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Corrections House - Last City Zero - 75%

Witchfvcker, April 24th, 2014

Corrections House is a union of sludge luminaries Scott Kelly (Neurosis), Mike IX Williams (Eyehategod), Sanford Parker (Minsk), and Bruce Lamont (Yakuza). With a substantial collective body of works behind them, aspirations are lofty and expectations are high. Of course, with projects like this, the result is seldom greater than the sum of its parts, and I approach Last City Zero with some trepidation.

Initial impressions of Last City Zero makes it obvious what each of the individual members bring to the table. The apocalyptic thunder recalls Neurosis and Minsk, while the lyrical nihilism bears the heavy mark of Eyehategod. There is also a heavy presence of industrial elements, from the programmed drums to the heavily distorted guitars. “Party Leg And Three Fingers” dips into the despotic apocalypticism of later Blut Aus Nord, while “Bullets And Graves” sounds like it could have been recorded by Skinny Puppy in the 90s. On the other side of the spectrum, “Run Through The Night” comes close to being dark folk, and “Hallows Of The Stream” is jazz noir.

As should be clear from the above, Last City Zero is an eclectic and highly experimental record. The binding factor is the overarching militant and dystopian atmosphere, which comes crashing down like a throng of riot police. This harsh and bludgeoning sonic assault is contrasted with nocturnal jazz pieces accompanied by Mike IX Williams’ junkie poetry. It’s a bleak vision of a broken future, yet mirrors the present through a dark reflection on urban isolation.

Last City Zero is an uncomfortable experience. It’s negative, hopeless, and self-destructive. Simultaneously it’s a iron-fisted chokehold and a shot in the gut. The experimental factor is a refreshing detour from standard supergroup fare. This is the oppressive soundtrack to a loveless and ruinous modern world, and the sound of a boot stomping on a human face forever.


Written for The Metal Observer