Gridfailure is a one-man solo experimental project from the US. This is his latest EP.
Having been pleasingly surprised, impressed and enthralled with this year’s debut album from Gridfailure – Ensuring the Bloodline Ends Here – I was eagerly awaiting this release. With the exception of handful of releases, (Gensho being a notable one), I’m not hugely into this kind of thing normally, so to find an artist like this that I can really connect to is quite an unexpected treat.
A Severing of Ties opens up the EP with some Silent Hill-style unpleasantness, instantly making the listener nervous and transporting them to somewhere quite uncomfortable. A forlorn melody can be heard in the background, gradually building and weaving in and out of the horror that the rest of the track is projecting. The combination of the two is superior to what they would be individually, and once again the brains behind Gridfailure shows how he is capable of an easy mastery of this kind of music.
After that, the second track, Digital Crush, pretty much continues where the previous one leaves off. Any sense of nicety that was hidden within the previous song’s buried melodies is firmly left behind now, as Digital Crush descends deep into the realms of the nightmarish and damned. This is the sound of electronic damnation and urban ruin, without any salvation in sight. One can imagine deformed cyber-angels watching over trapped copies of sinners as they slowly melt in acid-drenched suffering. Hell has nothing on Gridfailure.
If Digital Crush is the sound of electronic damnation, then Android Infusion is the actual voice of the damned, crying out for a deliverance that will be forever beyond them.
The next song – Get Fucked Dance – has more percussive undertones, yet still retains a harrowing core that speaks of raw misery and tortured existence. The piece evokes a desolate industrial landscape torn apart by disaster, where survivors are hunted for mineral processing and any that have not yet been caught are slowly poisoned by the murdered environment. Bleak is not the word.
Broken Systems follows, squealing along with an underground marching feeling that seems to dissolve into a miasma of urban decay and broken civilisations.
The penultimate song – Indian Point Disaster Direct Proximity Warning – changes the tone of the EP so far, with a bright, ominous streak breaking through the murk like a herald of something too terrible to comprehend. It’s as if the very light itself has been corrupted and forced into service of the end times. Curious noises and pseudo-percussion lurk just behind this, once again altering the mood to something playfully dangerous, possibly depicting the joyful servants of the warped light that has come to spell doom for us all.
We then get to Woodlands of Self-Impalement, which is the final and longest track here. This is the sound of humanity dying, of corruption and deceit strangling nature and raping the land. It all ends in twisted malevolence and greedy techno-plagues, as populations expire and the Earth screams its last breaths as the forests burn and the seas evaporate. Nothing is left but the sentinels of man’s creation, watching the carnage with impassive silence.
Gridfailure has delivered the goods once more. As a herald of the end times, it’s reassuring to hear that Ensuring the Bloodline Ends Here was no fluke and that the twisted mastermind behind the project continues to have the ability to create absorbing and involving horrorscapes.
Where do we go from here? Nowhere good it seems. All I know is that I’m a big fan of the hope-drained worlds that Gridfailure conjures up, and despite the fact that we’re all destined for oblivion, we can at least embrace this dark fate secure in the knowledge that Gridfailure saw it coming told us so.
You have been warned.