Wrong seems an ironic name for a band that just seems to do so much right. To assume so misses the point. After listening to Pessimistic Outcomes you will appreciate the true meaning of the word – through your veins will crawl that feeling of unease, into your ears will creep that glorious sense of not-quite-right-ness that great music can give. To that end, this album’s outcomes probably more than exceed its aims. The fuzzy production (think Mayhem), the repetition of already gloomy hooks, the pain-full vocals and the eerie keyboard all combine to make this a thoroughly enjoyable album, to be enjoyed either on a cold winter’s eve or as an antidote to a hot summer’s day when normal people are ‘out’ and ‘happy.’
What makes this album all the more impressive is that neither of its creators emerge from the cast of the black metal scene. ‘Phlegeton’ is best known for his part in Wormed whereas ‘DP’ is more likely to be found thrashing one out. Impressively, however, neither musician brings much of the previous work onto this record. Instead, they seem to step into the role of black metal masters pretty easily. This album is fairly pure in that respect, but not to the point of having been done before. No, this feels fresh all the way through, and despite an average track length of about 8:30, I was never bored. ‘His Hatred Breathes’ is repetitive in a way that works, crafted in such a way that we are forever in anticipation for what is to come, and we never quite know whether or not we’ve got there until it ends. Just try and get that tune out of your head for the next 24 hours: Wrong are proof of one of the great ironies of black metal – although intentionally and consistently dissonant and ugly, it’s also incredibly catchy and produces some infinitely sing-able tunes!
Now what, for me, sets this apart from a lot of other albums is the use of minimal but effective keyboards and sound effects. Whether they be applied to other instruments or used in their own right, here is someone who knows how to flip the switches the right way. Not, as you may have guessed from the previous sentence, being an expert in production, mixing or effects, I am at least privileged enough to enjoy such things in a less detailed but perhaps a more holistic manner. That is, I experience them as pure noise, which travels through my ears but bypasses my brain, infects my soul in its true form, hardly separated into individual parts. At least from this uninformed perspective, they are doing a lot of things right, as what we get is utterly depressing and just makes you want to sacrifice so many fox hunters its unreal.
One final thing, and it’s one of those ‘sad git who listens to music too carefully’ things. It seems to me, and I could be wrong, that ‘I thought I’d woken’ repeats the riff from ‘His Hatred Breathes’ (first two minutes or so) at a much slower tempo and follows it with the most lunatic-satanic moment on the whole album straight after. Maybe I’m wrong, maybe it’s a coincidence, but if I’m right then to these gentlemen I take my hat off and commend them on the greatest musical moment since Mulatu Astatke did his thing.
1. Thru the Grey Path to Nowhere
2. His Hatred Breathes
3. Pessimistic Outcomes
4. Dragging My Soul Until the Sunset
5. I Thought I’d Woken
Phegeton – Vocals and drums
DP – Guitars, bass, piano and sound effects
Live Members: Setesh – Guitar, Guillemoth – Bass, Gabriel – Drums