Pharmakon, Rectal Hygienics, Deterge, Death Factory | The Owl | Rock, Pop, Etc | Chicago Reader

Pharmakon, Rectal Hygienics, Deterge, Death Factory Recommended Free Soundboard Image

When: Wed., Jan. 21, 10 p.m. 2015

Margaret Chardiet’s most recent full-length as Pharmakon, Bestial Burden (Sacred Bones), is one of the best albums of 2014—and it deserves a better adjective than “primal,” which tends to get attached to any harsh-noise project. “Revelatory” seems more appropriate. The NYC-based Chardiet underwent surgery for a serious medical problem prior to entering the studio, and beginning with its graphic album art—which depicts a gruesome self-dissection—Bestial Burden is an excruciating confrontation with those experiences, fixated on the unpredictability of the human body and the ways it can betray its occupant. The opener, “Vacuum,” features steady, layered breathing undergirded by a pulsing, low-end buzz, but the album soon erupts into a collection of dark industrial tracks that writhe and contort like the subject of a freakishly violent exorcism trying to expel toxic bile (Chardiet’s possessed black-metal shriek on the hair-raising “Intent or Instinct” sounds like someone painting a wall with blood). Bestial Burden is as carefully calculated and exhilarating as any other noise bubbling up from the underground, and it marks out Chardiet as a force to be reckoned with. —Kevin Warwick

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