Friday, 14 September 2012

Depressor "Burn the illusion" demo 1995-96




After the Astronauts' psychedelic, folky weirdness, let's have so more disturbed music today but from a very different perspective. Depressor. Just with the name one can guess that it won't be very cheerful. In fact, oppressive and intense would fit the band much better.

This tape is the band's first recording. They were formed in 1992 in San Francisco and from what I understand, Depressor is very much a one-man band as the guitar player and singer is the core of the project (he was also in Charger, an excellent, crustier Depressor side-project). For all the band's qualities, they remain shrouded in mystery and their sometimes occult lyrics and artwork (the band did a double Ep that looks just like a book of magic spells with actual was and a booklet with parchment paper... crazy bastards) only increase this obscure aura (I read somewhere that they even sacrificed veggie burgers and tofu sausages as part of demonic rituals).



Anyway, Depressor played heavy, slow industrial hardcore, angry and hopeless, a hypnotic trance heralding the apocalypse (think Godflesh covering Axegrinder songs). They used a drum-machine, which in the land of the Béruriers Noirs would be perfectly normal, but in the hardcore world is quite uncommon. In this case, the machine gives the music an even more accute sense of relentlessness, of being crushed over and over. This is combined with heavy riffs and overall you an incantatory quality to the music that is even emphasized by the structure of the demo, with several long, and very noisy instrumental songs, almost ambient really, that make the listener feel insane and about to be locked away in the madhouse. No wonder, they didn't add any ska parts.



Lyrically, the band is pretty interesting as well and very analytical, if also quite mysanthropic. "FILTH" deals with masculinity and how its more brutal manifestations (the spirit of competition, mysogyny, machismo, the glorification of brutality...) are a rejection of the balance of nature as female entity and reflect the Male's contempt and hatred for Her. "Dead meat" is about the meat industry and exposes the details of animal exploitation. The song ends with a rather witty remark though, as it states that meat-eaters enjoy their steaks without thinking, just because they're pushed into it, which could be compared with a cattle-mentality. "Guiltfuck" is definitely an odd one and I am not quite sure what it is really about, but I guess it is about the disempowering notion of divine creation being the source of guilt itself (well it does have a pagan, occult undertone that later released will further develop). They also have a GISM cover, "Tear their syphilitic vaginas to pieces", which is odd given the pro-feminist stance of the band because GISM. They may have decided to cover it precisely because the song epitomizes violence against women or because GISM certainly were a deranged-sounding hardcore band (personally, I just think they sound like a bad Venom cover band who grossly misunderstood Crass lyrics but that's a whole other subject).

      

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