REVIEW: ML – “Come to Fear”

There is something so primal and visceral about the music of Brian Manley, whether that’s by his often terrifying work with Insect Policy that blends free jazz insanity with the antics of pacing of The Birthday Party, or here with ML, his latest out now courtesy of auralgamiSOUNDS. You can never accuse Manley or the musicians that he has surrounded himself with to be anything but unflinching in the face of the radical anarchy of their musical ideas, and it’s a prayer to some dark noise god that serves here as the backbone to the aptly named Come to Fear, a foreboding and apoplectic screed against convention and structure. Passages may include random percussive noises building and scrapping, metal on metal sounds grinding and buzzing, while the guitar goes into a feedback laden freak out, the score to a great evil about to be perpetrated on the world, a meditation on static.

Don’t even attempt to get a hold of what’s happening here. There are long passages of no real formality, airy and ephemeral compositions that seem far away and often otherworldly, like a fever dream of a marching band under siege, their distant cries intermingling with the sound of their horns and drums bleating out warnings, as if in an alien language. Tracks like opener Black Leather Habit or Black Sol feature elements of Sunn O))) or even stoner metal, primordial and ominous, a cautionary tale to ward off danger to others, a bleak look into the void. For Manley and company, the void looks back and inspires the sort of dread and consternation that typically inspire a panicked response.

Manley continues to make some of the most challenging music in the city, unabashedly saturated in a thick sheen of madness. This is intense music not for the weak at heart, the backdrop to a truly haunting and haunted experience. Listen below and embrace the chaos.