Haiku Funeral - _Nightmare Painting_
(Aesthetic Death, 2012)
by: Chaim Drishner (8 out of 10)
France is a hotbed for fucked up musical minds, spawning acts such as Carnival in Coal, Diapsiquir and this, the rising star of all that is decadent and odd, Haiku Funeral. The thing is, Haiku Funeral members are not even of French origin, but rather a Bulgarian/American duo based in France. There must be something in French air, water or food that breeds these musical oddities, what with the cultural etiquette and politeness and whatnot, beneath which hides a writhing and seething underground, churning and foaming at the mouth with a poisonous pus of hate and malevolent sonic fumes.

Haiku Funeral's fourth full-length release is a major improvement over their previous _If God Is a Drug_; it is more cohesive, way darker and contains some of the best, most hateful and perverted lyrics ever written. In addition, it offers a unique, semi-meditative experience, conjuring a dream-state of sorts, or nightmarish psychological landscapes, depending on your mood and mental health. Using bass guitar, vocals and electronica, this duo drifts from martial rhythms and spoken verse to jazz-oriented moments and mechanical, industrial musical movements, to black metal screeches and synthesized guitar-like walls of sound.

Every element, and the combination of such, some even in the very same track, are glued seamlessly and flow in their own strange dynamic, thick black goo. The incessant beats, the stripped down techno/trance pulses, the floating keyboards and the occasional bass lines all mingle and create a coherent, unsettling and bizarre musical landscape which is as experimental as it is straightforward and almost banal in the sense you can easily 'understand' the music, relate to it and even enjoy it. It is not 'out-there', nor is it abstract to the point of non-musicality, which is unfortunately the case with many a dark ambient act. No; this music, as disjointed as it may superficially seem -- what with all the different sounds and styles crammed in it -- offers a whole, single-unit experience, and although not sonically brutal, chaotic or noisy to the extent of degradation and sonic obliteration, when coupling the sounds and the vocals with the extraordinary lyrics, the listener then enters into the dark realm of Haiku Funeral and finds it hard to exit; it devours you and mesmerises you completely.

The general rhythm is for the most part slow to mid-paced and the vocals are mostly clearly spoken to semi-hissed black metal-ish screeches; the "music" is riff-free, fluid and mostly non-linear; there are almost no repetitions of the same verse or chorus (if chorus is at all the right word); every moment is totally surprising, suspenseful and idiosyncratic. The synthesized drum beats are the only thing that is constant in the recording, and even they shift in structure and pace.

_Nightmare Painting_ is an album like no other. Its moniker reflects its essence; its nightmarish essence only magnifies with the perverted lyrics of godlessness and promiscuity. This depraved and decadent aural entity is undoubtedly one of the most interesting listening experiences of the year, hence highly recommended.

"White dove in headless flight / Wings search an empty sky / We draw diagrams of crucifixions / Between the pages of your thighs" ("Blacklight Amniotic Erotica")

Contact: http://www.haikufuneral.com/

(article published 29/12/2012)

12/8/2011 C Drishner 6.5 Haiku Funeral - If God Is a Drug
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