“How much a beast must I be to defeat the beast that destroys my mother?” This is an excerpt of a larger quote by Charles Manson that has come to mean a great deal to me personally over the past few months. Taken in it’s full context, the quote refers to Manson’s concept of ATWA and his unique vision for environmentalism. As this quote reaches out, fulfilling an elder’s commentary on the army of ignorants whom have imprisoned him for the majority of his life, Flesh Coffin’s (NOR) “The Beast won’t go to Sleep” exists in darkness as the shadow-side to it. Here, you won’t find warnings from a conscious soul, care for the outside world or a far-reaching philosophy. Instead, the opposite reaction occurs, reaching deep within the creator and only seething of a visceral hatred that Flesh Coffin has come to be known for through his destructive, deafening walls of noise. In fact, where Manson’s beast seeks to become manifest in a world that struggles to simply maintain his mortal self, Brandal’s has existed for an assumingly great deal of time; writhing in abysmal mental insomnia.
With “The Beast won’t go to Sleep”, minimalism is abandoned for a cut up-style of schizophrenic noise that can descend into a nature so subdued that it could be consider a form of dark ambiance. Where with “Return to the Tomb” the Harsh Noise Wall-influence would have seemed overbearing, with this tape the moments of brutality are few and far between with the artist instead opting for an experimental style that has a vast range with it’s approach, ending up everywhere from death industrial to static noise, low-end harshness to distorted glitch loops. Moments of Side A can almost be described as tornadic as the background static and tape hiss nearly resemble the sound of a downpour of rain behind the train-horn approach of a twister. High-end harshness doesn’t finally show it’s face until relatively late in the first side, and even then it is evident for only a fleeting moment. The moments that opt more for experimentalism are breaths of fresh air, giving the listener time to breathe between the onslaught of complex sound that plagues the rest of the tape. It’s the previously mentioned descent into dark ambiance that give this tape a brilliant nature however. Whereas the noise sections are dark on their own, it’s these subtle influences that only populate the outer corners of the tape that give voice to the beast that the release is built on.
Side B opens with the gentle hum of electricity and quickly disintegrates into a complete low-end fuzz-fest and mid-mix industrial clanking. The noise here is every bit as fractured and rampant as before, just not in quick increments. Rather, each section seems to build as it’s own chapter before quickly severing into something new. This side of the tape is inherently more industrial than the other in it’s harsh sections, opting for the oppressive nature of metallic objects in the forefront and the distance in some sections to build atmosphere. That’s not to say that the chaotic low-end noise is gone however, as it is absolutely still present as the forefront of the recording with, again, dark ambience and horror samples being utilized to give texture to the overall release.
As mentioned, this is a visceral, extensively cathartic release and somehow seems more personal coming from Brandal than his usual output. Whether through shame, regret, or a maddening psychotic episode, this tenebrous work is an effort that was built upon a veiled atrocity and defines Brandal on several levels for me. It’s available now again in a small second edition, so if you’re interested you should grab your copy before it’s gone for good.
A1) The Beast Won’t go to Sleep
A2) That’s a Funeral in the Mirror
B1) In the Covens of the Witch
B2) The Mess that Scalpels Make