Review: Terence Hannum – Burning Impurities (C60)

553027225-1Being one third of the avant metal drone collective of Locrian, the sole perpetrator Terence Hannum embark on a rough journey between industrialism and meditative unconsciousness. We’re slowly walking down the steps of the first song “Ceremonially Clean“, which jump-starts your inner senses and collectively shroud you in the madness of distortion and the hegemony of experimentalist dark ambient. Static noises that wobble around a processed sound, clutching your attention with the sheer destructive force combined. The somewhat hardline presence of an industrialists joy, turn the coated noise into a spectacular event of figurative representation. The deepening possibilities seem endless, as you gaze towards the monstrosity that forms around you and tries to take over. Walking in between the different spheres, realms and dimensions of sound and represents a tiny fraction of what can be done musically if you have the courage and wit to surpass these notions.

Crossing between borders at times, squeezing the warmth out of the wall of noises. As it changes its curriculum to embrace a sonically explosive bridge, to form a sidelined connection in between the grisly sounding industrialist shape-shifter, forging the dreaminess of the gloomy but nearly angelic arpeggio sound that attempts to flock itself and move across it. Closing in on the predecessor of the sound-scape, the insertion of a suggestive drumbeat expresses itself amongst the newly gathered Gregorian chanters. There’s something spiritual about it, as the meditative ease begins to cloud your judgement and make you step closer, the forcefulness of “the other side” e.g. the industrialist, begin to form a barrier around itself to not let anything in. A resounding electrical pulse shoots through the sound-scape, almost decimating it in half, as everything else seem to pick up speed.

It gives you the feeling of a battle raging inside yourself as you’re paying attention to the shifts. This makes the repetitiveness suggest anything but a closure for it, making you speculate what side is on your side. As a listener, you can choose between joining the supposed bad side of it and the supposed good side. You’re continually making choices in your own head, as it perforates the deepest nerves in your circuit, making it virtually impossible to ignore. Sometimes as you float through it, you realize how it can be interpreted in other ways. However, the more you delve into it, the more you realize that you’re the one holding the key. Therefore, only one vault can be opened. The utter destruction felt by this could be measured in decibel, but it certainly revolves more around the emotionalism of it. As if you feel like you’re a part of this moving body, constantly shifting into something extremely different, channeling both the external and internal energy of your own body.

This would be the sound you’d hear when you’d travel into the Matrix and didn’t find a way out. You could certainly say that there’s a potent structure within this song, as Terence Hannum embark into yet another dimensional warp. As it transgresses, the sound-scape doesn’t change in the blink of an eye, it often takes more time than that. In an almost archaic way of deliverance, the edgy but twirling synthesizer picks up the pace and excludes a little bit of the noise-drenched reality. By this time, you’re so entrenched in your own footsteps that you turn a blind eye and try to endure. It’s no picnic and that’s even more noticeable as every sound you hear seem to cut to the chase. When you tumble around like a dry piece of paper in the wind, you’ve become spiritually cleansed and stripped of everything. You won’t even know what hit you.

White noise, ever heard of that? The second and final song “Pass Through The Fire“, drenches you in noise and lights the fire at your feet. You feel a tingling sensation, as the sound makes its way throughout your system. Certainly, the title embodies the utter endurance, and the crisp flame that rings a familiar bell. If you listen closely, you can hear a streamlined and almost dreamy sound hidden beneath the waves of white noise. There’s something occult about this, as the untouchable sound burns your fingers and heats the tip of your eardrum. It also gradually changes itself for the better, at least if you don’t want to massacre your eardrums completely. As it characterizes itself in between the harsh white noise that is and the more dark ambient-vein of it takes over.

The tipping point is always somewhere nearby and challenges the sound-scape before it makes the move. It is almost as if Terence Hannum wants to challenge your own perception of it by gradually shaping it with a slight move of his hand. You’re stuck in between this vacuum that is covered by a ring of flames, making it impossible to make your way out of there. Think of when you’ve found the essence and the core of it, which you need to take out of the sound-scape, just to shape your own world with it. In this world, you’re bound by the conventions set aflame. As the portrayal rages on, there’s a little hint of what’s coming next, but in this piece there’s really no progression more than the subliminal. So you’re left on your own, to understand this with your own ears and in your own mind. It’s like placing an object you’ve never seen before and tell the person to make out what it is and do a task with it. Nothing can be more incomprehensible, but at the same time, there’s a lot to comprehend. But it’s also a piece of sound that shows you the opportunities you can have, by hammering down your subject and re-building it slowly.

This is how you would feel after you’ve been set alight, as the sound gradually fades out into oblivion. Something tells you to pull a blanket over your body, because the fatigue after listening to this unending piece is ungodly. Thankfully, it gives you a moment to reconcile and to have some peace of mind. This requires a lot of endurance to listen to, at least if you’re in the position of a tired man. But, once you “get it”, if you have to get it, there’s unending opportunities of both the analysis and the pleasure of listening to it. Even if it is pleasuring and disheartening at times, you can always stop it and return, because this is a challenge. An ambiguous release filled with susceptible truths and falsehoods, ready to enmesh you within its own realm. You should check it out even if it’s not your style, because I would recommend it.

You can buy it over at Beläten if you want to have the cassette and digital download.

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