Splitting the Earth in two to open this blistering sonic reverie, Maryam Sirvan throws down the gauntlet on the incredible Feast On My Body. “On the Giant’s Belly,” the Tbilisi-based Iranian composer sends lightning electronics crackling in all directions as her voice oozes out of every crevice. Feast On My Body sounds as visceral as its name implies. Sharpened electronics whirr to life, chainsaws cutting the still atmosphere to ribbons as Sirvan howls. This music comes from some place deep, leaving her body as if she’s exorcising these sounds.
Sirvan’s last album, 2019’s Songs of an Empty Room, never felt this raw even if it explored adjacent zones. Where that album was more ghostly, Feast On My Body is like a horror show. Serrated edges cut through any mirth even if Sirvan ratchets up the tension with a smirk. “Mass for the Living” groans in more maximal spaces, Sirvan’s voice again slicing through the droning electronics. Static blasts move across the spatial plane, bass tones hollowing out the underground below.
Midrange metallic rumbles oscillate throughout “Portal Into the Unmanifested,” heavy synths spiking outward from the murk at varying intervals. Desolation runs rampant. This same feeling permeates the closing title track, though desperation seeps in with high-pitch vibrations lacing the caustic stew. Sirvan’s looped, heavily-processed voice is a blackened siren call, turned against the tide and warning everyone away from this dead space.
The more I hear from Maryam Sirvan, the more my interest deepens. Her work is unpredictable from an aural sense, but everything she concocts has depth and purpose. On the stretched-out serenades of “For To Stay Is To Be Nowhere,” a softer edge tries to break through and Sirvan walks the line expertly, holding a spectral palette in one hand while continuing to imbue this ether with the bleakness fused to the whole of Feast On My Body. This is the collapse of all things; the sound of ashes ground into nothingness and it is glorious.
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