I’m basking in the glorious heat of a warm summer’s day, a gentle breeze softly stroking my cheeks as I lie back in a colourful flowery meadow with fluffy white lambs skipping over my feet; any elements of stress slowing being lifted from my mind. But… what’s this? It’s starting to snow and, suddenly, the sun disappears, the skies become black, the flowers are shrivelling and wait! Where did that chainsaw come from and where’re those demonic growls and menacing screams and crushingly explosive blasts of noise coming from? What’s happening? I’m going to diiieee!! Aaaaarrgh!!!
I wake up. Sweating, gasping, dazed, confused, head still being pummelled by ear-scorchingly loud metallic grooves of monolithic proportions. Rather foolishly I had set my alarm using December’s *latest slab of violent savagery _'The Lament Configuration'_*. And it’s not a pretty sight.
After recording two independently released albums, Nevada’s *December *signed to Matt Zane’s *Inzane Records *in October ’98. Don’t worry, they hadn’t veered off into a jazzy, Casio keyboard-led porn-funk direction. In the words of Matt Zane himself, he would “use December’s music to get my actresses psyched up to do really brutal anal scenes”. I suppose one could presume that if they could survive a half hour blast of the raw ugliness of December then they could pretty much bare anything else that, er, came their way.
The band is fronted by the undoubtedly fearsome frontman Mark Moots, a guy who’s powerfully ferocious voice can switch from a Dalek-like alien gargle to a gutteral bark and piercing scream with ease. Such varied vocal switches fit perfectly with the band’s complicated Dillinger Escape Plan-esq hyper-rhythmic syncopation that constantly twists and turns and stops and starts like a whirlwind demonic rollercoaster speeding out of control straight from the bowels of hell. And it’s frightening.
_'The Lament Configuration' _is the mysterious box in the Hellraiser films which the band see as a fitting comparison to their music, being a gateway into a very horrible place. And from beginning to end this nightmare just doesn’t stop. Stick this on after *Slipknot *on CD:UK and it’ll scar the kids for life.
8Mat Hocking's Score