Thursday, 16 October 2014

Review: Digitalis Purpurea – 'Palindrome Shapes Of Mold'

'Palindrome Shapes Of Mold'

Non-conformist electronic artists Cristian Marovino, AKA Digitalis Purpurea returns with a darker and harsher sound on the fourth full-length studio album to bear the moniker. The previous Digitalis Purpurea outing on '30-Hole And Fred Perry' displayed a polished and pop-orientated side to the projects sound. But here noise is the name of the game. Low-fi, abrasive, and lacking all airs and graces it synthesizes primordial black metal atmosphere through primitive industrial noise with the influence of acts such as Black Leather Jesus, Vlad Tepes, and Mutiilation present throughout.

Based on Giallo – Italian psychological and gruesome murder mysteries – The album revels in atonality and juxtaposing melodies with noise. Opening with the blast that is 'Psychic Tape #404' the album immediately signifies its intentions. 'AibophobiA' follows on, slowly emerging from the din of static and feedback that connects it to the previous album. The tracks then become more catchy as the album progresses with songs such as 'Chipsiomega', 'Scarlet Cameo', 'Night Train Murder', 'Cardia' and 'Elena & Maria' displaying the infectious qualities of the previous Digitalis Purpurea albums, albeit with that ever present low-fi quality to them.

The remixes of 'Hate Is A Golden Spiral' and 'Hentai Dope Trip' by Satanismo Callibro 9 and Danny Saber respectively, the harsh and minimal styles compliment the rest of the album as a whole and feel more part of the album's construction rather than something merely stuck on the end.

In terms of production, its intentionally low fidelity style and penchant for harsh tones makes this quite a heavy going album. Yet there are many instances of catchy songwriting emerging through the haze. It is an excessive and forceful sounding album, but not at the expense of Marovino's songwriting standards.

This album may be too left field for the average listener. But to those who like noise, primitive industrial and primordial black metal, this will be a no-brainer. It is a brave and bold move to do such a stylistic 180, but Marovino pulls it off, and in doing so raises the question of what else he has up his sleeves?

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