Review Summary: Sensory Deprivation is fucking dead and loving it.
To define or to pigeonhole Sensory Deprivation, the now-defunct project of Brendan Nixon, is near impractical. Upon the release of 2015’s Inrepertus
, I made the suggestion that Nixon had finally reached the conclusion of everything he had set out to do with the Sensory Deprivation project. To simply put it – he wasn’t anywhere near the denouement he has long sought after. No longer was he relying on his post-hardcore heroes, yet he found himself looking toward his influences for a new direction; and in songs like ”Swan Song”
, the hazy, atmospheric blueprint of Have a Nice Life is quite notable, yet it wasn’t hackneyed in any conceivable way. Even with the progress Nixon had made, there was something still missing that further prompted him to continue onward, and that is where the decision was made to pack it all in and call it a day. That’s where this final album comes into the picture.
is the culmination of Nixon’s potential with Sensory Deprivation, an eighty-five minute mammoth of an album that takes the strongest aspects of previous albums and hones it to the point where it shows not only the progress Nixon has made since his days in Blue Mist, but gives an idea of what he could do with future endeavors. Containing just four tracks, all spanning more than fifteen minutes, ”SNSRY DPRVTN”’s
biggest challenge is taking in everything that is going on throughout each track. The densely-structured compositions harken back to ”Unsound”
, especially on opener ”Terminus of Effort”
. Along with ”Lapse”
, these two tracks encompass the classic SD sound with expansive sound collages, neurotic vocals and jazz-inflicted drumming. From thereon out, the latter half of the album ventures into foreign territory, with the use of vocals becoming a focal point of the closer, ”Analgesin”
, a moody twenty-eight minute colossus of a track that must be heard to believed. While Sensory Deprivation rarely, if ever, takes nods from progressive rock groups, the radical shifts in mood throughout the song bring them to mind.
As the muffled vocal of “godspeed to you” fades into nothingness, it brings everything that had begun on the ”Godspeed”
EP full circle. Anything that Brendan Nixon had wished to do with Sensory Deprivation was all but confirmed with this album, an admittedly self-indulgent farewell to a project that had run its course over the past two years. When describing the ultimate reason for calling it a day and moving on, Nixon simply felt he needed to end it on something he could be proud of. Once someone who was living in the past, Nixon felt he had to look toward to the future not only in music, but personally as well. To continue on as Sensory Deprivation would be going against his ideals, and while it is rather unfortunate to see it come to an end, it didn’t peter out with a whimper. Sensory Deprivation is fu
cking dead and loving it.