Drumm’s Imperial Distortion is as good a late night album as any. A few fingers of bourbon sitting on my window sill and the gentle warble of the New Age coming across my living room as I look out to where Lake Superior should be on this starless night. And the black chasm the big lake becomes at night begets all manner of dark ruminations, starry wisdoms better left unsaid. Music as open ended as Imperial Distortion fits that Lovecraftian weird, stewing in the stagnancy of small towns at night, that almost palpable pressure of the atmosphere weighing down on your head, the stars burning holes into all that cumulonimbus, water hanging in the air. Drumm’s music pushes right on through, alien intelligent.

I’m not looking for the next big Miasma tonight. Imperial Distortion sounds just right. Not nearly as static as I‘ve heard it described, a track like Snow moves around my apartment like an undulating poisonous cloud punctuated with random colored lights. At turns ominous, but frankly far more comforting than all that it would imply — high school science experiments with alchemical references, Kelly LeBrock in the shower and you with your jean shorts still on.

The bullshit about Drumm and his “black metal noise” makes me queasy. Conflating admiration with influence. Why is it so much harder to just let the music speak for itself. Don’t get me wrong, I love Carcass, but they ain’t Vivaldi, even if they steal from Four Seasons. And who wants Carcass to be Vivaldi anyway? As if that validates their onslaught. As if their onslaught needs to be validated. And who wants Drumm to be some corpse painted asshole, moaning about the moonlight cascading onto the icy plains of some forefather‘s foreskin? Isn’t this authentic enough? Isn’t this boring or brilliant… or more simply itself enough? But if one wants to go down that road, if there is some tortured darkness to Drumm’s music, I think it’s found far more on these long shifting drones of Imperial Distortion and Imperial Horizon than any of the noise terror he’s so admired for. SHM, Impish Tyrant the rest brim, spit out like sparks from the fire. They’re detrital, layered, subsuming. But Imperial Horizon leaves you behind. It’s down right nihilistic at times, a track like Guillain-Barre taps into a slim coursing eternal line, beginning and ending without a glimmer of recognition, of heeding our calls. Antiseptic glow. Beautiful in its way (and working wonders on the insides of my nasal cavities), but ultimately unknowable. And beauty being so hard to qualify. Like the end of Romantic Sores, all floating indifference but oh so pretty.

I can’t complain. I should go to sleep now, and conjure some personal demons to make myself feel more like myself. But it’s nice to have a piece of music that colors the space for a little while. In this sleepy town. Because I know this is all just words. And probably says more about me than the music. But that’s nice. That’s good. Perception is a fucking tricky thing. Sleep tight.


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