Prurient: Rose Pillar
The Heartworm (2009)
Holy crap! I may have found my record of 2009.
It all starts innocently enough. The muffled keys and distant rumblings on the opening track, Custer Aims his Arrow are gently hypnotic, disguising a thick fog that hides wolves and other Transylvanian nasties while gently hooking its jaws around your throat. Blown-out and icy cold keyboard drones emerge from the mist; something stomps and crackles in the distance while Dominick Fernow squeals garbled incantations into your ears. Then more distant rumblings and those lifeless, frozen keyboards, like a Dario Argento soundtrack but scary and so goddamn lonely.
Prurient has followed his interest in Black Metal to its furthest and most ambient depths. Rose Pillar is grim, empty and hopeless stuff made from keyboards and distorted vocals. It’s also deceptively soothing. This is the sound of a man pouring his deepest emotions into his noise. This isn’t about testing the listener’s limits or questioning the definition of music.
Is it Emo Noise? Fuck knows, but whatever it is, it’s absolutely thrilling.
Rose Pillar hits its stride on the fourth and fifth tracks where Hammer with Forty Names merges a Merzbow-ian rhythm with an undercurrent of guitar static and vocals like shattering glass. Indeed, the windows in my house rattle when I play this at even half-full volume. This leads into the album’s crescendo, Spins the World’s Wheels Again where a dislocated voice like Frank the psycho bunny from Donnie Darko gives a ten-minute eulogy over a sparkling keyboard drone. His voice rises from next-dimension distortion to blood curdling scream, in homage to all things David Lynch. Fuck me if this track isn’t scarier than anything I’ve ever heard from any Black Metal/Doom/Noise act. Ever.
Smartly, Fernow doesn’t allow Rose Pillar to outstay its welcome. 34 minutes of aching beauty leaves you hankering for more. I’m listening to this on repeat.
Currently the record is only available on 11” vinyl, with a 180 page hardcover book of Fernow’s artwork, and text from his mother’s memoir detailing the death of an estranged relative. I don’t own a turntable so I’m listening to a copy kindly made for me by a friend, but so good is this record I’m on the edge of forking out the AU$150 for it regardless.
I can’t recommend this enough, people. For me, this is the future of noise. Rose Pillar has purpose and meaning; noise for the sake of noise has been done already. If you dig Burial Hex, or thought Wolf Eyes’ Human Animal was mind blowing, Rose Pillar is gonna’ change your whole perspective on shit.