Based on the agonized shrieks, croaks and gurgles that accompany the generalized instrumental cacophony heard in the excruciating opening minutes of Khlyst's aptly named first album, Chaos Is My Name, one would think that the musicians were recorded whilst murdering their singer. No such luck, as it turns out that the mysterious ensemble has another seven, nameless movements of abstract sonic experimentation lined up to torment prospective listeners. On the upside, movements two and six are comprised of lengthy, haunting sheets of ambient sounds, occasionally smattered with seismic rumblings, which, if given the benefit of blind faith, could be seen as deconstructions of modernist classical composers like Webern or Stravinsky. Yeah right, who are we kidding? Movements four and five add industrial noises behind vocalist Runhild Gammelsaeter's now more recognizably female -- but still mostly animal -- cries of pain, and movement eight takes a page from Sunn 0))) with its more coherent earth-shaking vibrations, but movements three and seven simply reprise the first one's irritating melding of unintelligible, scratch-acid vocalizing with equally haphazard instrumental rackets seemingly concocted on the spot. Ultimately, although it's always easy to cop out and label something like this as "art" merely for daring to be different, there's virtually no inherent pleasure -- lest it be masochistic -- to be had from listening to Khlyst's Chaos Is My Name; no deeper meaning or eventual payoff after repeated listens that can't be obtained from better executed, and better planned unorthodox music out there.
Chaos Is My Name Review
by Eduardo Rivadavia