Joseph Campbell defined the Axis Mundi as, “the imagined axis linking the Earth’s surface with the lower world (Hell) and the upper world (Heaven) at the metaphoric center of the Earth.” And that is exactly what this CD does, taking you on a trip from the depths of infernal madness and obsessive compulsion, on through the profane and unhallowed mire of our mundane, temporal existence, across the vast, chaotic chasm of Choronzon known as the Abyss, and on into that ineffable and sacrosanct region which we call the Divine, all done in a process of three stages which can be interpreted to represent those three levels of being which I have just described. And yet, oddly enough, the songs on this CD were never meant to be together. As the liner notes explain, “Popular Music’ Is a compilation of tracks derived from live performances and home taping sessions... This is not intended as a standard album, but merely a reflection of an ongoing process.” It is mostly the work of one Mr. Kevin Slaughter, known for his program on the Radio Free Satan broadcast network, along with some help from Heather Fraser and unnamed others.
The first track, “Sound of Music”, is a good example of what it would be like to play your Fisher Price Tone-a-Phone in the sewer. The next track, “Her Muse”, is one of those “depraved ravings” pieces in the vein of Sisyphus Autopsy, written from the point of view of a stalking ex-boyfriend who has captured his prey and is now trying to convince her, probably at gunpoint, that they belong together. On “Thanks for the Memories”, someone mumbles incomprehensibly over an instrumental of “A Kiss is Still a Kiss”, an over-modulated version of “Funky Cold Medina”, and a soup of various static-filled samples. “Popular Media” is perhaps the most wry in its humor, an actual recording of Kevin Slaughter calling up a radio talk show to discuss “racialist music”, including the moronic comments made by the host of the program. And in “Mi Amore”, women scream as their bodies are cast into the flaming pits of Hell. The last track, “Man Sun”, is very interesting, as the narrator explains concepts of infinity, eternity, God, Abraxas, dualism, unity, and equilibrium, mixed with reenactments of speeches made by Charles Manson and his followers. As more of a “stream of consciousness” piece than an act of premeditation, this compilation works very well. I’d like to see what they do when they plan it out ahead of time. A more standard full-length CD entitled, Love Songs, is scheduled for release in the coming months.
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