CD-R, self-released, 2007
Moriarty’s “Equation of Madness” is, quite simply, dark. This is not the type of album you’ll put on when your parents come to visit; it is, however, most definitely the album of choice if you happen to be planning an evening of reading Dante’s “Divine Comedy” aloud, or possibly having the coven around for a light session of ritual sacrifice.
But, gloomy or not, it is a very listenable, very intelligent presentation. From a conceptual standpoint, Moriarty delve into the deepest recesses of their scarred psyches and ask their listeners the kind of questions most would be afraid to even consider, let alone actually phrase. Even their press releases propose distinctly uncomfortable thought patterns – if, that is, you happen to agree with mainstream thinking, organized religion or corporate supremacy – such as human beings being no more than pieces in a massive optimized machine.
Musically, the disparate talents of the four members of this collective combine to form a unique smorgasboard of industrial, electronica and ambient sound processes. They deliver slowly building atmospheric texture with ease, coupled with some very tastefully treated vocal lines and the occasional driving bassline. This versatility and range is by far the greatest drawcard Moriarty has on offer.
On a negative note, I did find the percussion to be the only area lacking the skill exhibited on the remainder of the album. In places, the drums do absolutely nothing for the melody, and in others, even detract from it. Fast, drum’n’bass snare lines have their place in electronic music, but I found them quite distracting on this recording.
Overall, Moriarty have managed to maintain a surprising level of spontaneity, and in their words, illustrate the “perpetual conflict between structure and chaos” in musical form.
— David vander Merwe