Have a Nice Life
Deathconsciousness


3.5
great

Review

by For Meatplow USER (61 Reviews)
September 22nd, 2010 | 63 replies


Release Date: 2008 | Tracklist

Review Summary: You are alone in this wintry Hell of a place. Alone now, but not forever. Not quite.

Conceptually, at least, Have a Nice Life's Deathconsciousness may be the most disarming album I've ever come across. It's been fawned over for its lyrics that double as an extensive analysis of medieval Italian heretics - more specifically its outlining of the life and times of Antiochus, a nearly unknown writer and religious figure. Furthermore, its connections between this lore and life lessons throughout have been equally acclaimed, and of course, they're just as complex as the figures dealings it was based off of. See, Antiochus was a man who often riled up excuses for people to be persecuted for religious reasons, as well as persuading people to commit murder and suicide and follow odd, convoluted customs. The concept alone is jarring and austere. It's hard to follow, immense (the band compiled their findings into a seventy-five page booklet that comes with the album), and it seems to influence every aspect about Deathconsciousness.

So, if you were to guess that the musical aspects are just as pretentious and grandiose as the concept, you'd be right. If you were to guess and say that the compositional style is just as long-winded and odd as the concept, then again, you'd be right. As a whole,Deathconsciousness throws any and all conventions out to sea. This is, of course, expected when the album is such a genre-mash - specifically hybridizing black metal, drone, shoegaze, post-industrial, and post-rock characteristics - however, Have a Nice Life's vision is unarguably out-there - for better or worse.

Simply put, the structural tendencies of Deathconsciousness are inept. Much of the time, songs are unnecessarily long, which unfortunately takes away from some of the album's emotional impact. Pensive epics like "A Quick One Before the Eternal Worm Devours Connecticut" have the potential to be dazzling, but they unfortunately continue on with tired ideas for too long for the song to retain the sprawling, dark feel that it sets forth. "The Big Gloom," on the other hand, is a moving piece of shoegaze-tinged black metal regardless of its flaws. Still, on other tracks the combination of an excessive amount of boring drones and an obnoxious over usage of the hill-and-valley effect comes across as obnoxious. Luckily, the album rarely plods along (which is essential because the tracks are generally very long); still, the album is inconsistent.

Fortunately that means that Deathconsciousness does hit. And when it does, it hits hard. When black metal sections come around, guitars lurch and grind in the distance until they reach ear-splitting crescendoes. Beside them lay the drum kit - digitalized and frenetic. Lo-fi production techniques cause oscillating tones to appear in the background and the reverberations to become amniotic throbs. Distortion sounds messy and boisterous, and it is usually here where the band culminates their influences that they come across as a truly artistic and interesting outfit rather than some artsy-fartsy, middle-class black metal project. Here, they are misanthropic.

Soon there is light.

Eventually the band stops representing the malevolent ways of Antiochus's followers in their music and they go into a more electronic-driven sect. Here's where the drums and the guitars are used to make distorted yet eerily pretty compositions rather than nihilistic pieces of black metal. The album's highlight is found on this half of the album, as well. The aptly titled "Earthmover," dances around drones and piano notes while drums and guitars again support the song with interesting rhythms and melodies, as well as an exciting climax. Afterward, the guitar drones on for an absurd length while a piano's keys are hammered ever so lightly. It all makes for a pensive eye of the storm that combines the album's characteristics and its best features, the most prominent one being its profound impact. As I said, the album hits hard several times, but it's far too inconsistent to be as grand as its concepts, both musically and lyrically, would make it out to be.



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other reviews of this album
Nick Greer EMERITUS (4.5)
The most beautiful album of 2008 has already arrived....

Dakota West Foss (5)
Have a Nice Life's Deathconsciousness could, quite possibly, move the Earth....

Jared W. Dillon (4)
contextually awe-inspiring, a lo-fi masterpiece...


Comments:Add a Comment 
Bitchfork
September 22nd 2010


7584 Comments


I have a grand plan for writing my fiftieth review so please point out any technicalities so my fiftieth review can be epic.

DiceMan
September 22nd 2010


7067 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Do you have the booklet?

Bitchfork
September 22nd 2010


7584 Comments


Yeah, why? (No I'll never type that shit out for you.)

mynameischan
Emeritus
September 22nd 2010


17946 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

earthmover is a hell of a song

Bitchfork
September 22nd 2010


7584 Comments


That's why I mentioned it =)

Athom
Emeritus
September 22nd 2010


17241 Comments


half of the time i listen to this and hate it. half of the time i listen to this and love it.

DiceMan
September 22nd 2010


7067 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Aww damn you got my hopes up and everything...



Is it worth buying this for the book though? (and of course the music duh).

mynameischan
Emeritus
September 22nd 2010


17946 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

are they even selling this anymore

Bitchfork
September 22nd 2010


7584 Comments


If you're really into reading about religious cults and unknown figures and stuff, then yes. Personally, I have a photocopied version of the booklet because my friend's boss (she works at a record store) is disturbingly obsessed with this band and so he has a physical copy of everything they've done. I asked to photocopy it and he said sure.

Bitchfork
September 22nd 2010


7584 Comments


"are they even selling this anymore"
just looked for it on amazon and couldn't find it.

mynameischan
Emeritus
September 22nd 2010


17946 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

the band was selling it directly but i know it sold out pretty quickly. they made some more but that was like two years ago or something

DiceMan
September 22nd 2010


7067 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Ahh damn. I feel like it'd be really interesting.

Bitchfork
September 22nd 2010


7584 Comments


Just realize that Antiochus was a dick.

Bitchfork
September 22nd 2010


7584 Comments


How's the review?

TMobotron
September 22nd 2010


7230 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

i think they made more in vinyl which are also sold out. as for the review, it was really good, but this part:



"Here, you are lost. Scared. You are alone in this wintry Hell of a place.



Soon there is light."



didn't seem to fit. it was a pretty straightforward (and well-written) review, and then suddenly you put the reader into a scenario that seems really out of place. But maybe that's just how I feel about it. Pos anyway, I can understand your complaints but I've grown to love even the parts I once thought dragged on too long. My only problem with this now are a few tracks on disc 2 that make no sense in the context of the rest of the album.

Bitchfork
September 22nd 2010


7584 Comments


I'll just remove the whole Hell part and leave the soon there is light because I'm reading Zusak and this was Zusak inspired to an extent.

TMobotron
September 22nd 2010


7230 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

i def like it better that way. im no pro though so you could leave it how it was and see what other people think

Bitchfork
September 22nd 2010


7584 Comments


Okay.

Electric City
Emeritus
September 22nd 2010


15760 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

i dont love is one of my favorites. i dont love and earthmover alone make me think positively on this album

Bitchfork
September 22nd 2010


7584 Comments


basically i don't see how this could be a 5 ever.



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