Sunday, May 25, 2014



Secular Hymns begins with deep synths that spread
the sounds of desperation...Hopeless, but all together 
knowing that difficulties must be endured.This sounds 
like the soundtrack to hardships and trials we must all
go through...Like a soul coming to life...Unborn but developing
and growing towards that time when it will pass from the womb
into the light of the world...Terrified, naked and screaming...And 
then a nightmare is brought to life...Like a cruel mirror reflection
of birth and death.What was once to be a child is now to be killed 
and torn away from it's maker by harsh pumping drugs ending it's short
and precious life.We hear what sounds like field recordings taken from
the inside of the womb.Rushing chemicals burst into static and harsh noise.
We share in this doomed, nameless bastards agony as a choir sings a haunting
hymn of mourning.We are subjected to the sounds of the child as it is dying...
The torment of it's mother in the pain of a chemical Hell...The child will soon 
be dead and it's mother will never be the same.All grows chaotic as noise like
horrid screams and shrill cries mock those of a child's birth...But alas, it is only
mockery.No life shall come from this...It is dead and in it's place we hear an exhausted 
voice cry out the words "No!, what have I done!!! " This is a track of emotion and terror.
The type of stuff that really gets to you and lingers deep within to disturb you long after
the song is over...Distorted sounds like a those of a busy surgical room fill the atmosphere.
Rushing water and blood circle down the drain...The clinking of the surgical steel...Intensity
like what you'd experience in a state of shock...All of this and more is captured within this 
tragic noise...The tracks here are long and will test your endurance.All the layers and textures
of experimental noise and eerie Power Electronics way heavy in the depths of your mind...
XIPHOID DEMENTIA compresses the entire process of a childs life to it's death in one hellish
track...Leaving you being for the same fate just so the nightmare will be over.

Bold words for a track title but I'd say it is very fitting here.
At first XIPHOID DEMENTIA has you waiting patiently and
unaware of just what may happen to come next...But soon the
tick tocking of countless clocks make your antisipation grow.
Slowly but surely we move along carried by each tick-tock, tick-tock.
It seems to be getting louder and louder as if counting down to the moment
of your expiration...But for Egan Budd apparently, That time will never come.
This almost makes you anxious as the sounds travel steadily from right and left
and back again...Over and over.The sound of the clock is so clear against the backing
silence until a buzzing and humming sound comes loud and startling...Setting you up 
right in your seat...Not asking but demanding your attention.Suddenly it's not just a 
clock upon a wall that you can hear in the next room.Soon this track puts you inside 
the gears and cogs of the rustic machinery...Like being in a giant clock tower as massive
mechanics turn and churn.You can hear all the clicks and clangs of the antique metals in
action...You can even hear the wind from the sway of the pendilum...Like something out 
of Edgar Allan Poe's poem "The tell tale Heart" where the main character was driven to 
kill another out of what he believed to be a nessecity to bring the greater good...Only then
to burry him under the floor boards...Driven to madness by the sounds of his victims heart
beating in his mind much like the effects of the clicking clocks here.This is followed by many
unearthly and wonderous sounds played on synths...And then layerd with more synths...Some
of which actually remind me of BLUE OYSTER CULT as odd as that sounds...It's enough to drive 
you mad.Church bells ring and echo like we have entered a grand cathedral.A celestial place far
beyond the threshold of mortal existence...A temple of immortality perhaps? This is very similar
to artists like SKY BURIAL or UNCERTAIN...At least in this particular track.It feels like you are
walking through the corridors of eternity.To say that this sounds immense would not even come
close to describing the epic beauty that XIPHOID DEMENTIA has conjured up here.Beautiful synths
with the voices of flutes and organs and a myriad of textures blend together to form a piece as dark
and mysterious as PHELIOS or LUSTMORD while at the same time being as punishing as SHOCK
FRONTIER or REGOSPHERE (The ladder having accompanied XIPHOID DEMENTIA on a stunning
split earlier this year released by Phage Tapes and ANNIHILVS)...As for this one...This is not at all
what I have come to expect from Malignant Records...But that most certainly isn't a bad thing.

