A while back, I was turned on to the band Diseased Oblivion by way of their split with Sewer Goddess, and was impressed with the filthy, fucked-up deathdoom that made up their side of that split. While looking into their other releases, I found out that one of the members of the band also had another project, this one called Reclusa, which had released a bunch of tapes on a variety of tiny underground imprints. I checked out Reclusa, and was floored by how ridiculously heavy and disgusting the music was; it didn't even sound like metal to me, but inhabited another realm of twisted, abstract heaviness closer to industrial noise, while utilizing massive down tuned riffs and elements of death metal that were left to putrefy into noxious formless slime. Reclusa mixed together filthy sub-Godflesh / (early) Pitch Shifter machine pummel, putrescent guttural vocal-fumes, ultra bleak dark ambience, weird bits of diseased dub, deformed deathdoom, blasts of orchestral terror, & murky industrial noisescapes, and the result is hopeless, terminally nihilistic ugliness that skulks in a dark corner somewhere in between the likes of Black Mayonnaise, The Human Quena Orchestra, Aderlating, and the nastiest strains of underground gorenoise.
Of course, this led to my wanting to get Reclusa on our Crucial Blaze series. And here it is, a new full length disc called The Anticonscience that offers a seventy-seven minute descent into vile, absurdly heavy low-fi mechanized horror from this cult Ohio outfit. Released in a limited hand-numbered edition of two hundred copies, The Anticonscience comes with a twenty-page chapbook of nightmarish artwork and writing, a vinyl sticker, and 1" badge.
The album opens with "98.6F", a pulverizing machine dirge, a pounding drum machine grinding in mechanical slow motion alongside slithering, ridiculously down tuned and crushing death metal riffs and eerie fuzz-soaked lead guitar that slowly drifts over the lumbering heaviness. As it oozes forward, other sounds enter in, the industrial death doom fading away as humming power lines and deep-earth rumbling raises to the surface, crackling machine parts and looped metallic whir flitting around the sprawling industrial soundscape that takes form, a sinister death industrial nightmare shaping itself out of the devastation left by the previous bout of mecha-sludge. That robotic sludge wave does finally return later on, even heavier and more monstrous than before, the guitars reappearing deformed and heavily flanged, the drum machines pounding out Godflesh-esque machine rhythms, and the "vocals" appearing as a bestial gaseous bellow drifting out of chasms in the earth. After that is "Frozen Embrace", which is even slower and bleaker, combining bloodcurdling orchestral strings and gloomy clean guitar and tectonic blasts of down tuned, massively distorted riffcrush, like industrial funeral doom mixed with some weird hellish, time-stretched darkwave outfit.
From there, Reclusa moves from the nightmarish industrial soundscape "Systematic Abandonment" into more crushing slow motion heaviness, angular death metal riffs slowed down to molten treacle and poured over slow spastic beats, the drums treated with heavy amounts of echo and delay, creating a weird dub-like effect as the beats shudder and echo over the grueling sewer doom. Blown-out riffchug uncoils within massive clouds of black fog. Super-distorted synthesizers bleat and buzz while those monstrous gasping vocal noises continue to pour forth from deep below. The track "Solitary Definement" combines the sounds of running water and a creepy harp melody with choral synths and booming tympani for a bleak neo-classical tinged dirge before it morphs into a grinding mass of deathdoom chuggery and sheet metal/steel pipe percussion. Stray chunks of drum machine bludgeon become lost in howling storms of volcanic ash and fire, breaking down into utterly hostile fields of harsh noise. And on "Chernobyl Winter", the band constructs a sprawling nine minute death ritual of Neubauten-esque rhythms and chthonic rumble that blots out all light by the time it reaches it's conclusion.
It's like a doomdeath album being played at half speed while someone splices in Throbbing Gristle and Wolf Eyes. Or what Dead World or early Pitchshifter might have sounded like if they had collaborated with one of the uglier denizens of the Cold Meat label. Either way, Reclusa pulls back thick, heavy curtains of dead flesh to reveal a seething, rotting world of abject horror within these suffocating, oppressive soundscapes.