If you’re not already aware (and you really should be) Prurient is the main alias of the insanely prolific Dominick Fernow, keeper of several other aliases including Vatican Shadow and Rainforest Spiritual Enslavement and played in groups and projects including Ash Pool and the mighty Cold Cave. This undisputed titan in the electronic noise/experimental field has new releases out constantly, under various names and in various formats including tapes, EPs, singles, splits, and collaborations.
Frozen Niagara Falls, a double album, is the spiritual successor to 2011’s game-changing Bermuda Drain. On that album, Fernow reinvented the Prurient moniker by blending influences from across his other projects: the pulsing techno of Vatican Shadow, the synth-pop sheen of Cold Cave, the blasphemous black metal exorcisms of Ash Pool, and the straight-up feedback and distortion noise blasts of earlier Prurient were synthesized into an excitingly consistent, well-thought-out whole. While still far from accessible, it definitely brought a lot of new listeners with it.
This new record is, if anything, even less accessible at points than its predecessor. The lyrics touch on religious themes, sacrifice, self-harm, drug dependency, and loss. However, these themes are never used for shock value. The music may be often abrasive, but the underlying core of the record comes from a place of beauty. There is a raw emotional quality to the screaming, an honesty which can be much more provocative than some aggressive, blustery, macho thing. The more ambient synth interludes, when they do manage to rise above the fury, are gorgeous and majestic. In an absolutely massive catalog, full of massive noises and bold statements, it may be that Frozen Niagara Falls is Fernow’s magnum opus.
Frozen Niagara Falls is available now on 2xCD/3xLP from Profound Lore.