October 29, 2014

Sterilizer - Sterilizer

Written by Craig Hayes.

Sterilizer is the latest one-man bout of musical mayhem from the mind of the talented graphic artist, designer, and songwriter Brandon Duncan. A couple of years back, under his Sequence of Prime moniker, the Missouri-based Duncan self-released a phenomenal album, Inter-. That album was technically dazzling, cerebrally challenging, and featured a turbo-speed collision of industrial thrash and grind. Everything on Inter- came from the sharp-witted brain and instrumental mastery of Duncan himself, which was impressive enough. But he was also more than willing to share his passion for the science and technology that inspired the album, because Inter- also came with a rather wonderful recommended reading list that was essentially nerd nirvana.

Sterilizer also brings a heavily scientific accent on the band’s self-titled debut, but things seem much closer to home than the galaxy gazing of Inter-. Songs titles like, “Depopulator”, “Dis-content”, “Revenge”, and “Equalizer” suggest a certain amount of sci-fi influence, perhaps combined with a loathing of Homo Sapiens, or at least a level of disgust at humanities failings. That’s all backed by Sterilizer’s music, which mixes an ice-cold and clinical technological approach to reassembling sound into to exterminating noise.

In fact, there's something of a Terminator-ish endoskeleton to Sterilizer. The album definitely feels retro-futuristic, and mechanically ruthless, and it contains abundant industrialized metal riding on a destructive power-electronics pulse. There’s a nerve-shredding feel to Sterilizer, residing somewhere between the engineered chaos of Author & Punisher and the industrial death noise of Theologian. However, the strongest call-back here is that Sterilizer grinds along with the kind of industrial dread that Ministry brought when the band was still a force to be reckoned with, circa The Mind Is a Terrible Thing to Taste.

The punishing drum programming and seizure-inducing noise found on Sterilizer contains as much pummelling sonic muscle as it does utter emotional insanity. As one of my more astute Facebook pals noted, there are parts to the album that sound like, “Nailbomb going off in Godflesh's Fudge Tunnel”. I couldn't have put it better myself. Sterilizer does hark back to an age of musical revolution with its rapid-fire metal-and-electro-grind. But the album still manages to push forward into a new dark age, filled with abundant pandemonium and despair.

One-man. Many ideas. All gathered and rendered into a wholly impressive and assaultive avalanche. Sterilizer is yet another mad/genius release cooked up in Duncan's laboratory.

[Go to the post to view the Bandcamp player]

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