Translation Loss Records
Last year’s Blue Moon Blood was an important record for Fade Kainer’s Statiqbloom. Arriving some three years into the project’s existence, it was a definitive statement of sorts, delivering on the murky electro-industrial of the project’s earliest recordings with an eye towards songwriting and structure that spoke to Kainer’s background in experimental and extreme metal. Now joined by bandmate Denman C Anderson, new EP Infinite Spectre feels like something of a jump off from that record, maintaining its focus and sense of purpose but indulging in some interesting stylistic expansion that highlight the project’s individual strengths.
Those familiar with the ideas that Statiqbloom have been working with up ’til this point should find plenty to enjoy in the four new songs that make up the bulk of the EP. “Thin Hidden Hand” and “Ersatz Gaze” are excellent examples of how Kainer inteprets classic post-industrial ideas through his own creative lens, anointing rigid basslines and percussion with ample amounts of atmosphere and texture. The direct rhythm programming and chorus of “Thin Hidden Hand” speak to the project’s capacity for immediacy, belying the often opaque sound design. On the other hand it’s the sneaky sequences that snake their way through “Ersatz Gaze” before the surprisingly clean vocal and foggy breakdown of the song’s climax that illustrate how much variation is possible within the project’s established boundaries.
“Vampire” on the other hand shows off an alternate palette of sorts, pushing fuzzed out percussion and synthlines right to the front of the mix, invoking Ivens-esque dark electro and a touch of rhythmic noise. “Survival II” goes more extreme structurally, starting with an almost EBM-like groove that persists until the song dissipates into pure ambience and distant crashes, travelling from one end of the band’s purview to the other in the course of a single song.
How much of Infinite Gaze is Kainer and Anderson looking to deliberately remodel Statiqbloom versus just following up on the various threads that are already a part of the band’s catalogue isn’t entirely clear. A goodly portion of the project’s success is in how it treads carefully between obscurity and restrained fury, so trying to divine exact answers about where things are going in the future probably won’t be a fruitful exercise for most listeners. Creative motives aside, it’s an EP it has a remarkable amount of meat on the bone, with substance enough to justify it as a release in its own right.