A work of nihilation


Release year: 2022
Label: self-released

When it comes to post-industrial, experimental music, the futility of pigeonholing acts is an eternal truth. And yet, at least when writing music reviews, that’s something you more or less have to do. US act Death Will Find Me If It Seeks Me is a prime example of this: it’s sort of one thing, but has elements of something else, but maybe not quite enough to be it. But still…

Well, you know.

Apparently borrowing their name from a Spanish civil-war era Falangist song (at least that’s what Google told me), the somewhat cumbersomely named Death Will Find Me If It Seeks Me deal with decidedly belligerent, martial thematics. But the music isn’t necessarily warlike in any conventional sense within the post-industrial spectrum.

Looking at the tags describing the album on Bandcamp, The Work Of Annihilation is labelled as dark ambient and martial industrial. The first I can certainly agree with. The latter, less so, but there’s definitely a martial element to the music.

Going for a very sparse, understated and minimalist approach, The Work Of Annihilation is one of slow, droning tones that never expand to melodies or chord progressions, aided by distant, cavernous percussion. With a bottom-heavy, somewhat muffled sound, the abstract pieces come across as a distant thunder of artillery, as the momentary half-deaf serenity after the storm of steel, and the deceptive calm just before or just after steel meets flesh and death finds those it is looking for. Swansea is just about the only track with a more fleshed-out martial, orchestral musical element beyond the percussion.

Innately, of course, music this abstract doesn’t necessarily speak in such powerfully martial tones. Slap on some other names – esoteric phrases, Lovecraftian allusions, whatnot – and this music would quite effortlessly morph into another guise. But with the chosen cover and names of the tracks, the element of war becomes part of the music.

The Work Of Annihilation feels on one hand a bit like a snack when you’re ready for dinner. The tracks feel like they could go on for longer and give the dark ambient tapestries and layers of sound a bit more time to evolve. The entire thing clocks in at 21 minutes for eight tracks, which is quite brief indeed.

On the other hand, by keeping things relatively concise and brief, Death Will Find Me If It Seeks Me also keeps things focused. The tracks don’t dawdle about with irrelevancies; they get to the point, and don’t overstay their welcome. Considering the understated approach, there’s something to be said for this briefness. It’s far too easy to ruin minimalism with over-extended durations.

As far as this kind of minimalist martial ambient goes, The Work Of Annihilation is an interesting little piece. It manages to keep things together for its brief duration, but at the same time the short length of most tracks and brief running time leaves something for the project to prove. Can they keep things interesting with a longer running time?

At any rate, with the reasonable price of name-your-price on Bandcamp, there’s no reason not to check this out.

Visit Death Will Find Me If It Seeks Me on Bandcamp

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