David Brenner, also known by his musical alter-ego Gridfailure, continues to be one of the most prolific guys on the avant-garde scene these days. Scathed is his latest release, which follows closely on the heels of Hostile Alchemy, as well as the team up release Dentridic with fellow one-man act Megalophobe. Here on Scathed however, Brenner is all by his lonesome, choosing to handle all instruments, vocalizations, and sound effects with not a guest star in sight, and the end results are some of the most terrorizing & suffocating sounds he's created to date.
Remember the old days when you plunked down a slab of vinyl on your ancient record player and heard all those little pops and hisses of the needle hitting the album? Well, Brenner left all those in on the calm before the storm that is "Collecting The Blood We Spilled On Your Lands To Feed The Crops On Ours", which segues into the scathing tracks "Gaze Of Aversion" and "Infection In The Treatment Area", two highly disturbing yet alluring pieces featuring an array of fuzz, static, chimes, and effects laden screaming that sounds miles away yet could bring up images of what a house full of ghosts would sound like living within the walls demanding to be noticed. Frightening stuff. Heavy breathing, blips, beeps, and more maniacal warbling attack the listener on the violent "Just Relax" (yeah, sure Dave!), while "Cut the Hard Line" harkens back to some of the chilling, ominous space rock sounds of Gridfailure's earlier releases, an easy soundtrack to any terrifying sci-fi/horror film. I've often mentioned when describing the music of Gridfailure that it's 'not for the faint of heart', and the title track here is a perfect example of that; this is as nightmarish as it gets, a perfect track to scare your neighbors or rid yourself of the in-laws that will never leave, as caustic, dissonant noise and vocalizations form an almost unbearable static...it's like nothing you've ever heard, or in some cases, want to hear. For something completely different, there's the nature sounds & desolate soundscapes of "The Kings Highway Ripper", another lengthy piece that does a fantastic job of create an unsettling, creepy mood that bobs & weaves through peaks & valleys for all of its 8+ minute length.
Scathed is ultimately 'music' that's impossible to categorize or put into any neat little 'box' so to speak, but that's what makes it so unique and such a fascinating listen. I've often said (and even told him so myself) that Brenner has a future in horror or sci-fi film soundtrack should the stars ever align perfectly and the opportunity presents itself. It might sound cliche , but Scathed is THE soundtrack to the scariest film you've never seen...you've been warned.
1. Collecting The Blood We Spilled On Your Lands To Feed The Crops On Ours 01:49
2. Gaze Of Aversion 04:39
3. Infection In The Treatment Area 08:15
4. Just Relax 03:07
5. Cut The Hard Line 05:32
6. Scathed 06:41
7. Disappointing Warrior 03:28
8. Condescender 05:59
9. The Kings Highway Ripper 08:23
10. Raze 04:33