Abhomine – Proselyte Parasite Plague (2020)

Pete Helmkamp continues to snarl and rave on the latest Abhomine. His interests have always veered towards more minimalistic expressions of brutality compared to his former bandmate in Order From Chaos, Chuck Keller. Accordingly, Proselyte Parasite Plague shares the fuzzed-out guitar tone of that project, but musically is stripped of all speed metal vestiges, and stays more aligned with the insistent, badgering rhythms of first wave war metal like Beherit. No secret either that Helmkamp uses his projects to flesh out his personal take-no-prisoners philosophy; in that, this latest album is hurt to the extent that dual vocals make it occasionally difficult to decipher what’s being said. In the absence of a lyrics sheet, some of the more salient ideas read like a withering commentary on social engineering and the preponderance of the left-right paradigm in popular discourse. These are legitimate enough worries in a time when powerful media conglomerates corral opinion in intellectual concentration camps and individuals define themselves increasingly by monolithic labels. But a lie repeated loudly enough and often enough eventually comes to resemble the truth; the majority that chooses to call itself left or right also chooses to ally itself with no great discernment to specific positions traditionally grouped under either wing (a more insidious – or is it pragmatic? – reading would be that at least some of them have that discernment but decide to suppress their convictions on an expedient basis). Their subscription to said position in turn elicits response from those in charge, all of which has real, qualitative effects on our environment. A syncretistic, cherry-picked approach to policy may be wise, but it is also a leisure that only the conscientious individualist can afford; it has no real bearing on the wider state of affairs because the mob and its handlers have already drawn the battle lines, and to stand outside of them and expect change is a fool’s errand. The business of deciding the larger destiny of strangers is one of entanglements and filth, and unless one is prepared to sully himself trying, real wisdom probably exists in retracting your field of concerns, living “off the grid” mentally, if not physically, and fending for yourself and the persons that truly matter in your life.

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