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Seamus: Zealotry Sterblichen Schizophrenia

Seamus takes on a big topic with Zealotry Sterblichen Schizophrenia – the deportation, internment and murder of millions of Jews and non-combatants during the Second World War is claimed as the organizing motif. And while the music does the requisite job of being atonal, arhythmic, disjointed, rejointed and angry, even to the point of emulating the sound of trains presumably on their way to camps, it does not dwell on much beyond the already agreed upon sonic articulations of fear and hate.

There are too many examples of ways to treat this subject, and usually the broader scope proves the most effective. A perspective that looks beyond the immediate and still incomprehensible specifics of the camps – six million dead under Hitler; 24 million dead under Stalin – to the enduring and universal penchant for atrocity that the human race possesses (more recently in Cambodia and Serbia; right now in Iraq and Darfur as well as – to paraphrase Mr. Rumsfeld – points north, south, east and west of there) is used to enormous effect by Tim Hodgkinson in Living in the Heart of the Beast ( "Sere words, toothless, ruined now, bulldozed into brimming pits...") or the more recent and wholly instrumental Alms by re:, not to mention much of the Kranky catalog, epitomized by God Speed You! Black Emperor's Yanqui U.X.O. When set beside such works, Seamus sounds somewhat quaint and somewhat antique in both musical conception and overall aesthetic. Which is typical of most cases in which music is built strictly on metaphor.

Using metaphor as the guidepost is a technique perfected during the Romantic era, tracing its origins from Medieval melisma through late madrigal word painting on up to the overblown and mostly bourgeois wallow of Berlioz. As exercised in the late 20th and early 21st centuries, recognized as such or not, romantic music is the dominant practice in virtually every popular genre. By subsuming any medium to first and only striving for the illusions of a shared emotional charge, evocation of a mood, impression or mutual apprehension of some experience is the problem many artists have recognized. Which is mentioned here only as a way of making the point that the means used on ZSS do not seem to best suit the stated ends.

Track Listing
1) Görlitz 1941
2) Berbex sum lupusene non timeo (Pandora's box)
4) Y
5) Pfiffering
6) Zwichen lachen und Träne
7) Porte D
8) Freudstein (Pilgrim day)
9) Tren Gescpent
13) A. Frank
14) Zealotry Sterblichen Schizophrenia

Added: January 2nd 2007
Reviewer: Kerry Leimer
Related Link: Musea Records
Hits: 2701
Language: english

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