• Nick

An Exhibition of Torture

I'm a simple man. When Ethan Lee McCarthy of Primitive Man makes art, I look at said art. It's an easy rule to live by, and more often than not, a rule that yields as much perspective as it does entertainment.


So, when I saw on his insta story a few months back that he did the visual art for Resin Tomb's EP, I thought it would be best to give the release a listen. Upon tapping his story and watching, I was not familiar with Resin Tomb, nor was I acquainted in any way with Brilliant Emperor Records. I'm glad Ethan was there to correct my course. I'll be following the Australia-based Brilliant Emperor with a magnifying glass from now on.


This year as been... weird. It feels like each month comes with its own anxieties and fears and let downs and fire memes. In a way, this EP feels like the soundtrack to 2020.

Art by Ethan Lee McCarthy
Replace these eyes, I can see the weight of the world accept demise.

Each song calls forth feelings of absolute despair in what feels like performative therapy (if you've read my other reviews, you'll notice that is very much my thing). The listener will, however, be subjected to a version of exposure therapy. The pounding drums (Perry Vedelago) and barrage of guitars (Brendan Auld) feels like a fever dream, but one you can only experience wide awake. It's an aural metaphor, a mood.


Each of the five songs brings their own flavor of obsessive droning giving way to the wails of woe (Matt Budge) throughout the entire fifteen minutes of its runtime.

Embrace demise, acknowledge this is the end

For a quarter of an hour, there is no escape from your problems, many this record will tell you are fueled by the target of the narrator's ire, some kind of singular entity, something we cannot control. There is a catharsis, though. Listening to this record, hearing the abject torture somehow creates a sort of bonding experience. We are not doing this alone. There's a moment when Matt Budge asks, "Why do I exist? Is there a point to this?" While he and I may be talking about different things, it would seem his point would be to act as a guide, a lighthouse of sorts, the Virgil to our Dante, a purveyor of woeful truth. A truth that shows the inner machinations of true despair, or one that simply tells you in the midst of a storm that you are too close to land.

You can pick up Resin Tomb's EP 2020 at Brilliant Emperor Records on 10" "Bong Resin Black" vinyl and I suggest you do just that.