Genre: Noise / Death Industrial /Ritual Ambient
01 Future Nuclear Nations
02 Repeating Violence
03 Roach Nation
04 Praying for Mercy
05 Naked Lunch
06 Winter Ritual
07 Animal Cannibalism
08 Kleinefelter Syndrome
09 Neisseria Gonorrchoeae
Gas Masked Lestat is a one-man project from Athens who, like many in the underground music scene, tend to take their distrust in, and disgust at, humanity out via the much safer route of expressing themselves through sound rather than purposeful genocide. In some cases the negative influences that the loathsome creature called homo sapiens exerts on those of a creative bent results in some fine material being recorded and released, much to the joy of fans and reviewers alike; at other times you’re just left wondering why the hell they bothered, such is the unutterably fetid pile of turds that they have foisted onto us. In the case of Gas Masked Lestat, I am glad to announce that this particular release fits into the former category rather neatly.
GML have decided that rather than go for the usual all-out blistering noise assault of many outfits, he has instead allied that particular noise aesthetic to an ambient, industrial and rhythmic one, mixing all these elements to produce something that is at once a comment on humanity and all its works as well as getting to the core of the rotten heart that beats blackly at its centre. If nothing else this makes for a release that’s more than capable of showing good range and variety. One thing that’s guaranteed to inspire my attention to start wandering is noise for noise’s sake, especially if it has nothing to redeem itself with; conversely, anything that offers at least an attempt at doing something different with whatever it is they’re working with (and it doesn’t necessarily have to be anything startlingly original, although that does help...) immediately helps me to focus.
You have the usual noise suspects present here, blankets of stretched out explosions, sheets of grind, electronic rasps, screeches, scratches and scrapings, crunchy rhythmical episodes, machine-instigated irruptions, blast furnace belches, cataclysmic tectonic sonic shifts and thunderous clamourings; but in addition you get voice samples, screams and shouts, plus cyclical electronic noise washes (like some huge mechanical heart pumping and priming the engines of industrial hate), insectile chitterings, softer ambiences, clear-voiced chanting, machine-gun fire, field recordings, deep bass rumbles and harmonic feedback in there, with the net result being a mélange of fairly satisfying proportions. It’s not overwhelmingly monstrous in sound, rather it creates a catacomb atmosphere in opposition to merely bludgeoning the listener and melting the grey matter. We even get sparse interludes of relative quietude, like in the track ‘Animal Cannibalism’, designed no doubt to provide some chiaroscuro and to throw things into stark relief. In this way, it’s not all relentlessly crushing doom, indeed there are chinks here and there that briefly allow some light, albeit tainted, to show through.
This is, in the end, neither a great album, but nor is it a bad one either. It’s actually a fairly accessible example of its genre, and perhaps would suit someone who would like to sample what this style is all about, omitting as it does some of the more alienating aspects of noise and heavy electronics. I would hazard a guess that this is going to find a residence in the ‘will listen to again’ end of my CD collection, not that often maybe, but it will get listened to on some other occasion for sure.