be so careful if you were going out on the piss. It’s one thing getting barred from the pub but to accidently burn it down would be tragic. It could be fun in church though. “The power of Christ compels… spew” whoops I did it again. Anyway enough of that silliness as the Vomit Arsonist is what can only strike me as a very serious act. This one man project helmed by Andrew Grant from Rhode Island USA blends together elements of power electronics and dark ambience. Now if you think about it those are two pretty damn contrasting components in themselves. One is generally loud and brash and noisy and the other the complete polar opposite and I had no idea how these seven tracks were going to bridge these parts.
Naturally they do so in a disquieting and unsettling fashion and this is one of several discs that have arrived lately that I would place in the “music for serial killers” category and it is perfect listening for pre or after the act. In fact it is surprisingly chilled and I would be tempted to put this on to unwind after a hard night of dismemberment when all the cleaning up had been done and you just wanted to relax and unwind.
Disquieting talk urges us to ‘Think God Out Of Existence’ explaining that we are all just atoms. This starts the album off over a backdrop of low droning noise. It is kind of preaching to the converted as far as I was concerned and once the talk ceases the mesmerising drones and subtle waves of background noise are left to flow through you like the dispersal of so many atoms. With titles like ‘At The Edge Of Life, Everything Is An Occasion For Death’ it’s so easy to envisage a canvas of images from those films we watched in formative years delivering images that were implanted never to be forgotten (even if many were faked). This is Faces Of Death musically and it is delivered with dismal funereal melody over a slow tolling drum beat and snarling electronic vocals. It’s not possible to make out what is being said but it is cold, calculated, robotic and alien, putting the listener on edge. Different experimental effects give the songs their own identities. There is a mechanised rumble to Invita Minerva for instance and the vocals suddenly fly out the void with caustic venom about them.
At 40 minutes the album feels about right any longer and it could send you into a very deep coma as the trance like qualities of the ambient noise work like valves and pistons through the mind lulling it into somnambulism before driving it back into bursts of mania like a programmed message telling you to go out and kill! The question has to be asked just who is this sort of music designed for and what is its purpose? Perhaps it’s for those already in the grip of mania or those on the verge of it, to help push them over that crumbling precipice and into madness? By the 10 minute long ‘Means To An End’ finale which clanks and drones over a French spoken word passage your frail sanity should no doubt be close to corrosion. An Occasion For Death is an interesting ‘experience’ and I find that word better than ‘listen.’ Its thought provoking and challenging, yet at the same time inherently futile, just like existence itself.
(7/10 Pete Woods)