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Frozen Niagara Falls

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Album Review

Frozen Niagara Falls, Prurient's ambitious 2015 double-CD/triple-LP and first release on Canadian metal label Profound Lore, is a culmination of all of the project's previous achievements. It isn't Dominick Fernow's longest release (his catalog is populated with numerous limited multi-cassette boxes), but it's easily the most diverse, as well as the most sharply focused. Recorded during a period spanning three harsh winters in New York City, the album's lyrics touch upon familiar themes as abusive relationships, drugs, hopelessness, and even religious imagery, and the music ranges from harsh noise to unsettling dark ambient. Most striking, however, is the appearance of acoustic guitars and fretless bass on several tracks, adding a bizarre melodicism to screamed industrial tracks like "Dragonflies to Sew You Up." Some tracks work better than others, but there are many thrilling moments, such as the rapid-fire percussion manipulations of "Poinsettia Pills" and "Traditional Snowfall." Ten-minute "Greenpoint" is the album's centerpiece, starting out with acoustic folk guitar and letting suspenseful horror film score synths creep in, getting washed out with feedback bursts, and then quieting down for an undistorted spoken soliloquy and atmospheric synths. 11-minute closer "Christ Among the Broken Glass" is another intriguing experiment with clear, melodic acoustic guitars, crackling distortion, and whispered vocals, which is somewhat reminiscent of Popol Vuh's scores for Werner Herzog films. Any Prurient release is a demanding listen, but Frozen Niagara Falls is one of his most surprising and rewarding works.

Customer Reviews

Ignore the one star review

this album is freaking awesome, the textures are great, and it makes you feel crushed until the triumphant end

Not for everyone

I love Prurient, but at times the "noise" part of the music can get a bit redundant, especially in this album. But when the music gets melodic, the music is Prur at his best.

Biography

Born: Wisconsin

Genre: Electronic

Years Active: '90s, '00s, '10s

Prurient is the most well-known project of American artist Dominick Fernow, one of the most visible and influential figures of the early 21st century noise scene. Prurient's myriad recordings and numerous collaborations have been harsh, volatile, and uncompromising, featuring screamed lyrics about violence, sex, isolation, and drug abuse. Live performances have often featured Fernow screaming shirtless using a microphone, amplifier, and found objects as instruments. Prurient's recordings are primarily...
Full Bio
Frozen Niagara Falls, Prurient
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