Automatic Autopsy Reviews
I first met Kadaver in the shape of “Molested Into Form”, which was released in 2009 via the much-missed FracturedSpaces Records. At the time I wrote that Michael Zolotov had created the filthiest, most apocalyptic slice of harsh electronic noise that I’d ever encountered, and which surely heralded the End Of Days, but apparently this wasn’t so, because later the same year “Automatic Autopsy” was given putrid unlife. The most commonly applied comparison is with Atrax Morgue, and ok – the projects had their links, and their similarly vicious misanthropy. For me, the eardrum-torturing, soul alienating pulse approach has strong echoes of the Japanese (Merzbow’s too obvious a shout, although at least I’m warning you of the degree of inhumanity you’re going to encounter) but really, Zolotov’s output is so intent, so self-driven and in some ways so isolated that it wouldn’t obey a handy grid reference, even if I had the technical skills to give it one.
On the one hand, Kadaver is master of that horror film art of terrifying via what isn’t revealed, as in the case of “Re-learning to Breathe”, which has a low, burning churn to its frequency, overspun with odd, light tones that skitter over the surface of the mind. The listener is wrong-footed about what they’re hearing, opening the door for the most twisted corners of the imagination. It’s like when you hear a vixen shriek – there’s a second when your heart freezes because you mistook it for a human, but then you’re ok, you’re relieved, because it’s not, but it’s something from the natural world all the same. When the seething inferno of noise shrieks on “Back to Dirt” and “Bite Marks”, you freeze, but you don’t get the relief. A machine shouldn’t scream like a human. And was it a machine? Or was it a person? And why am I sitting in the dark pondering this, long after the album’s over…
In other ways, Zolotov just makes sound that’s explicitly horrific. Not just the clenchingly uncomfortable couple of minutes that is the male-female interaction of “Yel-low”, but in the merciless weight, disorientation and ferocity of some of his compositions. I have to mention “Suiside” here, a hideously painful, clanking monstrosity, all collisions of air disturbance and hidden teeth. The frequency of the sonic assault, and the buffeting disturbances thereto, actually become physically uncomfortable at any volume; call me hyper-sensitive, but I actually found it difficult to breathe through.
On a more superficial level you’ve got the combination of relentless electronics with track titles such as “Pieces of Children”, “Pretty Girls Into Ovens” and “Liquid Mind-Fucker (Murders That Occur During Sexual Intercourse”). These titles don’t mention who carried out the atrocities they list, but you get the sneaking suspicion that you’re sitting heart-stopping close to the perpetrator… in a vital way, I guess, you are: Michael Zolotov summons up the most outrageous possibilities of human depravity with his devilishly clever but infernally frightening racket, and lays them out before us. That he sent me a band-aid with this album in case it all got too much makes him wickeder than first presumed – serenity is only a razor blade away. You’ll be snatching for one. Masterful.
This CD, released by Topheth Propheth, is the newest product of Michael Zolotov. It is quite peculiar and strange album. The same is with all the creations of Kadaver that I’ve heard. During first spins of this CD I couldn’t find a way to approach the information in the CD while finally managed to do it. This is not just monosematic noise. Kadaver once more reveals his ability to mix several styles into one album, but the most important thing is that he is doing it quite well. Automated Autopsy reminds me Mike Page’s bends of creations. Dark and rather depressive pieces laying down in multilayered buildings of sounds. Feedbacks, loops of samples, field recordings etc. Everything blends into one frightening structure. It is not an aggressive album (the same goes for most of works of Kadaver that I’ve heard). Automated Autopsy is more like a journey that constantly takes you to the “forbidden” places of your mind to acknowledge them better. There are some noisier pieces in this album too. One of them, let’s say is the first one, noisy and rather chaotic “Pretty Girls into Ovens”, but they fit well with calmer (in respect of sound, not mood) places of the album and joins together into one totality without reproaches. Maybe the delayed woman’s cry Yel-Low sticks out a little and it contrasts with the whole picture, but it soon ends and we go deeper. One more thing that I’d like to praise is the sound quality. It is very clear and pleasant in this album. Now what’s not so good with this release and why I have problems with Kadaver’s creations overall – the measure of sincerity and certainty of the conception. Well, yes, “Serenity is always a razor blade away” etc. etc. and these emotional remarks goes with most of the releases of Kadaver, but these writings, notes and appendages does not convince me and while listening to Zolotov’s creations, host of doubts always buzz in the background. But if you dissociate from that, the sound is quite satisfiable. Diamondesquely sharp noise with reflections of ambient. Artwork – minimalistic, but it fits quite well with the release. The length of the album – almost 50 minutes and to those who search for dark and scary wanders and realize what to expect and what not to from Kadaver, this release should be perfect.
Michael Zolotov is a really nice guy; really. After few years of knowing his music and communicating with him through online websites and Emails, as well as real physical paper letters, I first met him when circumstances made it possible, and was able to talk with a guy that is intelligent and polite, with some ideas that I agree with and some that I don’t, but nevertheless a worthy individual to be able to talk to.
However – as you may know, if you ever listened to at least one of his many, world wider spread, albums, Zolotov stops being nice the second he changes words for sounds. Each Kadaver album is an ultra violent terror attack never ever compromising and always looking for a new way to stab deeper into the guts. Kadaver is always hate eternal through sounds, imagery and even the hard to ignore track titles.
“Automatic Autopsy” starts differently, however, with a rather minimalist cover, almost entirely black. Inside this album there is something else I identify besides 100% alienated, alienating noise, and never replacing the spewing vileness but rather adding to it even more, thus turning the knob to 11, if you will. Even from the first moments of “Pretty girls into ovens” you can sense a very different, ominous presence of pain, with almost unbearable shrieks created from the infinite sound collisions that Zolotov creates from his sleeve. Kadaver usually makes sure you realize that there were no musical instruments in his recordings, and this is very meaningful when you begin to grasp his concept.
On “Liquid mind fucker (Murders That Occur during Sexual Intercourse)” I realize that Kadaver’s sound had somewhat evolved into a new stage, at least in some aspects and in relation to the first four tracks, and in addition to being 100 percent hostile, Kadaver’s excess value is that of an ongoing aftershock. Not the shattering, violent and focused blow in the head, but the long moments between the actual moment of the catastrophe and the time of recovery, if there is one. It seems like on many moments within his album, Zolotov is denying the listener the moment of full sensor recovery and regained equilibrium. Imagine you are being hit in the face with an unearthly hit that numbs everything but especially your sight, hearing and balances, making you need the time to regain them in order to properly stand on your feet again. Zolotov takes questionable pleasure in delaying that moment for almost one full hour. Within that time, as everything’s balance is shifting back and forth, during the ongoing sonic assaults by Kadaver, this liquidification of reality results in many potent events inside every malicious kadaver track. These events are where the listener’s attention is actually working on two levels. One is penetrating the music, through the thousands of sound occurrences in every minute of music, and trying to give a fight to the overwhelming forces that kadaver sends against his audience. The second level is where the listener’s attention can wander off to different places through the aforementioned excess overload.
“Automatic Autopsy” is the second release Kadaver has on the label Topheth Prophet, following “This time…it’s cancer”. Whether I was wrong in my reading of his material or not (different points of view that we have), it is clear that, having already begun from a very high threshold of pain and emotional sonic hatred, Zolotov keeps trying to move onward and upward, never stopping; Never resting.