Thursday, November 10, 2016

Scott Lawlor - Child Of Rage (2016)

An ambient musician from Texas sent me this one, which according to the Bandcamp page is one of several. When I mean several, I'm nearly talking Merzbow here. Why he chose Child Of Rage out of his many others, I don't know exactly, but I suppose as it is a bit more horror inspired than his other works (which constitute to around eighty million various pieces of drone and some weird act called Spank Hookers) he thought I would dig it, and indeed I do. Child Of Rage is actually a concept album based on a '92 CBS made for TV movie which is classified as a mystery, seeming like a very psychotic and strange thing for the network to air around this time period. How in the world do you even get ahold of a made for TV movie that goes back to my childhood years in this day and age? I was seven. I guess I'll not answer that question, but it resulted in this artwork and I think that's a good thing.

As for the disc, we certainly are offered quite a bit of drone as you might suspect based on the artist's repertoire, but that doesn't say anything about the creep factor of the disc, which certainly isn't wise music to play while you're playing a horror game with a bad soundtrack, or reading some sort of horror novel (with no soundtrack, obviously.) “Dark Repose” uses frighteningly distorted church organs in way that would raise the hair on the back of my neck during certain scenes in a visual novel (this has happened, with equally bone-chilling music) or while going through a certain area of a game in which you can kind of feel the fright of your surroundings. It almost goes from the sound of a church organ to something a bit more unsettling, which really kind of freaked me out. Really, you wrote this for a '92 film? You could have used this on a modern horror film and made a name for yourself in that industry, seriously. Holy shit, this is one of the most bizarrely uncomfortable pieces I've heard in a bit. I'm also reminded a little bit of the original Pennywise theme (now that we have a remake set to arrive next year) which only adds to the fright factor. Same can be said with the follow-up, “Unihabitable Conditions” which makes me wonder why this gentleman isn't composing for the film industry, or at least working with some independent filmmakers. Congratulations, Scott. You know how to scare the bejesus out of people, even with your more drone-influenced cuts.

Imagine you're driving down the road at night while this is playing in your car. You roll up on a dead body in the middle of the road and all of a sudden a sharp effect starts playing from the disc. You'd nearly shit yourself or have a heart attack when you came upon that grisly scene while having this music play in the background. The same can be said of maggot covered roadkill (it doesn't have to be a human body, after all) which will still come off quite frightening when coupled with that sound. Yes, the record comes with it's own jump scares, which isn't something I can say I've ever heard from a horror-influenced ambient before. This thing is legitimately scary and people are going to think they're in a horror movie if you place this in the background. For all you collegiates reading this, (of which there are none) try switching out the party mix with that of Child Of Rage and then walk off into the background. Immediately, you'll freak some people out at the party, especially some of those who are drunk and start a sort of frenzy. Apparently certain sounds cause fright and among normal people who aren't used to this sort of thing, you can make them go pretty nuts. (Just don't do that right now as things are a little fucked up in this country, especially for collegiates who are no doubt playing a soundtrack similar to Child Of Fire in their heads while imagining horrifying scenes from our new president elect.) At the very end of the day, Lawlor proves that he can scare the shit out of me, and in a way that I've never experienced before. I'm not putting on this record EVER while I read anything frightening, as this disc will only add to it. But there are some rather sad moments to the album as well, which I can equate heavily with visual novel soundtracks of course, which contain quite similar music in tone and atmosphere. That being said, it's just as frightening as anything I've heard from the best horror visual novels (there are very few in English, unfortunately) and I'd certainly recommend it to those looking for a good scare.

(7 Tracks, 45:00)


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