I will not go too far by introducing Sir Martin W. Daniels. He’s an artist in different art-categories and disciplines, such as (short) movies (an awarded movie maker he is, known from e.g. Everyone Laugh At Leanne or the classic-to-be Keeley) and Music (I’ll come back to this immediately), as well as being involved with the Integrity Magazine. This guy from London works, as said, as musician too, both solo (MWD, Survivalist, M W Daniels, Adult Scum) and in some international partnerships. An example is Regiment VX with a fantastic singer from Chile (Carla Loth). All these projects comprise a wide range of styles and genres, from Cinematic Ambient to Harsh Noise, from Acoustic Folk to Extreme Metal, and everything in between. Besides, he’s also known for film scores as well. Ha, it is as if this guy tries to perform all those genres that I do adore – my personal court-musician or so…
Enter Sisters Memon, another collab with a female vocalist. For this project, Martin joined forces with Polish singer Natalia Sara, whom you might know from the blackened outfit Aura (a collab with Italian instrumentalist Radamantis). They are named, I think, after two terrorist women who were co-responsible for certain Islamist attacks in India.
In 2021, this duo recorded a first album, a self-titled one, and apparently they are about to finish a successor (but that’s for later; it will be called I The Witch). This nameless debut consists of eleven titles, which continue the misanthropic artistic vision of Mister Daniels for sure (see further). Besides a digital edition, there is an edition on compact disc with explicit cover-artwork (love it!). They perform ‘Nihilistic Destructive Black Metal’ and hey, I surely think this description covers the package! Disgust towards the human kind, hatred against man’s utterly stupid, pathetic and infantile existence, the futility of people’s raison d’être; it's all translated in sonic format through both members onto this unique album.
That pessimistic view towards us, dear homo sapiens, gets proven by means of the lyrics, starting with the titles. It deals with chemical weaponry, blasphemous philosophies, female murderers, you know, some happy subjects that get covered under poetic names like Chaos Witch Protected By Sarin, Female Assassin Kills God, Slit The Throat Of The Evangelist, The Bleeding Of Medusa, Fragrance Of Utmost Venom and so on; do you see the picture (a picture covered under dark-red drops of innocent blood).
These love stories get accompanied by elegiac chanting and sweet instrumentation that indeed might be labeled as Nihilistic Destructive Black Metal. These anti-lullabies sound slightly mechanical, which has probably to do with the rhythmic drum programming and the unpolished production. When talking about the latter, well, one can get uncomfortable by it (that might be the purpose, actually), or you do adore it. the sound-quality indeed is rough-edged, primal and dingy, resulting in some sludgy and necrotic tune. Seen the whole concept, this does fit so intensively for sure. Imagine a clinical mix; it would destroy the whole concept, wouldn’t it. and hey, that’s what the barbaric and intolerant side of Black Metal is all about: uncompromising rawness that pukes on any modernistic adornment, of course.
Despite the primitiveness of the recording process, I do need to mention the well-balanced mix too. It’s not because the whole does sound so contaminated, that the totality makes no distinction in between the different elements involved. At the contrary; voices, strings, percussion and all additional instruments (some synth-works [used as intermezzo or introduction, then again acting as supportive creator of the sphere at that very moment] and remarkable acoustic guitars [the introduction on Punish The Ones Of Enlightenment reminds me somehow of Regiment VX’s elegance, by the way]) get represented within a satisfying equilibrium; none of them overruling the other, none of them fading away in barren void either.
A considerable detail is this contrast: variety versus coherence. At the one hand, each single elegy is quite diverse, with subtle changes in structure and tempo, several additional fragments (acoustic and ambient moments, for example) and an overwhelming range of spherical aspects (albeit remorselessly negative and scorned). Yet then again, the whole album is such a cohesive sonic experience, with every single composition being part of an explicit message. Some moments have an epic, floating flair, others rather focus on destruction and apocalypse, or drench the whole nasty experience in a semi-progressive dissonance (cf. certain excerpts in Poison Gas Church or Chaos Witch Protected By Sarin, for example).
The songs actually are melodious in essence, created through mesmerizing, sometimes almost intoxicating leads and dreamlike melodies in general. The whole string section and a couple of semi-narcotic keyboard-lines sort of weave a gloomy, moody foundation, painting a dystopian landscape. This goes for both the rather doomed pieces (like that fair composition Killing In Winter) as well as the thunderous and fierce tracks on this album (the rhythmic ones that bluster and roar). Here the drum patterns do play an important role. Speed-up blasts (it already starts with the dogmatic opening track Slit The Throat Of The Evangelist) go hand in hand (claw in claw?) with well-thought templates of fine-tuned programming. The whole percussion section carries the force behind the message, strengthening it quite often, then again putting it in perspective compared to the whole observation. Once in a while, it even does come with a certain ‘psycho-grinding’ attitude (like in the punkish anti-ballad Stained Glass Blood Stains).
I did not mention the vocals yet. I can be very concise about these: maniacal! No, seriously, what Natalia does is bestial and murky the whole of the time. This (beautiful) lady has a throat that mercilessly penetrates the listener’s ear-drums. Her timbre has a sore, wretched element, but it does create a sulfurous effect for sure. And hey, the smell of brimstone, doesn’t that cover this duo’s message on their fantastic debut album?
Next step: impatiently awaiting I The Witch!