By Kyle Harcott
If you read my review of Virion, the last album from the Kansas City one-man wave of annihilation known as The Sequence Of Prime, you could likely understand how difficult it was for me to think about tackling a review of his latest, Inter-. You see, in my humble opinion, Virion was a perfect album. Perfect. Flawless. Nothing to nitpick. Now, I never had any doubts about Inter-, and it’s definitely one of my most-anticipated records this year. But the niggling voices in my head bit away at me nonetheless: ‘How can you ever attempt to top what you wrote about the last one? You can’t. Don’t even bother.’ These are the black dogs that snarl at my brain, folks.
Luckily, though, Brandon Duncan makes records that are as much nihilistic and misanthropic (at a planetary level) fun to write about as they are to play at maximum tinnitus-activating amplitude. You must play them that loud for full effect. Since Duncan’s work emulates the sound of natural disasters rampaging across the planet, or of gargantuan hunter-killer mechanoids fucking seismic holes in the earth’s crust, it’s best to try and recreate the effect as intended, by making the room shake as you listen.
A concept album like its predecessor, Inter- is steeped in themes of pan-dimensional travel and the black-hole horror of traversing those unknown dimensions. Or, what I like to call, in my own incredibly dumbed-down way, ‘SPAAAACE MAAAAADNESSSS!’ Remember that old ‘70s sci-fi cheeser, The Incredible Melting Man? About the astronaut who rockets to Saturn, gets exposed to space radiation in its orbit, and returns to Earth only to go on a kill-crazy rampage as his body melts into a Pizza Hut Meat Lovers? In my mind’s-eye remake of the movie, Inter- is what’s playing, at skull-splitting volume, inside ol’ Melty’s head every time he strangles and decapitates his way across the screen; some kind of inescapable alien soundtrack he picked up in his brainwaves as Saturn’s radiation infected him. Pretty soon the grey matter is reduced to chunky tomato soup and starts melting its way out our boy’s ears, but still he keeps hulkiciding his way through the film, all the while Brandon Duncan screeching damnable invective about breaking the Lorentz invariance, how bacteriophages rapidly transmit pestilence, or plain old ontological asymmetry at plate-tectonic-shift volumes. “MELTY GO RRRAAAGGHGHH!!!!!! MUST KILL MAKE MUSIC STOP MELT BRAIN!!!”
For 24 minutes, Inter- roars with the urgency of a timed self-destruct mechanism. Pulse-rifle riffs and leads pour forth in a violent torrent, the drums a pile-driving invocation of horrible, foam-at-the-mouth chaos. All of it an industrial-accident-level cacophony presided over by this voice, this horrible, wonderful oh-you’ve-fucking-had-it-now! madman howl of rage, pain, madness, despair, and enough desperation to choke a vatload of blissed-out science-deniers. See, the secret is, in The Sequence of Prime’s harrowing universe, science, and its mother, nature, do not give one solitary fuck. You, puny human, are inconsequential dust. So realize it, revel in it, and embrace the annihilation.
Inter- is available for stream or download at http://thesequenceofprime.bandcamp.com/