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We'd like to think of our minds as something inherently our own, impenetrable by outside forces. Our consciousness can't be directly assaulted, true, but it can be possessed: some music can plant unsettling seeds that gestate into frightful concepts not of our own making, piercing our illusion of control. Ever the masochists, we love these artists all the more for it. Australia's Bolt Gun excels at summoning such invasive waveforms, and their new record Begotten exercises fine-tuned control over heavy, unconventional sound. We're streaming the entire album now, but be warned: this is an insidious affair.

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Although cinematic at its core, Begotten is more of a transporting force than a hand-holding narrative. Mundane instruments, seemingly aligned by inhuman hands, are arrayed into a chaotic, upsetting gale that traverses all levels of aggression: from suspense-building swells to harsh, pulsing noise. The conventional elements like drums and guitars are there, but used in ways that discard norms generally followed even by other drone-doom acts. Percussion in particular is employed as a tool to elevate anxiety and accentuate the rising terror of the lengthy arrangements -- glacial timekeeping is a secondary concern.

It could almost be a soundtrack for an atmospheric horror flick, except that it's plagued by sulphuric cavalcades -- the sort that an inhabiting spirit might scream into the mind of its unwilling host. Fortunately, though, we are willing, and the nail-biting peaks of Begotten are as cathartic in their execution as they are unholy. With all the unwanted, terrifying bits of reality fighting to secure a place in our minds, we can do ourselves some good by letting the unnatural and ghastly take their place -- they leave behind far less damaging memories.

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Begotten releases April 3rd via Art as Catharsis.

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