This is Haiku Funeral’s third release (2nd on Hikikomori label). It’s quite sinister and extremely dark in it’s experimental musical style. They mix bits of death/black/doom metal with psychedelic, avant garde, industrial, electronic and ambient. You have close to the same formula on the two earlier releases (especially “Assassination in the Hashish Cathedral“).
Musicians Dimitar Dimitrov (electronics, vocals, spring drums) and William Kopecky (bass, vocals, spring drum) along with a couple guests, make ‘If God is a Drug” a collage of chilling and bottom of hell themes. On some songs (including the title song of 2nd CD “Assassination in the Hashish Cathedral“) the vocals are treated to sound very similar to Greg Lake on King Crimson’s “21st Century Schizoid Man” and the music has some of the same distorted qualities as well. This comes from the progressive rock background that William Kopecky has. He is an American bassist that some may have heard with bands Kopecky, Yeti Rain, Far Corner, Snaring Adjective Convention and several others. Dimitar Dimitrov, who is from Bulgaria, has other dark electronic projects under the names DJ Dimitrov and Daemonicreation.
Things start off very eerie and evil sounding mostly ambient but with a few swipes of drums and bass at intervals to give it a partial pulse of rhythm. The spoken lyrics are foreboding and demonic. You have to get past this first cut to find what most people will consider music. Much of ‘If God is a Drug” is abstract that will not appeal to everyone. It certainly won’t sit nicely beside most of the progressive rock titles at Prognaut. So in short, it is for those who enjoy the more death metal and horror film music genre. And you won’t walk away in a positive or uplifting mood either. Song 2 (“The Holy Connection“) is in 3rd person Satan, with a moderately musical nature to the composition. I must warn everyone that would be offended with some extremely rough ideas and lyrics, this would be something you’d want to run from. Example, “Curves of teenage flesh, Shadows of unchained sexual rage, Black carnal desires RISE, .....If God is a cum swapping teen slut.” Hell, that might even be comical for most. *l*
I never have understood the deep rage and dark nightmarish genre very much, but have listened to the art of it, and sought the music that is done well and had substance in some way. I think Haiku Funeral are good musicians, and have some nice concepts, but also may ruin the message with some of the overstated words, or horrid music they surround it with. There is no getting away from the fact that this is heavy and reeks with violence, death, and often gross, apocalyptic and threatening disharmonious music. My biggest pet peeve in all death metal, industrial, or any gloom doom music, is the gargling devil voice. It never changes, it has no octave range, and it simply repeats the same old shit over and over, year and miserable year. Speaking of which, this is just misery loves company sound recording. I listened my usual 3 separate times over a 4 day period. I tried to find something to savage and to like. I vaguely liked the song “Bright Red Seeds” with female vocals, and a nice enough structure with good rhythms. However, I didn’t find anything to brag about. Just lots of noise, and all the aforementioned stuff. I always hate reviewing something that is so negative, but I can’t recommend something to people if it is just not worth the time or money to put forth. I felt it unlistenable at times and it pretty much gave me a headache and a feeling of relief when I was done with it. The doodling on Song 5 wasn’t any help either. The best I can say is if anyone is into the Satanic industrial genre, then you’ll love this. For me, it Is deleterious. And I have plenty of varied goth, even menacing stuff by bands like Goblin, SPK, (and SPK’s creator Graeme Revell), Bauhaus, and dozens of European industrial gothic bands over the last 3 decades. None of them have a negative effect on me. I suppose I just don’t enjoy the whole idea of this “If God Is A Drug’. I will repeat for sake of potential fans, this is a great horror soundtrack CD. Hardcore horror, to be clear.
Reviewed by Lee Henderson on February 24th, 2011