ESA – That Beast (2018)

If Jamie Blacker tells you nothing so maybe IVARDENSPHERE, ISZOLOSCOPE or whether CEDIGEST do, unless you have met the name ELECTRONIC SUBSTANCE ABUSE on a Maschinenfest V/A. We could briefly condensed the music to something harsh between Powernoise and Rhythmic Noise. You’ve caught on: heavy bass dripping from the speakers. The artist is not at his first strike as he already have a solid background into musical production and this new record under the name of That Beast is a strong evidence of that skill.

Jamie Blacker has been for a long time a regular of the Metal scene which is felt most keenly from the very first vocals of the overture track – I Have Clarity – which is like poking the beast with a stick. Getting irritated and stamping, we want to break the chains keeping us back from jumping around to the incoming beat. This will however be nothing compared to what’s coming next. Because with Look Down Below this is a fat, thick and heavy Powernoise well greasy which is served into the bowl. Furthermore, there is also this little and subtle melodic flea gently knocking on our ear asking the permission to spin our head. It intrudes on it anyway and the beat parasitizes and bends our muscles to unravel those ropes, allowing us to finally catch up the dancefloor already cracking under the basses.

On the edge between a raw, minimalist and machinist STAHLSCHLAG and a WIELORYB with heavily saturated effects blowing up everywhere, ESA shades the whole with accuracy and sharpness where each dancing step is like a seism on the dancefloor. The production is mastered with That Beast which is, likely said, the mastodon of the record that has named into it. After a long intro as psychological readiness, this is a surge of powerful heavy Electro-Indus basses blowing out from the subwoofer and built around dog’s grunts – remixed enough to obtain an industrial output – which in addition to other tones push us into an organic factory where our blood pulses mechanically under the rhythmic impact.

Combined with Hardcore Techno effects, Like Meat (Spoiled) is interesting in the sense that the kick feels like to be reversed. That is, instead of having the beat reaching a decrescendo, it seems to jump out of the speaker for a rather crescendo fading. The outcome is immediate: an urge to dance at the same time as this rhythm balancing between Dark Electro and Gabber.  On another note, Then Follow Me sounds a bit more archaic under these Dark Electro whiffs but keeps this Blacker’s rhythmic so deep n’ heavy without falling into a oversaturation that too many projects are being tricked.

In a nutshell, That Beast is an album that offer a heterogeneous panel of diverse influences. The effort should be welcomed but a record, as powerful as it ought be, splits the minds when comes a range just as wide as this one.

Carry The Noose (feat Massenhysterie) falls within the continuity of Look Down Below with this Powernoise but paired with a more Industrial Rock axed singing than Metal. It results on a weakened  feeling and seems to last very long when the two tracks are following on. There is also Bad Blood Will Out which – despite a high level TBM – will be part of the odd category where the song will be either loved or hated. The singing is baffling and doesn’t sound lyrical but the style has the daring to be borne.

However, the end of the record may be underwhelming, not because it’s bad – quite the contrary! I Know is a Rhythmic Noise track more focused on the vibe than the dancefloor and might remind XENOFOBULUS sometimes, and even if I Want It Now raises a more speedy tempo, it won’t takes off causing a bit of frustration until the end in which Like Meat (Spoiled) is the true last act of violence. It’s just that concluding a colossus of Powernoise on three – four with the interlude – more aerial tracks, it give a feeling of non-completion. We expected an ultimate crushing song worth of an executioner and in the end… our last breath never come. It might be the sole Achille heel that make That Beast the undeniable behemoth of Powernoise, even if this opinion may be altered by the monstrous claws of the previous beasts. That may have been nullified if the order was different.

There is no track to be trashed if taken individually, as much the mastering level is high. The rhythm is heavy, harsh, pounding and that’s all we need coming from a Powernoise project to be efficient. That Beast shakes us with its loud basses all along these rich tracks full of explosive beats. ESA goes even further and transcends its own smart and skilled mastery with additional contents for a momentous euphony.

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