Have you ever been in a shopping cart? Drunk on cheap vodka. Sitting with a rope attached to a van that has no earthly business going over 40 miles an hour. You have a football helmet on and no other form of protection and you begin to realize your grip is the only thing keeping you from a life ending accident. That memory flooded back to me as soon as I listened to this album.
Melt Downer is an Austrian based noisecore trio based in Austria. They’re comprised of Wolfgang Mostl on guitars and vocals, Mario Zangl on vocals and bass, and Florian Giessauf on drums. The guitars are pure rage fueled anguish splattered against vocals screamed so loud Wolfgand Mostl and Mario Zangl must be in an obscene amount of pain. Drummers are know to keep everything tame but Florian Giessauf instead only provides more fuel to the fire. This entire album is as exhausting as it is beautiful. Ugly as it is exhilarating. And all I can do is try to find make heads or tails of a fraction on it. If you wanted to hear METZ to get strangled by The Jesus Lizard while The Blood Brothers watched with their eyes strapped open this is what their screams would sound like.
Each song feels like you’re wondering through a museum late at night high on a combination of angel dust and acid. Your conscious recognizes police sirens blaring but you don’t care. You notice the paintings and touch them letting the colors and emotion engulf you. So let’s begin our journey with the jackhammer style riveted “Junkademy” without any structure creates the blueprint that’s more primal than anything else I’ve heard this year. As you leave that world you’re thrust into the aptly named “Rave”. A slow start quickly transmutes into a waterboarded venture leaving you suffocated. As you’re gasping for air you enter “Keep Falling Off”. It’s shouted and bored flow of a jumbled mess. Like being trapped in a holding cell. Being forced to hear what’s about to happen to you until you drip out of that world and into the digital “Patterns in Random Data”. You look down and your flesh is a mashup of pixilated fragments of flesh and numbers. The suffocation is all too familiar at this point and we’re only half of the way through. A mindless murmur invades your head and you become “The Leisure Death”. You’ve become completely fascinated and proud of the worlds you’ve entered. The song’s more grounded and you feel more confident. This the album at its most powerful. You’re completely unstoppable and so is this music. “Mutter” begins with a shrill voice “well they are very lovely but I think it’s all rather weird”. Was this heard through a memory? Was it real? Have you been entering too many worlds? Exhaustion soaked vocals mixed with a vaguely understand overheard narrative. But then you wake up in another world. In “Sri Lanka”. This is more mellow incorporating more jazz structures and comprehensible words fill your voided out head. “White Gathering” is complete war. The painting you’ve entered is that of nuclear warheads exploding one after another. These screams cut you deeply. Your world has been destroyed and rebuilt more times than you count. You begin banging your head against a brick wall with “Science is Fiction” leaving a disgusting bloodied pulp of gnashed flesh and bone. The rhythmic ebb and flow of “Back Down For The People Of The Past” sees your lungs filling with blood. You gasp but nothing enters your lungs. Nothing is left. But you have a tiny bit of fight left inside of you. “Trepass” sees you coming back. The high is wearing off. You realize where you are. What you’ve done. The guitars intertwined with the drums and vocal become more clear and your mind is completely returned. The police are here and you can feel your life about to com to a realistic end. But you’re not going away without a fight. “Dawner” is a thirty minute labyrinth of anguished fury and echoes jarringly between sharp focus and a dizzying incoherent mess.
This titan of an album is hideous. And saying it’s not for the faint of heart is an understatement. But, I have a massive place in my heart for the grotesque. Our world is not flowers blowing in a meadow all the time. There’s ugliness that needs to be seen. There’s beauty in destruction. You cannot forget that ever.