Review by Jerry Kahale
Genre/s: Powerviolence, Hardcore, Sludge, Primitive Death Metal
For fans of: Soul Swallower, Witch Cult, Hatred Surge, Mammoth Grinder, Innumerable Forms, Nihilist
Mind Eraser are one of those bands that go to show that not only is powerviolence far from being a dead genre or a passing phrase, it is legitimately more thriving than ever before. Up until this particular release they churned out two albums Cave and Glacial Reign that entwine equal amounts of hardcore, powerviolence and sludge together seamlessly. This released was a sudden shock with what is usually the number of tracks is now the length of the songs themselves and vice versa so instead of 10 two-minute songs Conscious Unconscious has 2 ten-minute songs.
Conscious Unconscious is, in my humble opinion, their magnum opus. You can tell that this was the record they've always wanted to create and they pulled it off. From the ominous and haunting cacophony of phased out guitars that give way to an utterly devastating crash of aggression and speed that is a fine example of powerviolence at its very best before it fades away as quick as it comes and a lone bass starts to play slowly and then its a long and bombastic display of hardcore influenced sludge. The riffs are mean, the leads are sorrowful and the vocals are raw and nihilistic. The beauty of this though is that they do change it up but they do so with their ace of being able to string many styles of heavy music together, and in this release they even have spouts of early Swedish style death metal with not only the guitar solos but the production with emphasis on making it sound as dirty and cursed as possible. Even the snare sounds as deep as the kick drum compared to their prior releases. The production and mix is one of the factors that really made this album and if it was different it would not have had the same impact. Heck even the album art is reminiscent of early death metal albums.
That is all just in one half of the first track Conscious, it goes through the motions of going fast again, then slow and so on. The second track Unconscious is of course the same recipe but a different beast that never feels like a repeat of the first track. The last half ends at its most punishing before finally collapsing to the very same haunting mess of guitars that started it.
Its great when bands decide to experiment, its even better when they experiment without losing much or any of their core sound, its super better when its works but its fucking outstanding when its as immaculate as Conscious Unconscious.