Mitochondrion - _Parasignosis_
(Profound Lore, 2011)
by: Johnathan A. Carbon (8.5 out of 10)
I wish I could have captured my face the first time I heard Mitochondrion. It would look something like a horror stricken child inching away from the seemingly harmless speakers. Unadulterated blackened death is harsh, but once the style begins to fly into the avant-garde, then the true horror sets in. Mitochondrion is the sound of a terrible nightmare which I can never wake. It is a travel commercial for the Cold Wastes of Kadath.

Mitochorndrion follows their under-rated 2008 release _Archaeaeon_ with an album of equal or greater ambition. _Parasignosis_ attempts to dismantle the blackened death framework -- arranging each piece carefully on the floor before building something more terrifying. What remains is something otherworldly, an album which could comfortably exist in another dimension.

_Parasignosis_ must be viewed at an angle. Everything about this record is odd. To begin there is a complete disregard for rhyming structure, meter and overall pattern. This is not terribly unconventional for a metal album, but becomes unique when practiced constantly. The structure of the album has a maddening beauty, much like stone palaces built by manic architects. _Parasignosis_ begins with a 17 minutes three- part opus called "Pestilentiam Intus Vocamus, Voluntatem Absolvimus". From that point forward, _Parasignosis_ unrolls with songs starting and ending abruptly, tracks of complete silence, and finally a nine minute ambient outro. The title track offers listeners the greatest hope for convention, with allusions to pattern and structure. Soon, however, the title track breaks down and begins an angular outro which is never completed or finalized. The concept of confusion and incompleteness adds to the disembodied nature of the record. Listeners never know whether the record will end or loop infinitely during their worst nightmares.

What is most striking about _Parasignosis_ is the intensity of chaos. The record's mixing drowns the vocals in a sea of technical drumming and frantic guitar work. There is a difference between wielding chaos and being consumed by it. Mitochondrion gives themselves over to the madness they create. _Parasignosis_ sounds like the dying screams of someone consumed by Yog Sothoth. While there is a breakdown of order and logic, the album still possesses a great amount of direction. If one were to picture on oncoming storm, flood or cloud of locusts, _Parasignosis_ would complement the image perfectly.

The structure, sound and overall presence of Mitochondrion are enhanced by the band's undying loyalty to philosophy. To be fair, their songs also share a fascination with biological disease, but philosophy is the premier theme. Mitochrondrion spent a considerable amount of time with other releases on the idea of gnosis. In fact, "Parasignosis" is a portmanteau of the words parasite and gnosis. Gnosis is the acquired knowledge of the infinite and the divine beyond the rational world of logic. The word is related to enlightened individuals and has its roots in early Christian / Pagan theology. Motochondrion's _Parasignosis_, by deduction, is the enlightenment by plague and pestilent destruction. If Mitochondrion has become enlightened and is now able to see beyond the infinite, then I have never been so frightened in my life.


(article published 27/1/2011)

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