This arrived, I listened one evening and had nightmares. The next morning I got up, played it again and had daymares! Yep this is scary stuff. Megaloschemos is the ‘great scheme’ of two gents, one Dave Kirby of Satori from the UK and the other Lorenzo Abattoir (and if that’s his real name how cool) from Italy. It would seem they have collaborated before on an album called Aether last year and I still have that one to explore via Bandcamp and no doubt get even more frightened by. Between them they use a canvas of dark ambient and disrupt it with harsh sounds, industrial noise and power electronics creating a form of chaos a bit like disruptive children setting out to wreck a party and make everyone else attending burst into tears.
Themes here seem based on Eastern Orthodox monasticism a heady subject in itself and no doubt if you want further insight you can interpret the individual track titles for further enlightenment. You could just envision a load of religious odd-bods that dress in a way that the band Batushka mould their image on and be done and if that helps good luck to you, I am skipping that part and going to concentrate on the music. We begin at ‘The Great Vow’ and a low throbbing tone, drums slowly bounce and then the disruption of electrical sounding discharge coats everything and noise layers up. There are some choral parts in the background giving it a feel of dark ambience akin to the likes of Elend but the overriding factor of noise turns anything hymnal into a filthy irreligious act. Think the likes of Cold Meat Industry artists & Coil doing soundtracks to the works of Clive Barker and you will get an idea of the hellscapes confronting you here. Tentacles don’t so much slither out the fog but strike like the barbed swipe of a Triffid, its deeply disturbing and indeed confrontational stuff. Strangely though there are weird folks like myself who can find calm amidst this storm and even relax and let it flow over them in a meditational state. Where it takes you though is up to the individual listener and only the true musical cenobytes should attempt such practice.
The ethos displayed in the first track continues through this trip, there may well be moments of inner calm and beauty from choral parts but they are manipulated into sounds that would make the likes of Whitehouse devotees soil themselves. Noises clank and creak and no doubt all manner of things are utilised into the recording and struck for effect in a way similar to the likes of MZ42, SPK, Test Department and Einstürzende Neubauten. At one point we get the sound of what appears to be an iron lung which brings horrible visions left scarred in the memory from watching Agustí Villaronga’s harrowing 1986 films In A Glass Cage. I think there’s some throat singing in there somewhere too but the abrasive melange makes some parts hard to distinguish and you really need to listen carefully to peel back the skin of the music and look deep inside this twisted wreckage. I found ‘Eschatology (dp mix)’ a bit of an intrusion on it all, it is the sound of what appears to be someone taking a deep gulp and repeated. I get images of someone on an operating table who should be anaesthetised on listening to it but being fully conscious and seeing everything going on, unable to move. Whatever it is all about it does go on a bit too long and may have come better as the last track here. When that particular one Octoechos arrives you are snapped back into things by the call of a spring boinging drum bouncing around like a skull being hit and all sorts of demons escaping from a void in a Lovecraftian nightmare of filigree and shadow. Akin to a musical equivalent of lucid dreaming it’s utterly terrifying and there must be some reason I keep thinking of themes of helplessness in the music here. Perhaps I should discuss this with my psychiatrist but that means playing them the album and it will probably result in me being incarcerated. As for those actually making it, lock em up and throw away the key for all our sakes!
(7.5/10 Pete Woods)