Fleeting from the roaring speed of death metal to the creak of nervous utterances that peep through the fog to disorientate and unnerve the listener, Spiritflesh, a collaboration of DJ October and Borai, summon the visceral in their NTS show on October’s own Sacred Pools.
While the show’s content is macabre, it is a bipolar vortex of expression and bodily tissue skinned in all its silvery sweaty glory. Put the show alongside a hypnotic blend of summer-house and its suppurating selection bleeds with life in comparison. Never will you feel comfortable.
Besides their horrific facade, the show’s numerous excerpts add sounds that no instrument can. Exasperated breathing and desperate pleas mottled with each individual’s intonation starkly contrast the angular instrumentals. Lapping incessantly, ‘Crib’ imposes itself out of the earthen muffles and panicked gasps before sporadically disrupting the whiny american echoes with dramatic pitfall drums.
Following ‘Crib’ comes a dreamlike space. Swirling undercurrents shudder at the end of their tether before parting for distant lamenting horns and an uncharacteristic peace. You are on Route 66. Phantom vehicles occasionally pass, but you are alone. Before long a ritual drum and sinister throb drift into focus as a man casually recounts murdering someone. Amidst rich static, Spiritflesh’s ‘Hypnagogia’ trudges us out of the dream plain and creaking back into the haunted house.
The show’s textures mirror and even illuminate those of Spiritflesh’s debut album. The feel is one of universal dread. Though surges of death metal are not my cup of tea, it’s not the death metal I should be focusing on but its savage energy. The bestial grunts may not resonate with me, but they resonate with the bestial content of the familiar human voices in the excerpts, who’s suave tone detracts from the speakers’ grotesque intent. Thus the civil facade of humans is under scrutiny and it’s Spiritflesh who peer through the lense. Now allow them to peel back your skin and unravel what’s festering beneath.
Words: Joseph Francis
Physical copies of Spiritflesh’s album are available over at Rewind-Forward.
Head to the No Corner Bandcamp page for the digital.