By: Vic Abreu
There is a creature wrapped in static, blindly grasping the air through the wall of noise that separates the listener and itself. A low-volt pulse moves from the creature onto you, the listener, and does not stop flowing throughout the rest of Sangs’ new record, Fiend Hemono. Released on September 14, Fiend Hemono is the beautifully experimental result of 17 months post-psych ward release.
The EP balances itself with an even mix of melodic songs, as is the case with “Dante Must Die,” and noisy abstraction, like in the opening track, “Slash at the Femme Purse.” The unifying force behind this EP is its production. Sangs excels at creating a dark, hollow soundscape through a minimalist frame. There are no harsh, jarring sounds. There are no songs that throw your head through a wall. Instead, Fiend Hemono functions more like a haunted house: despite all its space, it is filled with sonic ghosts.
I can’t get through the EP without feeling an unspoken Trent Reznor influence. The crashing drums towards the end of “Dante Must Die” remind me so much of a late 90s-type industrial breakdown, and to their credit elevate it to being the EP’s standout track. Tracks like “Wrung Demon” adapt abrasive editing techniques to modern experimental standards. What sounds like tapes looped backwards are even flexible enough to function as hip-hop samples that I can totally see JPEGMAFIA use on a release. The final track, “We Go…,” cuts itself off from the darkness inhabiting the other parts of the EP and successfully leads the listener out of the dungeon and back towards the light.
I’m excited to see what Sangs brings to the Gainesville noise scene as it continues to grow. Fiend Hemono is a solid, solid noise EP. I can’t recommend it enough to anyone who enjoys ambient music or Silent Hill. I also can’t recommend Silent Hill enough.