As a rule, circumstance, the authorities, and the media generally shield most of us from exposure to upsetting images of human bodies subjected to lethal violence. The basic premise is that images of real violence are of no redeeming or enlightening value to civilized men and women. In art, and sometimes politics (see the UK anarchist group King Mob), there is a contrasting perception, contending that in fiction and painting, the horror or splatter films, we are confronted by a coarse variation of the “spectacle”, where the world is turned upside-down and we are compelled to look straight into the eye of the grotesque results of our worst behaviour.
At the same time, it is hard to deny that our self-preservative suspension of (dis)belief button is often on standby whenever we prepare ourselves to look at or read about awful things, world and local news excepted. It is however hard to maintain that strictly instrumental music has ever really been upsetting or distressing – not without vocals, without samples, or set to images on the screen. The human element is the visceral tripwire.
Moreno Daldosso is no ghoul, but the cover and booklet accompanying Murder Corporation´s Nekro each features a terrible, often newspaper-grainy photograph of the aftermath of a violent death – images of estrangement that arouse not only horror but a sense of devastation in the viewer. Who could do such a thing…? As an album, Nekro is a study in black and white, a series of pieces created from tape, samplers, and a tone generator, which run the gamut from quiet and eerie to loudly, industrially repetitive (in a good way) and savagely violent.
The opening ´Intro´ sounds like a ritual ablution. ´Death Race´ is one, long, grating noise, like the sound effects from a very early video game stuck on “hold”. The title track features sweet chorale voices and strings accompanying what could be a frightened man being badly beaten after digging his own grave or an autopsy being performed on a corpse that suddenly rises from the dead to struggle with the coroner. ´Roleplay´ is another hard noise oscillation, this one a full thirteen minutes. ´Horror Trip´ is one lousy stretch of highway, dirty brown air whooshing out of a gloomy concrete underpass.
The truly scariest track is the aptly named ´Torture Chamber´, a home invasion in which we are subject to the extended beating, rape and strangulation to death of his former girlfriend by an utter brute. My suspension of disbelief convinces me – needs me to believe – that this has been purloined from a movie. For this is a performance of us at our worst. With its quiet, dumbstruck accompaniment, it is a meditation on the ultimate evil of men. Finally, and fittingly, ´Dark Places´ goes gently into that not so good night.