Training for Utopia

Training for Utopia

Plastic Soul Impalement

Tooth & Nail

Few records actually scare me. During my adult life I have been scared twice before by music: the first time I heard the Butthole Surfer’s “Sweatloaf,” and the second time listening to Deicide while wearing headphones. I’ve since gotten over the trauma, but now it’s happened a third time, with Plastic Soul Impalement.

First of all, they’re on Tooth & Nail, which means they’re God-oriented to some degree. This alone might scare some people. The album’s packaging is dark, otherworldly, and strangely medieval; it reminded me of an ornate cathedral coming out of some interdimensional wormhole. That’s not really scary, though, because most of the gothic/industrial bands of the last ten years put out similar-looking albums. No, what did it to me was the introduction to the first and title track, which is nothing more than about five minutes of shadowy background voices telling me “it’s time” or “what do you think” or “where are you going.” The effect is right out of the dream sequences in Prince of Darkness. Perhaps the voices were from some future hell of demons egging on the listener. Was I listening to tormented souls, burning in the eternal hell? It was creepy as heck! I had to sleep with the lights on that night!

The rest of the album shifts back and forth between the demonic shadow voices and very heavy, brutal hardcore. You’re either walking home from a night in the factory and undergoing supernatural attack or you’re back in the factory having your skin peeled off your head with diesel-powered tinsnips. Tooth And Nail Records, P.O. Box 12698, Seattle, WA 98111

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