There is a theory in spiritualist circles (and not just from that “I see dead people” Bruce Willis movie) that ghosts only remain in a place because the deceased don’t realise or know they’re even dead; they might have died or been killed very suddenly and now their spirits are lost, wandering somewhere between this world and the next. Faced with a ‘presence’ one is supposed to firmly command out loud, “Go towards the light! There’s nothing for you here!” Now I’ve only ever blurted that out once in my life (seemingly in the wrong circumstance too, but definitely in panic) when I half woke in the middle of the night, paralysed by the feeling that some malevolent body was kneeling or sitting on my back, pinning me down and squeezing the breath out of me. I was later assured by a Medium friend that this had almost certainly been the Night Hag and even though it happened a very long time ago I’ve never forgotten the sensation.
Subjecting myself to a complete start-to-finish listen of Alberich’s latest album produced a not dissimilair, mesmeric sensation to this many-moons-ago incident, if not physically then certainly in an hypnotic oppression, with an unpleasant constriction of the cerebellum and cortex to boot. By the end I did feel a certain paralysis, almost as if something had been pushed onto, or rolled over me, against my will. Listen to the rumbling, crackling, shuddering, feedback sheathed 10min+ magnum opus ‘Radio Op‘ (below) on quality headphones; the hard-to-make-out, garbled, beyond the veil vocal incantation – is it merely talking to itself? or does it want you to understand? to help?
I haven’t forgotten
Every part, every day
It’s hard to stop thinking
Somewhere else, but still here
This impossible box is in my pure heart
There is suffering, but no guilt
Or there is guilt, but no suffering
I remember how the earth felt
Hard, cold, home
I will return somehow
Back to the pit that birthed me…
There is something undeniably necrotic, lost, wandering ghost even (but not nostalgic/haunted, à la Fisher et al.) about this contemporary industrial meta zona; the continued, slavish obsession with militaristic imagery – almost unchanged since Industrial Records introduced this trope in the late-70s (only here it appears to be Tuol Sleng and the Khmer Rouge? not the transgressive frisson of Nazis and the Auschwitz crematory. It is, I suppose, now what the Pentagram or the Sabbatic Goat is to metal); the musty ‘basement’ tapes vibe (not so far removed from the sub-sub-sub black metal genre Dungeon Synth) – unsocialized, nihilistic, disturbed young men who should have left home long ago, still living with their mothers; the onus on disgorging almost ectoplasmic quantities of raw, unfiltered product over quality (Hospital Productions catalogue alone – over 600 releases since 1998!). I needn’t go on. As usual I grow weary even labouring the point to myself, muttering like an old man sitting on a park bench by himself, throwing crumbs to the pigeons. Like most other genres, the canon remains largely the same and to try and break with it at this point – pointless and self-defeating, even heretical. Tribal identity, especially for those who don’t even realise their scene is dead, is (nearly) ALL now, not individualism.