Review Summary: Seasoned noise-crafters defy genre limitations and structural archetypes to both scorch and excite your eardrums.
To me, Infidel?/Castro! is a match made in genre-bending heaven. I?/C! is two musicians: Colin Marstin from Behold... The Arctopus and George Korein of Mr. Trilobite, both bands who enjoy pushing their musical envelopes as far as they can, as well as pushing their audience's buttons as often as possible. What do you get when two musicians as eccentric as these get together to form their own project with their own ambitions in play?
That's a good question, and at the same time, a difficult one to answer, if only because the compositions on Bioentropic Damage Fractal
are exceedingly challenging to put into words. This is in part due to the chaotic sounds (many would probably hesitate to call much of it music) that dominate this release, panning back and forth in your speakers and screeching in your ears, exploding again and again. It is also due to the fact that such noise, ranging from electronic droning and noodling to sheer brutal cacaphony, is not all there is to be found in this monstrous two-disc composition. Though Infidel?/Castro! uses thrashing drums, effect-ridden guitars and, above all, sheer electronic assaults to get much of their ideas across, they also find a million ways to express dynamic moods. They are able to not only toy with your experience through the afore-mentioned techniques, but are also able to create gorgeous soaring soundscapes when you least expect them, at times toying with post-rock and post-metal as deftly as they toy with industrial, jazz, and of course, noise.
In truth, Bioentropic Damage Fractal
is, for the most part, not auditory punishment. It is true that at times, you will wonder whether the insanely arranged and endlessly spliced sounds pelting you are purposeful or meaningful, but it seems as if these concerns are always put to rest by Infidel?/Castro!'s amazing flair for keeping their "music" interesting; in fact, it is easy to begin to revel in the careening arrangements as they endlessly multiply and stack, layer after layer. I?/C! crafts crescendoes not just from simple soft/loud dynamic play, but also by taking a minor noise to its most extreme, stacking one on another until it all forges into something entirely new. It is gorgeous, terrifying, saddening and apocalyptic all at once.
The "Damage Fractal Series" are, in effect, the core of this huge release: they seem to say the most about the band's underlying motives, invoking a sense of immense sonic architecture, colossal towers of sound; and still, the departures ring just as true as the core of this double record, most notably in "Bedridden", "(In) Voluntary Emotional Response", and the epic twenty-minute closer, "Temporarily Dissolving Into Plasma During a Moment To One's Self". It is in these tracks that Infidel?/Castro! pull heartstrings with astonishingly moving melodies. They almost seem as though they are afterthoughts to the cold, unflinching complexity of the main series, musical humanity lost on technical blueprints. One can't help but think this contrasting mood was deliberate, and it speaks volumes in itself that I?/C! could create such a mood.
Bioentropic Damage Fractal
is a marvel of compositional effort. In every song found on this release, it is clear that an enormous amount of time and thought went into its construction, and it pays off exponentially in its connection the the listener. Admittedly, this sort of groundbreaking work would be shocking to those who tread lighter musical pastures, but it is nothing less than a revelation to those who enjoy the sound of progressing musical thought. It is Infidel?/Castro!'s magnum opus, without a doubt.