Warrior Pope - Mellified Man

Warrior Pope – „Mellified Man”
Ampstack Records

„Mellification is the process by which a human body is converted into a healing confection. The process must begin when the subject is still alive.”

There is a certain futility in viewing most drone and/or avant doom – often there is little to no separation – as a closed piece. Typically wrapped up tight in the cloak of their own self created atmosphere, bands of this ilk have a tendency to either neglect musical progression or reject it outright on philosophical grounds, a calcified nod to program music and its dictated sequencing of prescribed imagery.
Bristol based Warrior Pope third full-lenght release „Mellified Man”, is probably the most unnerving and uncomfortable album released in the first part of 2020.
Musically it is a disaster; lacking any form of melody, hooks, or whatever else you would expect to find in today’s popular and underground music. What few chords do manage to escape the static and feedback, sustain for a short time, only to dissipate into the ether moments later. The music literally decays as you listen, falling to the ground and scattering into the walls unnoticed. „Mellified Man” is not so much “music”, as it is an aural experience. Those looking for the standard musical experience will be disappointed, there is nothing here, it is dead. The real experience awaits those who want something literally horrific and frightening.
This is a complete masterpiece of Drone/Doom Metal. People say that Extreme Doom is about creating an unsettling feeling. If that’s the case, the game’s over, Warrior Pope won. This is the really twisted and disturbing album in this metal genre whom I’ve heard for a long time, and it’s utterly without peers in that category. This isn’t an album for every day listening. It will terrify you, and it will honestly hurt to listen to it. It’s an album for when you’re truly interested in seeing just how depraved, disgusting and jagged music can get.Some people would categorize this as „background music” which sounds reasonable to a certain extent. But I think this album should be enjoyed loud and also your full attention should be on it. You will hate every minute of this album…and you will come back for more, time and time again.
The production is as clear as glass so you can just tell the artists have put every effort into making this album the experience it is.The overall sound is of slow, thundering, hideously detuned and almost free-timed guitar riffs, assisted by some excellent bass playing, with just enough percussion to keep the whole thing lurching forward.
Especially effective is the often blunted character of the final note in the chord progression, which one would expect to ring out openly based on the ascending notes preceding it… in taking a turn downward instead, coupled with the use of palm muting on the guitar strings, it instead evokes a less assured, questioning character redolent of the album’s central themes.It’s the consistency and vigilance over these themes that strike a nerve in the listener who sticks with it for the long haul.Every minute of every song seems to follow logically from what came before it, which in itself is a fairly groundbreaking feat in an experimental field known for creating atmosphere.
Epic and profound, the work never exhibits any choked up petulance or knee jerk lashing out; indeed, the degree of patient introspection is astonishing. This is cerebral music of the highest order, insistent on pontification and demanding intellectually, as in fact the rest of the album shall turn out to be.This is a very eclectic release that very few will want to listen to, and even fewer will enjoy. Cheers to Warrior Pope for creating an experience not easily forgotten.