Joyfear follows Anakrid’s expansive Rapture of the Deep in kind with a tangential strain of slow, droning malevolence. Its fetishistic artwork is cold and impersonal, drab and unforgiving. A spray-painted textured cover with no discernible thematic pretense houses equally inscrutable music. The fact that it’s a one-sided vinyl-only release limited to 100 copies practically dares the listener to participate, almost as though the music itself knows the limitations of its audience. Stubborn and relentless glacial pacing exacerbates the chilling menace of distant ambient drones. As the stabs of synthetic ice meander above the den of ruptured dissonance towards the end, a calming acquiescence takes over. The result is as unsettling as it is alluring. It’s the soundtrack to a grainy snuff film that you don’t want to see, but you can’t avert your gaze no matter how hard you try.
Pos Load Nihilsurrealisme answers Joyfear with a worst case scenario detonation. The absurdism of its dada-esque title only vaguely hints at the art-cum-noise inside. It’s the opposite extreme from Joyfear’s atmospheric murmurs. Where Joyfear broods Pos Load Nihilsurrealisme attacks unrepentantly. Chris Bickel tests his pre-determinedly small audience’s patience and tolerance with bursts of deconstructed electronic mayhem, brutal collage-style noise, and chopped vocal bursts courtesy of K.E. Revis. Thus far, Anakrid’s music has rarely hinted at Bickel’s punk rock pedigree, but Pos Load reveals more than a whiff of his punk extremism, particularly the dirge-like pandemonium of his 90’s hardcore outfit In/Humanity. And it’s nowhere near as linear, as Anakrid avoids common denominators as a matter of course.
This record is another ridiculously limited release on Bickel’s own Stereonucelosis: 100 copies, hand-made with a spray-painted cover- just like Joyfear’s, so it’s easy to assume that its intent is that of a companion piece, though it serves as more of a rejoinder. If this is any indication as to where Anakrid is headed next, expect the walls to come down.