Brighter Death Now : Kamikaze Kabaret
“Aren’t you feeling well, Bill? Aren’t you hungry? What can be the matter? After supper, it’s fun to play a while before bed. But there’s still something wrong, isn’t there, Bill. There it is again…poor Bill? What now? We’ll soon know, because here comes mother…”
Spoken by a lethargic-paced middle-aged man who sounds like he was ripped straight from the 1950s, the album quickly gets down to the matter at hand: industrial power noise. Much like his previous albums, Kamikaze Kabaret consists solely of monotonous, grinding industrial pulsations. Every song has some sort of shouted vocals as well, either distorted beyond clear recognition (a trademark of his earlier records) or chanted/shouted/screamed ad infinitum. Occasionaly, various vocal samples (the majority of which seem to do with the home or family) are thrown in to further the strange effect this album has on the listener. Other elements are at seemingly random points on the songs introduced, but they are quickly subsumed into the main theme of the moment. Unfortunatly, as is observable in many of Brighter Death Now’s other albums (with a very few notable exceptions, mainly Necrose Evangelicum and May All Be Dead), not much readily stands out in comparison to the rest of the album and most of the “songs” go on for far longer than they probably should. Speaking of songs, this album will only further obscure whether or not these works can be called “songs” (as well as complicate exactly what constitutes a “song”). Notable songs include “Big Happy Family”, a subdued (in comparison to the rest of the album) electrical bass hum pulsates as a phased vocal tells an extended tale of family dissolution and domestic disturbance (almost reminiscent of “Slug Bait”, by Throbbing Gristle, in that regard) and “Take Me Away”, a strange tale of psychadelic drug use recounted through pounding industrial thuds, whistles, screeches, and clamor.
Overall, it is a relatively decent industrial/power electronic/noise release. However, it is very difficult to maintain interest enough in listening to it all the way through in one setting. Not because Brighter Death Now is “one of the most extreme industrial noise acts on the scene” (a doubtful and dubious distinction at best), because their not, but because the monotony quickly fades from ritualistic to just plain boring. Some of the songs, such as “Destroy” (with it’s only lyrics being “We Destroy You!”) and “Big Happy Family” are interesting in the fact that you need to be in a certain mood to listen to them, the majority of the songs have very little to keep the listener engaged.
In the end, Roger Karmanik proves that Brighter Death Now has very little to offer fans of industrial music which other bands can easily provide, often with much greater originality and quality. His earlier albums, highly regarded within certain circles, are fading further and further into the distance…