7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on April 15, 2010
Well, OK, not 'nuff said, since you want something other than pithy praise of famed "experimental"-"industrial" music artist, J.G. Thirlwell, also known as Foetus. Of course, Thirlwell has never really been "industrial," at least not in any sense other than an "industrial" being but one adjective out of many that can be used to describe his varied and unique music. Nowadays in particular, however, "industrial" even as an adjective is a poor fit to describe J.G. Thirlwell's current direction from much of FLOW to almost all of LOVE (and its companion quasi-compilation album, DAMP) on his Foetus project.
Thirlwell's instrumental projects, Steroid Maximus and (as with the current album under discussion) Manorexia albums, of course, never could appropriately be labeled "industrial" in any fashion, and with the album under review here, his latest release at the time of writing, The Mesopelagic Waters, Thirlwell in some ways moves even father away from that paradigm with his first album of compositions. Those unfamiliar with Thirlwell's work may not realize the importance of this album in Thirlwell's legacy--Thirlwell is most noted for his mastery of the studio, using primarily samples and sound manipulation to create his music; actual instrument performances composed of a minority of the sound in Thirlwell's music. Here, the reverse is true--sampling is at a minimum, while the vast majority of the sound produced in this album is from an actual chamber ensemble. Of course, Thirlwell, as usual, ends up delivering another great album.
First, it's important to know that these compositions are not entirely original. They are adapted ("radically rearranged") from Thirlwell's two other Manorexia albums for the chamber ensemble. By no means do you need to listen to those albums to enjoy this one, but listening to them may enhance your appreciation of this album.
The music on this album is both tense and melancholic, even dark. It's no secret that Thirlwell has a thing for soundtracks, and here it's clear that he is heavily influenced by horror soundtracks. For example, the background "vocals" in Toxodon Mourning are a clear influence from Goblin's Suspiria theme. The entire album manages its own beauty, however, despite the bit of horror, the melancholy, and the tension throughout. The Mesopelagic Waters is a descent into a murky abyss of uncertainty.
Thirlwell is perhaps one of the musical world's best-kept secrets. This secret, however, is one that needs to be told. Buy a copy of this album, and buy one for a friend. And look into Thirlwell's other music, as well--if you've got both an open mind and ear, you may come to understand what us rabid J.G. Thirlwell fanatics already know.
EDIT: I've read that there may be a possible corruption of the MP3 download on Fluorescent Radiation at a certain point of the mp3. Be warned.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on January 28, 2014
Very well- crafted album. The sound is rich, textural, and layered. It is clearly a masterful effort and bears all the hallmarks of quality. I've no idea when to play this album, though. It's not driving music, nor dining music. It's not workout music, and it's not relaxing. Sex isn't happening with this intense, often scary, music in the background. It's very good, as something.