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Maldoror by Steven Severin (Review)

Putting out soundtracks as records implies they are indeed good enough to stand on their own, and I’m not convinced this one can.

On one hand, I should be fair and say that this is soundtrack music, and maybe it’s not as powerful without the visual aspects of the play going on in front of me. But on the other hand, the idea behind putting out soundtracks as records implies they are indeed good enough to stand on their own, and I’m not convinced this one can.

Of course, if you’re reading this review, there’s a good probability you may own stuff like this already, and if so, the sort of things that weren’t my cup of tea may very well be your beloved Earl Grey. What sort of things? Creaky noises, synth patches, brief two chord interludes, and piano melodies that fade into stompy/​old staircase sounds. I do own records made up of a lot of those aforementioned elements, but there’s definitely a compelling way to use them and a way to let them fade into forgettability, which is what seems to have happened here.

At no point was I ever really interested enough by the music to begin to imagine what was going on in the play. Maybe the subject matter’s not to my liking either, but then again an ex-goth rocker (albeit one with a hell of a C.V.) scoring a surrealist work by Lautremont with song titles like ​“Metal and Bone,” ​“Dawn’s Evil,” and ​“The Rhyme Of The Jazz Pederast” seems a bit too obvious, and not surreal at all. Surreal would have been someone like The Murmurs or the Wu-Tang Clan scoring this.

This really shouldn’t seem too dissimilar to the parts of my record collection containing Nurse With Wound, Death In June, and Current 93, but it really is. I’ve never put on a record by any of those artists and thought it was the work of one guy and a synth… regardless of whether or not it may actually be that. Maldoror suffers from that problem in a big way. The elements on Maldoror seem like they’re venturing into the outside world for the first time ever, and aren’t even synthetic in a so-bad-it’s-good way.

Written by Pearson Greer.


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