Donor Lens - Desire Path
May 6, 2022
From the very start of You Will Die Here, it is apparent that the listener is entering a hostile environment. The subtle pulsating noise lurking beneath the opening sample feels like it's trying to overtake the human voices, turning the soundscape into something genuinely alien. When those sounds achieve that goal, the effect is utterly disorienting; rumbling static and harsh tones are strewn across the stereo field in a way that manages to both feel suffocating and isolating at the same time; the listener is not welcome in this environment. That feeling is conveyed perfectly through the soundscape.
Imminent Collapse continues this feeling of unease by introducing this profoundly digital noise that slowly builds and undulates under a wave of static; it is as if the sound is trying to break through the surface of the noise. However, it seems as though this is a futile effort. As the track continues, the harsh screams of electronics pierce the layers of static, reinforcing the idea that this is a hostile place. At some points, it sounds as though human screams are trying to be heard over the din. However, it's impossible to tell if that's the truth or merely the brain trying to find something familiar to latch onto among the intensity.
The title track, Cremation Limits, does not let up on this feeling of intensity and continues to confuse, disorient and isolate the listener. The feelings of isolation are amplified by the subtle reverb present here; sounds take just enough time to decay to give the impression that this music lives in an authentic place, a place you likely never want to find yourself. As the track continues, things feel more industrial, the dying cries of a forgotten alien factory, a place abandoned long ago by creatures you can't hope to understand. This feeling of dying machinery is exemplified by how the sounds are starved into silence at the track's conclusion.
Things take a slightly more musical turn with the beginning of the final track, CUTM; this low mechanical drone is almost relaxing compared to the earlier tracks. However, the threat of those harsh tones is constantly lurking, and when it finally overwhelms the drones, it feels almost inevitable. Things feel less chaotic this time around, though distinctly human voices are lost in the chaos; their presence is paradoxically both comforting and horrifying. Soon those mechanical drones return, this time drowning out everything else before slowly fading into nothing as the track ends, our fate in this cold, harsh world left up to the listener's imagination.
Cremation Limits as an album evokes the cold, harsh reality of an abandoned alien factory, a place utterly alien to us and that we can not hope to understand. Mason's use of overwhelming noise interspersed with just enough silence to let you wonder what is lurking beneath the chaos. This mystery helps to keep the listener coming back to this world despite its inherent hostility; something bigger is going on here; maybe someday you will uncover what that might be, that is, if you dare to revisit this desolate alien place.