Nonsense Chamber (Misanthropy)
by Paul Lee
There are times when a CD comes my way that’s a welcome break from my black and death metal addiction. Really, I like more genres of music, it’s just that I can’t resist the extreme stuff. So along comes the incredibly weird and haunting group, Aphrodisiac. To label them rock or even metal would be stretching it, think more along the lines of ambient, avant-garde noise. This is heady stuff to be sure and it’s damn good. For all of you morbid freaks out there, Aphrodisiac have plenty of samples about Dahmer and other unnamed killers to add some spice.
Aphrodisiac is a project of members of Norwegian metal bands. Bear in mind though, that the sounds Aphrodisiac produce have no resemblance to black or any other kind of metal. Nonsense Chamber is full of soundscapes that drift eerily along in a seemingly chaotic direction. Haunting moans mingle with electronic effects and flutes, while sudden, keyboard/ string samples shudder their way in like the approach of a killer in a slasher flick. It’s like one huge, twisted musical mosaic. The range of Aphrodisiac’s samples and sounds is vast and there’s no way in hell I can discern them all and list them for you, dear readers.
I suppose a lot of Aphrodisiac’s CD would give many of you nightmares and that’s probably the aim of these guys. Bad dreams or not, Aphrodisiac draws me in like an addictive hallucinogen and makes me long for more. It’s a subtle pain/pleasure effect. A jarring sound or sample rips your attention from the moodiness, and then their atmospherics lull you back into a state of irregular relaxation. With or without the use of recreational drugs, this is whacked-out stuff.
The work of mad geniuses or pretentious art fuckers? Probably a little bit of both. Aphrodisiac are unique in their disturbed musical vision. Though they seem to lack a proper structure, they’ve created a work of art that’s going to be praised highly by some and detested by many others. There’s no way to listen to this and remain apathetic. Aphrodisiac gets my vote for one of the most wonderfully disturbed CDs in recent memory.