When Astral Noize reviewed Primitive Man and Bell Witch’s latest albums, we noted their exceptional, nearly exhausting runtimes, but both pale in comparison to the new album from Prurient. Experimental musician and Hospital Records founder Dominick Fernow’s releases under the Prurient moniker are extensive, with Rainbow Mirror marking the project’s 20th anniversary, and the release’s length reflects this, surpassing three hours and filling four CDs, or a staggering seven vinyl discs.
Fernow’s recent work with military-themed techno project Vatican Shadow may have seen him move away from being a predominantly noise-focused musician, but Rainbow Mirror sees him delve fully into a characteristically taxing form of self-defined “electronic doom.” As you’d expect, it’s not easily digestible. Joined by Matt Folden of Dual Action and Jim Mroz of Lussuria, once again making Prurient a trio, Fernow largely forsakes the project’s usual surging electronics and shrieked yells in favour of expansive sonic canvases that, whilst slow-moving, remain utterly abrasive. The sluggish soundscapes grind like the machines of factory floors or flow monotonously but forcefully like lava upon a mountainside.
The sheer scale is immense and imposing, but Rainbow Mirror is not merely comprised of needless filler, rather it uses its space to great effect. Though improvisational periods regularly dominate proceedings, the three-piece format suits this album, lending the release a more coherent sound. This coherence is occasionally lost by a noticeably sparse use of vocals, with the lack of Fernow’s usual expressive spoken-word or shrieked vocals unfortunately absent for prolonged periods of music, but if you have the time, Rainbow Mirror is thoroughly immersive noise to lose yourself within.
Rainbow Mirror is out now on Profound Lore.
Words: George Parr