One of life’s rules of thumb: No one really cares about your dreams, particularly the ones you think are “really fucked up.” Those nightmares are made-to-order for you and you alone – carefully crafted by the shadowy side of the brain that pulls daily frights and gasps from an otherwise mundane life into a hellish five minute feature that feels like it lasts for hours. But it’s custom-built for you and has literally no affect on others, like having your own personal Wes Craven in some dreadfully dark cranny of your mind who wants to make sure you occasionally wake up wishing you were dead. Sure, Little Wes, it’s our subconscious venting troublesome fodder. Suuuuure, Little Wes.
I am now going to break this rule of thumb, because I am a dim man, and because it serves the purpose of explaining the relative pointlessness of trying to sell a band like Impetuous Ritual to those who have a difficult time grasping the point of their cavernous death metal phantasmic horror.
I’ve had a recurring dream over the last few years that involves my taking a wrong turn walking home and landing in a terrible neighborhood inhabited by macabre and misshapen humans doing their best to carry on with life. These are not clichéd zombies, they are humans unfortunate enough to be committed to existence with grotesque anatomies – large, wobbling cysts, distorted heads, split eyes, weeping lesions, men trying to appear tuff while parasites worry over their openings, and female counterparts slogging about with offspring still hanging from the undercarriage. Grim, terrifying stuff, but with an element of pitifulness because they’re all just trying to exist like any other human being. I eventually duck into an old brick house, and for reasons beyond me, I find myself incomprehensibly drawn to a pitch black basement. Here, I can clearly hear individuals struggling, but can never quite make them out, which only makes matters worse. Then, the dream always manages to conclude in the same manner: I work my way to the center of the basement by feeling around cold concrete walls, and there in the nucleus of that awful cellar is a ghastly individual who’s lit by a single, moldy-yellow light. He can barely move, as his skin has been tightened beyond comprehension from being burned an infinite amount of times, and right there in the center of his chest is a massive spider the size of a bulldog that occasionally darts out and pulls in rats to help feed its immobilized taskmaster. Good morning, world!
Blight Upon Martyred Sentience is pretty much that scene at the end of the dream, or perhaps its continuation. Horrific and strangulating in its overall design, this is “music” to accompany complete mental putridity. Gross leads spew and wriggle from arachnid glands and congeal on flesh to incapacitate and commence decay. “Apoptosis” as opposed to “Necrosis?” Are these goddamn Aussies out of their minds?? No good will come of this. The spider is on you and you can feel its weight just as you can feel the weight of its eyes agonizing over the next slightest move to provoke a strike. Your nostrils flare and you are fucked.
Demons chop chop chop endless cords of blackwood like war drums to stoke the fires that will burn this scene to Hell. “Inordinate Disdain” for you and your continued efforts at life. Master bellows to servant and servant rasps to master to give flight to an appalling plot. You are cocooned in poisonous netting and stuffed into a corner to be picked and melted limb by limb and squeezed into a tormenting mouth. You give him life, and he takes yours with desperate delay.
“Synchronous Convergence” of life and death as you hang from cold concrete and become squashed by the towering heaviness of this hapless circumstance. Demons chop chop chop chop. You die and you wake and you die and you wake and those legs dance on your chaff and you die and you wake and the master rebukes his petulant servant for poisoning too fast.
And “Sullen” is the mood as your sensibility fades and it doesn’t matter any longer as your mind strips away and the chop chop chop becomes a pat pat pat that warmly sends you on your way and the bell rings out as clear as the sky to call you to judgement and the flies and their grubs and the dregs and the dung hail eternity’s long reign as you lift into oblivion and your energy pulls apart in infinite ways to envenom the galaxy and you END.
You are free from torment, but the lines are fuzzy. Your perception is gloomy. Brains can be dicey terrain – unpredictable and often unnerving. And now you have a soundtrack for that spell. You are awake.
I have heard that Impetuous Ritual is particularly visceral live, but I have little interest in seeing such a thing because I have a difficult time attaching a human element to whatever the hell’s being produced on a record such as Blight Upon Martyred Sentience. There’s a concern that the human element might somehow diminish the sound’s capacity for heavy decay, especially upon witnessing dudes shambling about on a stage and curling back Tooheys after Tooheys between songs. Not to mention, sharing the whole experience with strangers seems needless, because similar to those nightmares that pin people to the mattress at 4:30am, personal torment resulting from music as intimately unpleasant as this should probably remain secluded, and trying to put words to that general unpleasantness for people who don’t share a seat inside your brain is often a fruitless endeavor. And in the end, no one really gives a shit about your nightmares anyway.