CD: Eibon Records FIR063 [2006]

Darkest Before Dawn
True Believer
Learning How
Complete The Obsession
And Still They Come
Psychotic Underground
Within And Without
Meditate / Mutilate

A new home… or possibly just a temporary move… for Michael Page and his FITH project sees our beloved instigator of aural disharmony on the Eibon Record label. A nice coup for the label and one that should put Michael under a bigger spotlight. Hey… the extra money won’t hurt either. Although I’m sure that a wad of dead presidents isn’t the biggest concern to him. Money is after all the root of all evil. But it does help to pay the bills and buy musical equipment. I’ll let him worry over these trivial matters. What concerns us, his followers, his fans, his obsessive band of warriors is whether or not he still retains the same stubborn streak in producing the musical equivalent of a carpet bombing over Vietnam.

"Meditate / Mutilate" (the title saying it all really) is 10 tracks worth of music that introduces a slightly different twist to the FITH sound. Gone are the old days of putting out a recording that hurt the ears from the first to the last minute. Mighty fine though those recordings were, and I’m not complaining, there was a limitation to what you can achieve using grunge vocals and power electronics…veering into extreme noise on occasions…that made it feel like eating a cheese burger every day for a year. Great if you love cheese burgers. Not so if you were a vegetarian. With "Meditate / Mutilate" Michael introduces a more varied sound that encapsulates part dark ambience, part experimental electronics along with the more familiar power elements. This makes for rounded and fuller release where the listener actually begins to enjoy, rather than endure, the music being played. For sure there are passages strongly reliant on the ability of the artist to batter the listener into submission, but for the most part he has reined in these tendencies and become ultra creative in his sound structures. The vocals are also far more varied, you can even make out a lot of the words being sung / spoken, and have a greater depth and intensity than ever before. Take all these parts, join them together, tighten it until the muscles stretch and the face reddens and you have "Meditate / Mutilate". A recording part hypnotic and part aurally destructive. A perfect combination that exceeded expectations on every level.

Is "Meditate / Mutilate" the best ever FITH release? A hard question to answer. Personally I think so. Not that I didn’t find any of his previous releases invigorating in one form or another, but with this release I can see it appealing to a broader audience who might have been mindful of his reputation. And any release that succeeds on that level has to be given the nod in that respect.


[Fire In The Head] / [Eibon Records]

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Other Reviews:

Fire In The Head [As The Nest Burns]

Fire In The Head [Come Closer Cut Deeper]

Fire In The Head [Ignite/Submit]

Fire In The Head [Screams For The Mute]
Fire In The Head [Solace Through Psychosis]
Richard Ramirez / Fire In The Head [Split]

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