Album Thoughts | If I Could Kill Myself: Ballad of the Broken

Picking up where I left off with The Well-Wisher and taking further advantage of my recent DSBM kick, I gave another album that I’ve had lined up for a while now a listen. This time, the debut from another one-man project, If I Could Kill Myself; helmed by none other than Dennis Mikula of Ghost Bath! This is his little side project that has generated a bit of a buzz upon this album’s release that I was quite curious about. Now, going in, I wasn’t sure what to expect. I was expecting something at least competent and musically proper, as he is a competent, proper musician, but I was hoping it wasn’t going to be more of the same Post-Black Metal melodic, dreary sadness that we’re used to from his main band. Well, fuck me running, I was wrong. Dead wrong. What we have here is some more ugly, raw and downright despondent Depressive Black Fucking Metal. I was actually shocked.

Now, there are still small hints of Ghost Bath-isms on here, like weird, sort of cheerful melodies here and there, but the most we get of that are in 3 of the instrumentals; opener Again, the short, upbeat title track and Last Chance; all played fully on piano. That’s about as far as it goes and I feel like it’s done more or less in an ironic way this time, almost like a break of sanity from all the insanity, like a brief escape from the depression and misery via drugs or meds. Something like that. At least that’s how I see it. Anyway, the music as a whole is very raw and ugly. Anything BUT Ghost Bath style stuff. A lot of sharp, piercing and ghastly riffs and tortured, agonizing shrieks, like you would expect from any decent DSBM act. What Ghost Bath does in a more melodic, hopeful fashion, this does in a much more nihilistic and dissonant sense and honestly, as much as I enjoy Ghost Bath (especially Moonlover), kinda prefer this a tad more.

The overall style is very manic with some brief moments of lucidity in between. Tracks like Escapism or Death, which opens with this very somber, kind of upbeat riff, but then takes a nosedive straight down into the madness of the aforementioned blood-curdling, maniacal shrieks over raw, ear-clawing riffs and muddy blast beats. Then you have the more straightforward, all-around ugly offerings like I’m Just Not Worth It and I Hate Myself. This album does a pretty stellar job at conveying a certain kind of emotion that can only be felt and created by a sufferer. This sure as fuck isn’t the angst-ridden teenage bedroom brand of Depressive Black Metal; this is passionate, raw and true to the bone depression and mental distress in audio form. Coming from a member of one of the top acts of the Post-Black Metal craze of today, it’s pretty nice to see someone from that end dabbling in the darker and harsher style and doing it well. “Hipster” my ass.

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So, overall, this is another really damn good outing of the DSBM variety for 2017 done by someone I would have not expected it from, which makes it even better. This is a great dynamic of sadly upbeat softness and dismal, horrid psychosis that creates this unpleasant but cathartic sound that only fans of everything perpetually miserable will enjoy, and it’s done by someone who clearly knows what they’re doing. I had my doubts going in, but I was pleasantly surprised. This is indeed as good as many are making it out to be and I definitely get the hype. So check this one out if you’re tired of the Fruity Loops brigade fucking everything up and want something real.

Until next time.

-Scvm

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