Even though I enjoy plenty of fast paced music, I never shun away from something that takes its time to build—as long is becomes worthwhile eventually. After all, music can be at its most powerful when it builds from insignificant silences to emotional crescendos. Sadly, The Heart That Kills, the newest release by Remora, doesn't do that because, well, it doesn't really contain any music. In fact, I've never before heard an album that proudly lacks any form of melody or instrumentation. It's easily one of the most pointless, repetitive, and annoying things I've ever heard.
Remora was formed in 1996 by Brian John Mitchell, who created the project with the intention of "bringing out post-apocalyptic pop songs to the masses." Specifically, The Heart That Kills was inspired by the grief and regret Mitchell felt after the loss of his grandmother in 2011. Truthfully, there is a subtle sense of melancholia and doom throughout the album (that is, when there's actually something to hear), but there's definitely nothing accessible or likeable here, and there's no way this record would appeal to anyone. Countless artists can express these sentiments, as well as dozens of related ones, beautifully, poignantly, and musically. Mitchell isn't one of them.
The album starts out with a fourteen second passage called "Live Forever," which features Mitchell saying, "I always thought we'd live forever, and if not we'd die together." Granted, this monotone introduction would be a fine way to start if it actually introduced something (anything!), but it doesn't; instead, listeners are treated to "Lack of Response," a twenty minute piece that consists of alternating tones sounding off very slowly. Seriously, that's all it is, and it's absolutely unnerving. There isn't a shred of musicality in the piece, and unfortunately, the album never really alternates from it.
There is no doubt that Mitchell felt horribly after the passing of his loved one, and as we all know sadness often provides inspiration for some of the most important art. Many musicians have translated their inner turmoil into masterpieces. Unfortunately, Mitchell seems determined to do the exact opposite with The Heart That Kills. There isn't a moment in the entire thing that is even tolerable, let alone enjoyable, and I can't even fathom why he would think anyone would want to endure it.
1. Live Forever
2. Lack of Response
3. Bring You Back
4. Holding Her Tight
5. Please Just Leave Me Alone
6. Let Me Carry Her Body Through The Gates