Haiku Funeral - _If God Is a Drug_
(Hikikomori Records, 2010)
by: Chaim Drishner (6.5 out of 10)
Haiku Funeral is the creation of a Bulgarian black metaller and an American experimentalist and bass player; together they produce, under the moniker of Haiku Funeral, an assembly of varied sounds -- from electronica and psychedelia, through black metal of sorts, to industrial and dark ambient soundscapes.

I'm not actually sure what 'experimental' would mean in relation to Haiku Funeral's sounds, or in general for that matter; what exactly they are experimenting here is unclear, but I guess if cramming into a single recording so many unrelated sounds, styles and genres of music is regarded experimental, then you could probably dub their music as such.

_If God Is a Drug_ is the duo's third full-length album, and one that stretches the very definition of music; not expending the definition or exploring new musical territories, but rather flirting with various sounds, half-baked musical ideas, cold processed human speeches, random distorted guitars and such, in order to create an 'experience' of sorts, rather than actual music in the traditional sense of the word.

In the end, this recording has its moments, though seeing it as merely an album with 'moments' would be a mistake. I get what these artists were trying to achieve here: an hallucinogenic, nightmarish, cold and hopeless soundtrack for a decaying world, or the aural equivalent of a demented mind dreaming, or probably a sonic portrayal of a dark and empty trip experienced by a drug addict when high on chemicals (for whom God is a drug, indeed). Hence, this recording should be taken as a whole, swallowed for all its sweet and bitter parts.

In the end, this approach of making "music" by exercising clearly non-musical, or only partly-musical elements, each being a stark reduction of the concept of music itself, yet together these elements translate into something coherent and meaningful, even if at times parts of this aural message verge on the white noise or on the utmost peculiar -- is an interesting concept in itself.

Everything eventually converges into a single message whose language is for the most part rather coherent and pleasant on the ear; this recording is definitely not your average meaningless and annoying dark ambient boredom that goes nowhere, nor is it your average senseless noise recording. It has got substance, a certain degree of songwriting skills, some interesting arrangements, some good choices of utilizing the human vocals of both sexes, and an understanding in electronica and exploiting and manipulating it for the musical needs of the artist.

_If God Is a Drug_ could be about the smaller details within, but it could also be, preferably, about the bigger picture, seeing it from a distance, when a pattern emerges slowly in front of you. Whichever way one choses to regard this recording, the chances are high it will please the pervert, addict or suicidal within each and every one of you.

Proceed with caution...

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

(article published 8/12/2011)


ALBUMS
12/29/2012 C Drishner 8 Haiku Funeral - Nightmare Painting
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