Brown Jenkins
Death Obsession

Don’t worry, I’ll keep this review only focused on the music….

The third and final album from despondent musician Umesh sees Brown Jenkins continue the more guitar based, droning approach of Angel Eyes, straying away from the more ambient depressive hues of the debut, Dagonite. And while the result is less suicide inducing than the debut, the end result is still an oppressive, nauseating foray into terrifying but lucid nightmares.

The core of Brown Jenkins is the filthy, discordant guitars that that ply repetitive, droning riffs, that now focus on black/doom metal rather than languid ambience and atmospheric interludes. Buzzing with a slimy, cavernous tone and Umesh’s fetid roars and screams, Brown Jenkins, while certainly more riff based, is still about overall mood and tenuous grip on reality rather than songs, as the albums 7 lengthy (7-10 minutes) songs play more like a guitar and drum based ritual summoning a vast tentacled thing from the depths of the earth.

What is funny about the album, is that despite its inherent, simple pacing, there is actually a lot going on. On headphones, the guitars sound like a swarm of OCD addled, valium injected bees being played through an amp in hell; the textures are just oppressively and densely layered when you sit and actively listen. But by the same token, if you just listen casually on speakers, you could be sucked into a trance like state but what superficially seems like simple repetition. Tracks like “Ashes in her Mouth”, “Lords of Suicide” even with their surprisingly upbeat pace, are a perfect examples where the repetition and pacing belies a complex, sanity suciking atonality that only reveals itself once you shut out everything else and spiral into its paranoia riddled cacophony that seem to personify Umesh’s own personal demons.

Personally though, I still prefer when Umesh slows down to a hypnotic, but hacking, wheezing, phlegm filled crawl as heard on the second half of opener “Breathless” parts of “Hopeless, Godlike” and closer “We, Disappear” where I Imagine Umesh recording in his basement, naked, covered in bile and Cthulhu saliva.

With this chapter closed and the The Ash Eaters being Umesh’s new outlet, I’ll continue to follow one of American metal’s more intriguing an interesting personalities as he continues to make cancerous and challenging underground music.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Erik T
December 21st, 2009

Comments

  1. Commented by: UA

    Thanks for this excellent review. To address one of your points…well, my aim in writing this was to make it both accessible and progressive…so yeah, the “main” guitars in the center channels have simplistic/pop/rock riffs that reflect what I was going for but the other guitars on both sides have all kinds of different things going on. If you listen to it on headphones you can really hear that…but one must also realize that this was never meant to be “easy listening”. ;) I think people today are really used to listening to an album a few times and then moving on…this album wasn’t written for those listeners. It will grow/expand/etc. over time. I am thankful if people simply listen to it…a lot of what I do with this kind of writing doesn’t have a precedent and I think that will only become clear over time…I guess we’ll see.


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