Every single one of you is going to die. Every. single. one. Some in accidents, some in violence, but the vast majority will succumb to one of the many self-destruct mechanisms helpfully encoded into the very thing that is co-extensive with material existence: the body. We all know this, but do we ever really face it in a meaningful way? Do we just manage our existential terror via the distractions of culture and self-esteem? Should we? In music, even in the dark precincts of noise, metal, (take your pick)-core, it seems these issues are often more danced around in allegory and innuendo than addressed head on.
It's a matter of public record that Margaret Chardiet, better known to the terrified as "Pharmakon", was faced with her own mortality after the release of 2013's unforgettable "Abandon". A malfunction of the flesh endangered her life and left her to contemplate the ways in which the body and the mind, no matter how materially unified, have a horrifying discontinuity and duality in purpose. One to driven survive at all costs, one to reproduce and then wither and fail, making room in the environment for successive generations of new bodies.
Pharmakon's "Body Betrays Itself", off of last years "Bestial Burden" is scariest fucking song I've heard in a long time. It's like the music that would be playing in a yoga/meditation studio in the alternate dimension of pure evil detailed in the 90's Lawrence Fishburne cinematic triumph "Event Horizon". But unlike any slasher movie, ghost story, or the prospect of new Rob Thomas album, this song isn't about the terrors that may befall you one night wandering in the dark, it is about what is happening to you right now and every second of every day for the rest of your life. Much, much scarier.
As Chardiet put it best herself: "There’s this sort of sterilized, plastic outlook, that a lot of Western culture has, where you’re not supposed talk about certain things... You’re not supposed to engage in negative thought. Everything’s supposed to be copacetic all the time, you’re supposed to ignore the fact that you die in the end, or you’re supposed to ignore the darker side of the human experience and I think that’s really detrimental for human life. I don’t think that’s healthy.”
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