The term “minimalism” often conjures up white walls and bright lights—a disorderly barrenness in a world shrouded in chaos—but the Chicago-based industrial duo to conceal Take their harsh voices to a far deeper and more spiteful place. on new inner terror, multi-instrumentalist Seth Scher (Cough, Anthem) and vocalist and visual artist Heather Gabel don’t attempt anything particularly complicated or elaborate, but they more than compensate with punishing volume and powerful messages—they Gabel’s voice, field recordings, and a smokestack of electronic hardware (including the Skipping Depeche Mode CD) to fabricate brutal social commentary. purpose of inner terror The physical and spiritual perceptions of the body are to be drawn and quartered (and then reconstructed). Using a palette of industrial sonics, Scher and Gabel remake Cartesian dualism—the system of thought that divides body and mind—into their frightening image. Both work in their orbits, even more clearly here than in previous releases: Lion puts down beds of scary power electronics while Gabel issues barbarian announcements. The album opens with its title track, which begins with a belly-churning atmosphere and ten-ton hammering that strikes at every turn, yielding only to Gabel’s refrain of “I’m not my body”. The lyrics for the next track, “Nightmare”, come from a dream Gabel’s mother told her. on the phone (“I saw you last night / I’m scared / The pain is never ending”). On “Daddy Issues”, both musicals bow to their forerunners in concrete, melting opera samples and Gabel’s sobbing voice is derived from a letter from the father of Brock Turner—a Stanford student who, after being convicted. had earned national notoriety. The sexual assault of an unconscious woman in 2015 – where she asked the court not to give her son anything but probation, arguing that it could serve as jail time (Turner was eventually sentenced to six months in prison) “20 There would be a huge price to pay for minute action.” Coping with existential dilemmas and social evils rarely makes for a pleasant listening experience, and that’s the point. inner terror. Hyde has never based his music on traditional melody or structure – he is an activist with an electronic arsenal and a PA. Together inner terror, they demand that we look beyond artificiality and virtuous allusions to shed light on every horror, knowing full well that we will not like what we see. V
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