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(43:15, Aesthetic Death Records)
TRACK LIST: 1. The Nightmare Door 1:55 2. Blacklight Amniotic Erotica 4:13 3. Scorpion Ritual 3:00 4. Behemoth Rising 5:23 5. Raining Nightbirds 6:08 6. Flags of a New Empire Burn 4:12 7. Death Poem 2:24 8. Heavy Breasted Innocence 4:24 9. Your Heart a Black Tunnel 5:51 10. Damnation 5:55 LINEUP: Dimitar Dimitrov – vocals; electronics; guitars William Kopecky – bass; vocals
Prolusion. The international project HAIKU FUNERAL was formed back in 2008, and US musician William Kopecky and his Bulgarian partner Dimitar Dimitrov have so far created one EP and three full length albums. "Nightmare Painting" is the most recent of these, and was released through the UK label Aesthetic Death Records.
Analysis. One likely way to introduce this band might go something like this: a few years ago its members had a field excursion to the realm of Mordor. They found the place interesting but entirely too positive and lacking in depravity, so they decided to create a small universe of their own one could visit to truly get to know what words like bleak, depraved and demented are all about. So far they have explored the regions of this universe bordering the nether realms of purgatory and arguably even hell itself, but on their latest production I do feel that the overall scope is subtly different. This isn't a creation that heralds a massive alteration in approach by any means, most likely the greater majority of people won't notice too much difference at all. But on a subtle level I do feel that this CD is one better described with a different allegory. The deepest back alleys and darkest, hidden corners of the Blade Runner universe is where I'd place this one in terms of association. A dystopian excursion into the depraved and hidden places in a demented world, where terror is a daily experience and hope is something only the few and lucky dare to dream about. A filthy world where you distance yourself from whatever is happening by default. The elements utilized when illuminating this universe are few, but effective. William Kopecky's bass guitar, delivering jazz-tinged warm resonating tones with the same ease as thundering booming notes and twisted, sickly rhythm details, his talk-like voice alternating between a gritty distanced delivery and the world weary almost whispered voice of someone who has seen too much, now unaffected by whatever is observed and merely narrating whatever is happening right here and right now. Dimitrov caters for the majority of the electronic effects. Bleak, dark fluctuating synth textures, sounds and effects that inspired thoughts of a dystopian future with cold machines set in dimly lit locations where there's no room for humanity as we know it. A place where humankind's inner demons roam free, possibly in interaction with purebred demonic entities too. Especially when he contributes in the vocal department, his black metal oriented vocal style one that will inspire associations to demons from the deeper pits and in unlucky circumstances perhaps even invoke them. Through slow-paced excursions of the ambient variety, without any resemblance at all to anything new age or related, I might add, to massive thundering creations and even the occasional piece of a relatively uplifting nature we're taken on a bleak and gloomy ride through these landscapes devoid of hope. Dark material, yet also tantalizingly beautiful in expression at times. And at the very end the twosome decide that this particular part of their universe is best left behind again, taking the listeners down into the abyss again on final piece Damnation.
Conclusion. A prerequisite needed to enjoy any of Haiku Funeral's albums is to have a taste for and interest in dark electronic music. Music bleak and somewhat oppressive, without much hope nor uplifting tendencies to speak of. To be in touch with your inner demon and don't feel threatened by its presence is also an advantage. Those who recognize themselves in this description should find "Nightmare Painting" as well as Haiku Funeral's previous albums to be productions that merit an inspection.
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