Anemone Tube / Dissecting Table – This Dismal World LP Peripheral Records 2013
‘This Dismal World’ is a split recording from the German Anemone Tube and the Japanese Dissecting Table which is conceptually inspired by Buddhist related themes. To quote from the promo blurb it is: “a dark concept album about the ‘Four Nobel Truths’: suffering, it’s origin, cessation and the path leading away from suffering”. This concept is also expanded upon with a printed insert which includes the lengthy written piece: ‘The Lotus Sutra Chapter Twenty Five: The Universal Gate of Bodhisattiva Kanzeon’ (which specifically ties in with Dissecting Table’s contribution). Additionally the cover depicts Guanyin Bodhisattva aka the ‘Goddess of Compassion’ in the form of a 21-metre high bronze statue located in Longxing Monastery, Shijiazhuang.
Anemone Tube lead off and based on the sheer quality of their recent output (specifically referring to the ‘Death Over China’ album), it is great to see the new material is as equally stunningly here. Effectively Anemone Tube’s style of taking various field recording elements and welding them into abstract industrial/ dark ambient soundscapes is fully on display here (the field recordings utilised here were evidently made in a Mausoleum and other locations in China). Of the two presented Anemone Tube tracks they are slightly on the noisier side – and great for it. ‘In The Mausoleum’ is digitally crisp, bass heavy and sweepingly evocative in its cyclic tone and perhaps reminiscent of earlier Inade. Alternately the second track ‘From Anthropocentrism To Demonocentrism’ aligns more towards a power electronics structure, its sharp tonal squall and looped sampled elements is clearly recognisable as that of Anemone Tube.
Dissecting Table’s contribution ‘1000 tones’ is presented on the second side of the vinyl which forms a singular monolithic 20 minute composition. Here the loose and chaotic track infuses stoic ritual percussion, clanging metallic elements, an abundance of noisy outbursts, chanting Buddhist monks (…presumably reciting the written tract from the Lotus Sutra), screamed quasi extreme metal vocals etc. Here these disparate elements are loosely melded together to generate a heady dose of chaotic industrial madness – Dissecting Table style of course. Although I may not be a massive Dissecting Table fan, objectively I can say the track is a heavy hitter and based on the above description you should know if it is suited to your listening preferences.
As a whole ‘This Dismal World’ delivers solid material from both projects, but from my perspective Anemone Tube’s tracks hit the high mark of the two.