Mental Destruction - _Straw_
(Cold Meat Industries, 1996)
by: Andrew Lewandowski (7 out of 10)
Following a directional shift towards sedate dark ambient, CMI has almost completely neglected the sub-genre of post-industrial European noise manifested in classic releases by the likes of In Slaughter Natives and Lille Roger. Here to revive this dying breed is one of CMI's oldest bands, Mental Destruction. _Straw_ showcases all of the pounding, scraping, clanking, and screaming that once typified the Cold Meat sound. This is far from all-out noise; the instrumentation possesses a discernible rhythm. While metals provide a formidable base for each song, MD layers a few enthralling synthesizer notes into the mix. Once combined with surprisingly effective lyrics, the music posses quite a despondent feel, although this is slightly tarnished by a belief in Christianity, blatantly manifested in the lyrical passages to almost every track. While this factor alone is not enough to give me a disappointed impression, plenty of disappointment can be found in the soulless production. First of all, any lyrical despair is negated by the ludicrous vocalizations. They come across as a vomited hybrid between Count Grishnach and a distorted Phil Anselmo, during one of the latter's typically impotent attempts at sounding "bad ass." Even more irksome is the dull, resonating thud produced by most of the instruments. Despite the diversity of sounds manipulated by MD, the tonal similarities result in a repetitive feel. On the plus side, they have created one of the more hallucinogenic CD cases that I have ever laid my eyes upon.

(article published 16/3/1997)


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