‘Feasting On My Heart’ is evil, black of blood and acrid of breath; it’s death on wax, the most captivating vocal sucking souls into a crushing pit of despair.
Scottish poet Gerry Mitchell – a previous collaborator with Steve Gullick’s Tenebrous project – here aligns his melancholy beside the screech and squall of London-based Little Sparta. Imagine Dirty Three at their most visceral, their most acerbic, and set another well-known Scottish spoken-word vocalist down with the bearded Australians to deliver a free-form flow of prose as they draw bows over strings fraying at the ends: you have an end result close to the barbaric beauty of this. Metal on metal and voice floating in dead air, a patch of colour on a pall of muddled greys; a cacophony of clouded thoughts and muddied mindsets seeking closure at any cost.
Slow to soak into the system though the A-side here is – a difficult beast to assess given its fractured lyricism and purposefully grinding backdrop of mining machinery left to rust before being powered up for one final bow – its flip, a remix courtesy of XL’s Various Production, is pleasingly immediate. Deep bass tones dance like that Levi’s tune; that one with the odd-faced puppet. Here, though, all smiles are checked at the gate, the hellish scenery such that any joviality is crushed like dead leaves in a child’s palm.
8Mike Diver's Score