Every Man for Himself and God Against All

Every Man for Himself and God Against All
Composer: The Grasshopper Lies Heavy
Conductor: The Grasshopper Lies Heavy
Label: Self released
Release Date: 2010-02-17
Rated: NONE
Genre: Recording

This bleak, 30-minute instrumental opus from the Grasshopper Lies Heavy is like a stoned-drone Peter and the Wolf with the part of God’s wrath played by snarling, sharp-toothed guitar. Part I begins with a shivering squeal that’s soon swallowed by an omnipresent roar and never quite spit back out. The roar fades to a rumble, and Part II rings in the upper register, conveying an unnatural peace in the wake of a slaughter, perfect to soundtrack that scene in a horror film meant to lull you into believing the killing is done though the killer’s unaccounted for. The drums thump like an unsteady heartbeat, spurting blood out an open wound. Part III begins bleating, telegraphing distress though no slasher springs immediately from the lake. Brighter guitars assuage that creeping sense of dread, but they darken until dawn breaks in chiming beauty. Part IV marches on in a steady plod that eventually grows monotonous after several minutes of focused listening, but Part V’s drums advance mournfully like cadence for a man being stripped of his rank and dignity. The guitar sounds unexpectedly sympathetic, weeping along until it shakily descends into impenetrable blackness. Just as it brightens, it dies. That sounds about right. — Jeremy Martin