It begins with massive strikes of what sounds like a barrage of pummeling
civil war era marching drum.You can hear the sounds of light weight sheet 
metal tapping.There is a constant fast paced tempo that keeps you on edge,
but it's when you hear what sounds like a strange rustle in tall grass that really 
makes you feel nervous and anxious.Loud footsteps are heard running through
your ears like soldiers rushing from the shadows for a surprise attack.Warped singing 
plays to a backwards tune and rises like a chest when inhaling to then fall and repeat 
itself...The panicked inhalations sending an eerrie chill running down your back like 
warm blood.Cold rain falls hard against your feverish body...Running under a thunderous
sky.A bolt of lightning strikes and the drums come to a hault.It seems like everything has 
stopped...But this is not a peaceful quiet...More of a sinister, stirring silence that makes you 
feel like you are in a surreal dreamlit daze.You question just what you were running from as
the silence surrounds and the danger seems to cease...But something is still not quite right.All 
has not stopped it seems...You were disturbed from your sleep by what sounds like a generator 
echoing in an empty morgue...Empty except for the slumbering corpses that lay like grotesque
catatonic dolls.We hear scratching metal pipes dragging across a concrete floor.Broken elctrical 
wires spark as lights flicker in a damp and menacing hallway.As we walk down the darkened hall
we hear the generator growing louder...Humming more and more violently as we approach the 
source of the strange sounds.There are also sounds of breathing...Like the walls are alive and closing 
in on you slowly but surely...You know this isn't going to end well by the sound of it.Wherever this odd
place is...It has long been abandoned and you are alone left with only your dwindling witts and a strong
paranoia that is growing in intensity.While I am currently listening to this through head phones to capture 
every hidden sound and detail...I find that this quickly sends  me straight into an anxious and uneasy state
of mind.Personally one segment of this actually scared the shit out of me...Lets just say that there are areas
of the track that are quite unexpected.A rush of adrenaline fuelled by an unforeseen audio trigger.I literally 
threw the headphones from my head as a result of my reaction and the track doesn't even end there.Rather,
now it feels like something has signaled the time to open wide the gates of Hell...A hidden door to another 
dimention...Like Hellraiser when the riddle box is opened...Only here we are punished to an eternity where
we are blind.We may not be able to see the horrors that await within Secular Hymns...But we can surely hear
them coming.It matters not what you believe...This is what is and what shall be.

The final track starts off like the music itself is breathing.Like the slow moving
life support machines you'd expect to find in a hospital.Air is being pumped into 
a plastic cylinder connected to a dying man.You see him twitching and writhing
like a worm as the rain falls down and it's life nears its end.It almost seems like
the machines are feeding the patient poison.Controlled agony.The muffled voices
from the hospital making him grow delerious...Disorienting and making his heart 
beat out of rythm.You can still hear his sorrowful gasps for air over the sounds of the
cold machinery.He then begins to hyperventalate.The air is cold and stagnet...Like a 
soft pillow over his face smothering him slowly...Leaving the terminal patient much 
too weak to stop what is happening.His body is convulsing in this state of paranoia 
and fear.You hear his moans and groans like a burn victim whose body is seeping.Each
movement a burst of red hot agony.One wrong move and the flesh will fall off.This track
is quite eerrie at times...Bringing back memories of when I used to visit my father in the 
hospital.There would always be a room that had a patient that looked more like a victim 
than someone recieving any sort of help or care.Their eyes always begging like they were
trying to say "help me" but their throats dry and limbs useless as high amounts of medication
filled their veins.This album ends with that sort of feeling.Helpless and left to lay there in a
dimly lit room...The only clear thought in your mind is the tune of some secular hymn that
will bring no comfort.No Hope. 




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