Genre: Industrial / Ambient / Experimental
01 When it Happens
02 The Empire Never Ended
04 He Knows
05 Ritual Abuse Syndrome
06 Chemical Catalyst
08 Touch the Gods
09 New Poly Extract
10 Ambient Fire
Metria is the brainchild of one David Scott Cole, and in some respects it would be fair to say that his environment is the perfect inspiration for the species of dirty, decaying, filth-ridden industrial dirge evident on this hour-long CD – Detroit, Michigan, better known as Motor City. I write this review at an important juncture for the auto industry in America – it’s just at the point of runaway collapse, a dinosaur industry that was once only slowly becoming extinct, but now undergoing a process that’s accelerating exponentially in the present global economic implosion. So it is perhaps inevitable that this could be seen as a metaphor, an apposite epitaph even, for the equally inevitable demise (as some would characterise it) that’s being played out on the wider world-spanning stage in light of the present difficulties affecting us all.
The music on here is spare and lean, consisting of just a few layers of well-chosen sounds and samples (and occasional distorted vocals), but paced in a manner that more than suggests rust, decay and a lingering death. Imagine factories and buildings being abandoned and being left to disintegrate and collapse, as rust and disuse claim their hegemony over them - not even nature wants to reclaim any ground afterwards either. Imagine the horror as innocence is violated by forces beyond one’s comprehension, or coldly calculating malevolence and violence being purposely visited upon those who have not the nous to understand. Imagine too the slow, agonising demise of those subjected to radiation’s invisible barbs, as cells, turning black, turn on the host that once nourished them. Make no mistake, this is what this music is about – a broadly painted metaphor of the gradual devolution and decay of civilisation, painted in hues of iron oxide, industrial effluent and human faeces and blood.
What’s more, despite that leanness and simplicity of composition, there is much that is going on here. One can almost feel and smell the putrefaction biting at the edges, and see the faint flicker of the flames as they begin to take hold. ‘Ritual Abuse Syndrome’ is a quietly, but fiercely burning, furnace, stoked by the nastiness that so-called forces of good, as well as the sensationalist media, concoct in order to justify their own pathetic, lie-filled existences. Following on from the hate-filled slow-burn crackling furnace granularity that opens this piece a deep male voice describes fundamentalist fantasies of so-called ‘satanic’ ritual abuse – a lascivious fantasy perpetrated by certain religious-types and thankfully long since discredited. Closing out the album, ‘Ambient Fire’ drags us into the final exquisite moments, as life and society are extinguished and we are plunged into the deep black of total, airless oblivion.
For those of us who entertain a misanthropic vision of mankind, this is a perfect soundtrack which succinctly epitomises all that we have come to know, and feel, about mankind. Imagine a collision of Skinny Puppy and Godflesh, filmed in slow-motion and in loving lip-smacking close-up. Gargantuan behemothic slabs of electronics and howling engine-noise career into each other’s paths, driving headlong and wrenchingly smashing together particle by particle. This is most definitely car-crash music, the crashing of civilisation and society, and our role in this is not only as witnesses but more worryingly as voyeurs. This isn’t meant to warn us or paint a picture of what will happen if we don’t mend our destructive ways, this has simply been created to entertain us as everything crumbles around us while we have smiles playing upon our lips as we both listen and observe. Perhaps Nero shouldn’t have bothered playing the fiddle while Rome burned – he should have been listening to this instead.