Music Reviews
Garden of the Mutilated Paratroopers

Prurient Garden of the Mutilated Paratroopers

(Profound Lore) Rating - 7/10

When you finish listening to a Prurient (Dominick Fernow) record, you feel like you’ve accomplished something. The man’s music is, by design, so unrelentingly abrasive, so nihilistic, and so grim that once the listener makes it out of albums like the mammoth double-disc Frozen Niagara Falls alive, they can’t help but picture themselves being awarded some sort of military service decoration for the experience. And with no installment in Prurient’s extensive catalog is this image more appropriate than his most recent release, Garden of the Mutilated Paratroopers, an LP crafted to sound like careening hopelessly through a war-torn airspace.

In stark contrast to an album like Frozen Niagara, which runs over 91 minutes and spans a vast array of experimental genres (noise, power electronics, ambient, drone, and classic industrial), Garden thrives on its brevity, packing a gut-wrenching punch of dome-scorching, deafening distortion in about 40. Spread over twenty tracks, with only two breaking the three-minute mark (Spring Birds Die in Uniform Pockets and Franciscan Friars Hide the Body) and none running over four minutes, the album doesn’t rely on vast soundscapes or ominous drones to capture the horrors of war. In fact, a large portion of the songs here are under a minute and a half.

Instead, Prurient drops the listener right into a thicket of fighter planes, muffled transmissions of screams, and mangled, misfired parachutes; of suffering in-—what I can only imagine in my darkest dreams—- its purest, rawest form. It’s a potently constructed record because the duration of time between jumping out of a plane and landing to your death is probably pretty damn concise—though it must seem like an eternity.

I think that’s the most interesting thing about Garden: it’s a short album that feels long (because, well, it’s objectively miserable), but this is a rare case where that might not be a point of criticism. It’s the audible equivalent to having your life flash before your eyes after a botched skydive. And with that, there’s no way I can recommend it to everyone. I can barely recommend this thing to even the most adventurous listeners, and I’ll certainly say there’s a good chance I will never listen to it again. But in spite of its clear inaccessibility and lack of replay value, I bizarrely admire what Prurient has done with this record. If you have a soft spot for music that drops theatrics and flat-out makes you feel like shit, it should be on your list.