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Clownish and not to be taken seriously - 35%

NausikaDalazBlindaz, March 3rd, 2008

Interesting concept of Satan and evil as being embodied in the ills and stresses of modern life and in the people who may make up its underbelly but in the way Diapsiquir handle it on "Virus STN", the idea becomes not much more than a buffoon's circus. This recording could have been very intense, moody and powerful with a heavy evil atmosphere, jackhammer rhythms, singing humans-turning-into-robots and maybe some philosophising on what it means to be human and to have free will, and to then join Satan's army of servants in the guise of drug dealers, pimps, kidnappers and others who entice others into their master's realm - but instead "Virus STN" offers a 52-minute long harangue of samples, spurts of lightweight death metal rhythms and guitar scrabble, a bit of melodic doom and snippets of found sound and spoken voice all combined in a cut-up-and-paste style overlaid by hysterical histrionic singing and screeching from several vocalists. Not a whiff of a spliff can I sniff here let alone smell any evil sulphurous smoky stuff that might signal Mr Devil's presence within whatever toxic or chemical influence the band refers to. The only bad stink is something akin to that sensational voyeurism the tabloid media indulges in as it hyperventilatingly pursues the American singer Britney Spears's downward spiral into mental illness and chemical dependency.

There are nine tracks on this album but truth is they pretty much all segue one into the next with just the faintest bit of pause between tracks here and there, and with the music as unstructured as it can be - the bits and samples are strung together like beads on a string - the entire album really can be heard as one long track of sound cartoons. The pity of it is that though Diapsiquir may have started out with the best intentions of portraying the evil as it currently manifests in our society and the destructive effects it may have, the end result doesn't leave much of an impression: as soon as the album finishes, you're likely to ask "Well, what the hell was all THAT about?" - assuming of course that along the way you haven't acquired a big thumping headache and have had to resort to chemical dependency in the form of an aspirin tablet and then gone to lie down to escape the music.

If there's a saving grace to be found, it's in those sections where the guys play some actual music (for example, early on track 8) and some genuine feeling is revealed with a hint that if the guys had concentrated on more music and less showing-off we might have ended up with a really substantial record. At the other extreme the big problem with "Virus STN" is the singing: I have no problem with people wanting to use the mike at the same time and if they want to be a rowdy choir I'm fine with that but the yelling and screaming all the way through the album come across as childish and I think watching a troupe of oversized clowns all trying to get out of their teeny-tiny car at once and wacking each other on the nose would be a lot more entertaining. The choice of samples is also something of a problem: I'm not sure how the Russian opera singer fits into the grand scheme of things and the sample of someone who seems simple-minded and who continually mumbles "toxin" or "toxic" to me sounds rather like overstating the obvious.

I can only recommend "Virus STN" to those people who are being victimised by bullies at school, college, work, sport team practice or elsewhere: you buy a voodoo doll at a thrift shop, label it with the name of your nemesis and then blast this album at the doll day and night as long as need be. One day your enemy will wake up screaming and carrying on just like the guys on this album, so much so that s/he will have to be carted away bound and sedated by people in white coats in a white van forever.