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Famine – Every Mirror Turns Black

Famine - Every Mirror Turns Black

CD, Bugs Crawling Out Of People, 2008

An odd little selection, this, as it veers wildly from relative peace and quiet (as evidenced by tracks like “Optical Stimuli”) to unbridled demonic possession (typified in this case by “Renounce Christ”) with hardly a pause in between. There are traces of jungle, hints of industrial and spatters of black metal littering what is otherwise an accomplished piece of IDM in the vein of Download, particularly their seminal release, “The Eyes of Stanley Pain” (1996).
The real gem on this album, however, does not fall into this category: “Blood Sacrifice” is an absolute masterpiece, blending harsh, thrash metal guitars and double-bass pedal drums with degraded signal mixing, circuit-bent glitches and vocals dredged from the pits of hell, all overlaid on a fast, eccentric breakcore drum line. While other tracks on the album (like “I Don’t Believer”) attempt similar stylistic crossovers, the result is less impressive. Even though this introduction of guitars into an otherwise predominantly electronic recording is nothing new (industrial-rock legends Ministry spent most of the 1990s producing six-string savagery, while contemporary terror EBM merchants Psyclon Nine recently invented their own brand of “black electro” on their “INRI” album in 2005), Famine still manages to create something that is guaranteed to make even the most jaded listener sit up and take notice. Please keep in mind that “Every Mirror Turns Black” is not a black metal album by any means; rather, it is a celebration of all things irreligious and angry that happens to make use of certain typical stylistic devices as a means to an end.
In general, this is a particularly painful album to categorize, as it represents somewhere in the vicinity of fourteen years of music production experience coming to a head – a very likely reason for the disparate influences discernible on the album. But that doesn’t mean it’s a bad album – on the contrary, Famine deliver something that’s difficult to get into, but even harder to stop listening to.


— David vander Merwe

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