This is a 2010 album from the Australian Bob Nekrasov. I’m not aware of any relations to the Russian anarchist poet Nekrasov, but the Melbourne based artist shares some timeless convictions with the latter.
Upon opening of the booklet you enter a dark-green sulphurous realm, forcing a state of prerequisite maddening; if one stares at the symbol-centered spheres, he becomes unintentionally removed from the common aspects of his milieu, plunging instead into a mantra-state of non-existence. “Heresy”, the album’s denominator, is marked by an unpledged nostalgia after the spiritual trance reified in the terrestrial. From this atmospheric introitus we are immediately dragged through a spectacle of noise-shined raw black metal interrupted by taciturn black-outs of “epilepsy”. The “butchery of light”, an optimal name for the sense of spiritual deprivation causes a mind-sucking ignorance in the form of “psychic epilepsy” that may be cured here in terms of fighting fire with fire – enduring the butchery until the light turns into black-colored noise, as a cerebral tabula rasa.
The quest for liberty is the main theme that we may trace here: the dream of universal destruction comes out to light on “Sadomasochistic Liberty Through Splendid Isolation”. We are pushed against a wall of noise in full analogy with the prison-mind barriers, a singular place of double-faced autonomy, where the psyche suffers the self-accepted incarceration in order to be in full possession of itself. A thick, grey-blooded, everlasting crumble of matter. He who seeks liberation plays for himself the double role of master and slave. This could have been the creative impulse for Sade’s search of self-destruction through the total possession of others. A harsh wall of noise annihilating the mind’s fluctuations. The track lasts only about 20 minutes: our spiritual errancy lasts our entire lives.
Somewhere in the sacred Hindu text Mahabharata, hope is seen as man’s greatest disillusion, subject to contempt and derision. It is remarkable how the Australian artist manages to incorporate some of these ancient philosophies on this album. “Devotion Of This Life Allied With Oblivion” constitutes a semantic play on the dichotomy between action and non-action, as theorized in Sanskrit or Chinese ancient texts. Even though “oblivion” connotes a will to let go of anything socially related, it still stands for a refusal to act. Shrieking sonorities composed in black noise, yet of an irritating rhythmic style, portrait a view on how one is able to take part in an absurd existence, and at the same time remain detached.
And what a deep psychological insight we find on “Calcualted Deception; Possessed By Nothing!”! Is the artist eager to tell us that deception is a mere construction of our deluded expectations? This is clearly what the musical approach denotes in the beginning of the song by means of a nature-induced elegy; and the sound imperceptibly transforms into a mechanical Vega-like black metal avalanche, increasing the feeling of emotional control.
What could I have expected from the closure? Maybe a flowing dark ambient piece to ease my senses. But no, by all means, as if Nietszche’s much-quoted phrase about the abyss of the soul has eclipsed the artist’s mind from beyond time , the last track expresses his latest and most dreadful conclusion: “The Person And The Yawning Abyss”. In the long run, the quest for absolute liberty leads to confrontation with the void (of the self and of all things around it). It is a cry of conquest, regardless of the absence of a conquered subject: a cry depicted by haunting, non-terrestrial matter collision, reminiscent of some unhallowed Lovercraftian vaults, where the dreamer meets his dream: the abyss of mind and space alike.
Such unpredictable artists should not be perceived in the specter of their later works; progression may always be a criterion for reviewing a work, but mostly art conjures archetypes beyond time-limited perspectives. “Cognition of a Splendid Oblivion”, semantically and in underground terms, compositionally depicts the hinges in deep recesses of the mind, that only a visionary can uncover.