Mirrors for Psychic Warfare are an industrial collaboration between Scott Kelly and Sanford Parker from Neurosis and Buried at Sea respectively. Having previously debuted in 2016 with a self-titled album, they’ve returned to their collaborative efforts once more in 2018 with the album “I See What I Became”.
From what I understand, we’ve got an industrial album on our hands with a strong emphasis on instrumentals and a tone that aptly fits the description of a dystopian atmosphere, this is aided well by the harrowing vocals of Kelly, which are understandably reminiscent of what you’d hear in Neurosis’ more atmospheric songs.
First up in the 8-song track list is Animal Coffins, this song sets the vibe for the album, which is apt because there’s a lot of vibrations and reverberations in this four-minute instrumental intro. From this you can glean from it whatever your imagination gives you, for me, it almost sounds like there’s a huge beast breathing loudly somewhere in the dead of night. Half way through this, the sound hits us with siren-like waves of electronic noise, bringing your attention to what is to come next, a good intro I’d say. Next up is Tomb Puncher, which eerily creeps in and fades into a beat and an electronic melody playing overhead. We get our first taste of the vocals and as I previously stated, they are harrowing, between the static noise and the rumbling voice we have what I think is a pretty solid industrial song that escalates gradually and smoothly.
Thirdly, we have Body Ash which starts out with a tinny, echoed drum beat, like banging on oil drums. The overall sound kicks in shortly after, returning to that dystopian apocalyptic siren we heard in the first song. The vocals chime in in a low tone over the whirring of what sounds like machinery, which of course is an identifiable trait of industrial music. The song gets slightly more chaotic towards the end before ending, but ends a little shorter than I expected.
Next up is Flat Rats in The Alley, which starts with a sustained, slow guitar riff surrounded by a quiet, tapping drum beat which is a great example of how well mixed this album is, as the tapping is weaving in and out of each of my ears in my headphones. What stands out for me in this song is the harrowing sustained guitar notes and all the different sounds of the drum beat. The vocals seem to grow more menacing as the song progresses and escalates.
Next, we have King of Knives which has the sounds of iron gates creaking and rattling, a beat with electronic sounds and those good old dystopian sirens. Vocals join the fray two thirds of the way into the song this time, kind of as if they close the song out, which they do on a kind of yell. Crooked Teeth is next and it’s got a very experimental vibe, opening with a subtle echo in the beginning to an eerie beat, laughing electronic sound and some of the most eerie vocals on the album so far, aided greatly by lyrics about eating a heart whole. The distortion comes in towards the end of the song and ends it on a chaotic note.
Coming in second last we have Death Cart, which like most of the songs opens with an eerie intro of a beat, sound effect and some kind of distorted riff. Personally, if there were any song on this album that was reminiscent of Marilyn Manson, this’d be it. It’s got a kind of distorted melody playing through the guitar, a drum beat that is calm, yet intense and vocals that drag and drone a lot to hammer home the atmosphere.
Finally, we come to the last song on the album, Coward Heat. The song begins with thumping drums, reminiscent of a heartbeat and a kind of clicking, like the turning of a combination lock. These sounds continue to play out and reverberate as the vocals drawl on slowly and gently repeating the same line “I need your heart on my blood.” as the song escalates with distortion guitar, a kind of twisted harmony and then ending on a note that rings out, back into the darkness we started with.
The album releases on September 28th, you can pre-order the album HERE