Cenotype: Origins
Hive Records

Talk about truth in advertising. To wit: NYC industrial vet Cenotype appears on the cover of his debut CD with his head wrapped in white bandages whilst sitting in some hellish chamber, and the disc itself features songs with titles like “She's Dead... Requiem” and a collaboration with Navicon Torture Technologies. Did I mention that Origins' catalogue listing is ‘Infection Hiv.24'?

All kidding aside, there's a perverse streak in me that finds some degree of masochistic pleasure in Cenotype's deathly music, not to mention some sadistic comfort in merely knowing that such material is available for mass consumption. The accompanying press release gets it just about right in likening Origins to an “underwater nuclear test” filled with “chest-kicking industrial rhythms and murky black ambience,” and elsewhere as “an army of machines smashing your city to glass dust.”

Setting the tone immediately, the nearly eleven-minute “Sinking” plunges one into the center of a disorienting factory where grinding machines screech and steel sheets thunderously rattle. In some bastardized ‘hell-house' strain of dance music, howls and scrapes do battle with thudding drums and bass throbs in “Save Me,” “Skip Trace,” and “The Mind Wanders.” Ever the gentleman, Cenotype mercifully includes an occasional episode of relative calm (“Think It and It Will Be”) to allow devotees to catch their breath. The aforementioned collab “Justice” perches on the precipice of detonation for most of its nine harrowing minutes, while the melancholy melody running through “Is,” dare I say it, almost conventional. Yes, Cenotype's material may be brutal and uncompromising, but that doesn't mean that it's not, in its own perverse way, musical too. You've just got to look inside the maggot-ridden corpse to find it.

August 2007