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On Flow, J.G. Thirlwell returns as Foetus to deliver listeners once again into a disturbing cinematic industrial landscape. Thirlwell appropriates familiar and clichéd musical phrases and defamiliarizes them, breathing into them disturbing new significance. "Cirrhosis of the Heart," for example, resembles the soundtrack to a dramatic spy thriller, while "Mandelay" is reminiscent at times of the music for a gothic western; still other songs appropriate swing and bebop. Thirlwell similarly defamiliarizes clichéd verbal phrases, and always with ominous results: "In the shadow of the spectre/under the sword of Damocles/well I have but one regret/that I have not killed you yet" ("Suspect"). Clichés are twisted into an array of symptoms, including obsession, hallucination, and addiction, which are never resolvable into a coherent diagnosis. Flow thus simultaneously produces a sense of comfort and radical alienation. Flow demonstrates that industrial music remains potent and vital in the early 2000s, and that one of its greatest pioneers is still one of its greatest innovators.

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