Monday, June 1, 2020
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Project:Void: Morgue Of Broken Souls

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Artist: Project:Void (@)
Title: Morgue Of Broken Souls
Format: CD + Download
Label: Bugs Crawling out of People (@)
Rated: *****

Well, here we are in power electronics/noise-world again boys and girls, and this time it's the brand new release by Corvus Rex's solo project, Project:Void titled 'Morgue of Broken Souls'. Gee, I thought morgues were supposed to be quiet, but this one has some lively (broken) souls who just aren't resting easily on their slabs. I have no prior experience with Corvus Rex or Project:Void so I can't really give any background on this, but I can start by letting you know this album is 13 track over 69 minutes which should be sufficient for most noise enthusiasts. Oddly, the album begins with a few normal piano chords (a touch of the neoclassical?) before the staticky noise creeps in. It's certainly an interesting way of easing the listener into the acid bath of what follows. All at once it stops dead and you are thrust into the "Hole," a hellish intense noise atmosphere with scratchy distorted vocals. Forget trying to decipher any words/lyrics here; it sounds like Gollum being tortured by the minions of Sauron deep in the recesses of Mount Doom. Back with some more neoclassical (cello, this time) at the opening of "Blood of Despair" which carries on longer than expected before the industrial sturm und drang takes over with more screechy-scratchy vocals.

Stylistically a little different but no less noisy is "From The Ashes." A third of the way in there is a feedback interlude providing a little respite from the wall of distortion, but it doesn't last long before you're thrust back into the maelstrom again. A few piano notes prefaces "Demons" prior to the distorto-voice/electronic noise tempest but a little further down the line the piece is punctuated by brief staccato noise bursts followed by echoed effects trails before the mania begins again. "Attrition" begins as a slightly calmer piece but you may just be in the eye of the hurricane. There is still industrial noise swirling about but also a sense of distance. I don't know if the effects on the voice are wearing off or the drugs are kicking in, but it seems as though I can distinguish a word here or there- "a secret...of the people...dignity...still the...grinding...continues... “ It might have been helpful to have provided a lyric sheet, but I guess that was too much to ask. "Hate Mask" is in your face from the git-go, with no punches pulled, only thrown harder. This is a track for our times, full of vituperation and intolerance. A relentless assault on the eardrums. If you live in a city, play this full blast out your apartment window and the cops will be there within five minutes, guaranteed.

There actually is a track titled "Acid Attack" on this album, and after the woman's scream, I don't think Corvus Rex is talking about LSD. This is actually a vocal-heavy track, and I'm sort of glad I can't make out the words. (Personally, I find nothing more heinous than throwing acid in someone's face, except maybe setting a person on fire). The tone is a little different on "Drown" but basic effect is the same; distorted vocals and feedback with an undercurrent of malevolent industrial strength noise. Breaks and pauses accent the miasma of death odors giving false hope to the doomed. I like the opening industrial machine-loop rhythm of "Blood Visions" but I think the scream and change into mayhem came much too soon. (It would have helped to build some dramatic tension.) The somewhat spooky "Coma" does a much better job of allowing the atmosphere to permeate the piece without getting caught up in a shitstorm of noise. I've never been a fan of the single high-pitched piercing tone, but that's what opens "End Game". Fortunately it doesn't last long before being drown in noise squalls. Later in the piece it's like you're in the video game arcade from hell; by the time you figured out how to play, it's GAME OVER and you're dead. We end this excursion into the 'Morgue of Broken Souls' (one the sort-of title track "Morgue") with some squiggly circuit-bending, and a sombre recitation by The Crow Bride. In a way, this almost seems like the most creative track on the album and a very good closer.

It's a given that this won't appeal to everyone, and even some noise enthusiasts might fault the album for not having enough this or that, or too much of the other, but I think Project:Void has contributed a solid entry into the genre with enough distinguishing features to make it a worthwhile purchase for power electronics/noise addicts.