CD, walnut+locust, 2007
A thin, reedy bagpipe-like tone appears and is swiftly joined by a rush of dense, engulfing noise and finally a deep drone, alternately rising and falling, creating a deep sense of dread and tragedy. Thus opening track “Passchendaele” brings to mind scenes from no-man’s land on the Western Front, of mechanised slaughter, doomed youth and the all-pervasive stench of death. “Myiasis” is a human or animal disease caused by parasitic fly larvae feeding on living or necrotic tissue, in this case presumably maggot breeding on a massive scale on the wounded and dying bodies of hundreds of thousands of unfortunates during the Great War.
Maggot Breeder is one Reuel Ordonez, a Montreal based musician of Filipino origin, apparently active as long ago as 1984. Having performed in various doom, sludge and hardcore bands over the years, Ordonez uses the guitar as the main noise generator in his dark ambient compositions, giving a somewhat more natural and organic edge over synthetic equivalents. This latest album is, as inferred earlier, inspired by the First World War of 1914 to 1918, in particular with reference to the importance of that great catastrophe in shaping the course of the 20th Century and speeding the modernisation of the western world.
Being guitar-based, the works here are fairly minimal in their range of sounds and in their simple structures, but the tones are so full and rich that this is not important, and the intense moods capture the imagination strongly. It is quite impressive how effectively such abstract sounding tracks reflect their titles at times; “The Rest Is Silence” being the emptiest and most desolate piece, while the curiously titled “Ghosts Have Warm Hands” is certainly ghostlike and definitely one of the warmer moments of the album. Also, as the album progresses, guitar sounds are less obvious, with the more open atmospheres of “Ascension” or the sinister metallic scrapings of “The Price Of Glory”.
“Igorot” is perhaps the most unusual section of the album, with strange voices chanting unintelligibly, uncomfortable rattlings and distant clanking and churnings. Finally, the title track is the shortest piece by far, and features a piercing, almost drill like tone which is rather unsettling, perhaps a representation of the possible feelings of maggots burrowing their way through living flesh. Really, the only criticism which could fairly be aimed at “Myiasis” as a whole is that it is a little repetitive or occasionally uneventful even, but the separate tracks are varied enough to hold interest and are all performed with enough skill and feeling to ensure that this album would certainly be a valuable addition to any dark ambient collection.
— Nathan Clemence