XIPHOID DEMENTIA: Secular Hymns CD Malignant Records
This is the latest release from Egan Budd’s Xiphoid Dementia, a project that has been actively recording since 1999, providing blistering amalgamations of intense ambient structures based on an electronic, machine-like core.
Opening with ‘Abortion Rights’, a ghostly apparition of sound layers itself with an ethereal ambient undercurrent, torn apart art the seams with brutal Power Electronics mid way. The intense hybrid of the two genre’s clash at times, but surprisingly work to great effect as much as they are opposing forces; the horrific blisters of sound ever so lightly gelled together with sub-textures and thunderous undercurrents.
The post-industrial nature of XD comes to the fore in ‘My Time Will Never Come’. The apocalyptical backdrop of sound is a welcome break from the destruction caused by track one, but for me is ultimately ruined by the somewhat cheesy, misplaced electronics towards the end, leaving a somewhat unsatisfying outcome.
‘What You Believe’, toys with PE from the lower end of the scale, gradually becoming more chaotic as the noise rises from the depths. This ultimately slots in as the prequel to the closer of this album, ‘Breathe’; a crushing montage of sound and wall of sound and a tethered, snarling beast that is never let completely out of it’s restraints.
‘Secular Hymns’ is a decent album by and large. There are areas of this release that need to be reigned in, holding it back from becoming an outright classic display of what the scene is all about. That said, if 55 minutes of visceral electronics with an ever so futuristic and post apocalyptical stance is your thing, then you wouldn’t go far wrong by obtaining this.