Marching out of the darkness like a fascist army in some grainy old war footage, Cinemartyr’s “Run From Terror To Bring It Closer” doesn’t let us get comfortable with its ominous strut before unleashing a complicated deluge of distortion that can wipe out anything that gets in its path. In this track, and all of those found on the new album Death of the First Person, Cinemartyr are meshing metal, punk, noise, art rock and conceptual avant-gardism together with an excitement I hadn’t heard much of prior to this summer, and while I was only somewhat familiar with their sound before, this most recent offering has made me a legitimate fan.
The tracklist here is very tight and feels a heck of a lot leaner and meaner than it actually is. “CGI,” “On Earth As It Is” and “The Brain of Hideo Kojimaa,” the trio of songs that start us off in Death of the First Person, blows into us like a juggernaut of colorless noise only to lead us into something a bit more illustrative of the band’s personality in “Stab City” and, later, the psychedelic “Sleep is God,” but the flow is uninterrupted and not lacking in substance at all whatsoever.
In “In Filth It Shall Be Found” and “AR-15,” vocals aren’t exactly a melodic component of the music – truth be told, they’re on the same level as the percussion in a couple of key junctures – but they’re engrained in the music seamlessly just the same. Every part of this record is well-mixed, and though there are some patches, particularly towards the conclusion, that run a little more towards the extreme than necessary, I wouldn’t deem any of the compositions on Death of the First Person as being unworthy of the company they’re in here at all.
Overall, the master mix is very generous with the gritty details that give “Run From Terror To Bring It Closer,” “Tunnel At The End Of The Tunnel” and “Stab City” their one of a kind finish, and I have a feeling Cinemartyr designed this aspect of their new record with audiophiles in mind over everyone else. There’s no pandering to the intellectual crowd here (far from it, actually), but there’s also no denying the fact that you don’t stick a couple of loaded numbers like the boldly melodic “Keeps Getting Up” and gut-punching “The Brain Of Hideo Kojimaa” on the same LP without expecting to get a big critical reaction.
It’s not for everyone, but for those who it was made to satisfy this summer, Cinemartyr’s Death of the First Person will be called an instant classic. In 2020, the era of feedback-laced tributes to the Melvins and ear-numbing aesthetical nods to the likes of Invisible Boss, Patton Thomas, Ox-bow and Howard James Kenny are becoming a thing of the past, while taking the concepts forged by those artists to the next level of experimentalism is the fad to be had, and Cinemartyr aren’t relenting from their mission of doing the latter with more attitude than anyone else in their scene right now.
by Bethany Page