End Position (The Flenser)
Reviewed by Richard Whittaker, Fri., Dec. 23, 2016
Welcome to the nihilist's ball! On full-length debut End Position, Austin's new extremists dive further into existential shadows than even their unrelenting trio of singles from 2014, putting Eighties industrial into conflict with itself. Composer/sonic reducer Shaun Ringsmuth sets his devil machines on eviscerate with complex, stop-start techno terror rarely heard since early Test Department (1981-97) out of London. Leo Ashline's vox swirl between a Manson-esque purr and John Lydon's snarl – with Chris Connelly crescendos. When the brakes finally squeal on multi-layered ripsaw "Our Lesions" and he begs, "Who's there? Who's there?" it's pure metaphysical horror. Cancer, addiction, revenge are their tools and burdens, told through despairing chronicles like sibling saga "Featherweight Hate" and failed suicide note "Black Din." End Position's message that sometimes living well isn't the best revenge, it's just living, is the closest their roaring, engulfing, entrancing misery comes to optimism.