I had gotten to the sharpening-knives-over-digeridoo-like-voices section of “Hearts Devoured” when I was like, “Oh, this is going to be one of those sharpening-knives-over-digeridoo-like-voices records.” It frightened me at first – you have to be a stonehearted man with a heart of pure granite not to quake at the horrific sounds of potential murder weapons being made ready among a ritualistic-type environment. Those weapons could actually be the cause of your own murder, you know! But then I reminded myself that letting your imagination run away with you, letting the entire enterprise of listening to an album slip into madness is neither the best use of your time nor an actual potential outcome if you can control yourself. So I shut my eyes, took a deep breath, and opened them again, mind centered to head on to the next track, “Ode to Pazuzu.”
Yeah, An Accidental Excorcism stays firmly in this lane, and 156, aka the Cuban-born Adel Souto, makes good on his promise to craft “meditation music for metalheads.” Stripping the mythology of any good metal concept down to its framework reveals the basic components of abrasive noise and demons, and here Souto combines both for a riveting jolt to the system. This stuff has to be terrifying, and An Accidental Exorcism is, whether it’s the harrowing horror warmup described earlier or the unholy proto-industrial clang factory found on devastatingly unflinching tracks like “Whirling” or the sinister “Command to Move.” And you have to wonder, was the performance of the exorcism itself accidental – like, the possessed didn’t want the demon out in the first place – or was the exorcism accidentally performed on the wrong person? Either way, I have to imagine the experience would be unforgettable, no matter who it was performed on.
And so 156 slides into the No Part of It catalog as easily as a blade between ribs, his insidious motives known only to himself and label head Arvo Zylo. Or maybe the menace is veiled, and 156 has a hidden, secret, and dangerous agenda that has put Zylo and the entire No Part of It family in grave danger. Whatever the thing about it is, I wouldn’t go answering doors or turning out lights, or ending this séance on the trigger word. I just wouldn’t.