April 2014 National Music Reviews

Review: White Suns – Totem

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White Suns

Totem

The Flenser

Street: 03.18

White Suns = (Converge – Jacob Bannon + Nico) x Hive Mind

White Suns encapsulate destruction par excellence with Totem. One may first recall works like Jane Doe with opening track “Priest in the Laboratory,” with its contra-time signatures and cacophonous electric-guitar malfunctioning and anti-chords—it’s sporadic, broken movement. “Prostrate” and “Disjecta Membra,” however, follow with rather tepid noise blips to demonstrate that Totem serves as anti-music that supersedes/defies genre or conceptions of “hardcore” or “noise,” and indicates a type of colder chaos alongside the frenetic noise. The title track and “Cathexis,” which displaces the album back into a “heavy” mêlée, hints at a possible Freudian bent for the record, and the yell-spoken text in “Clairvoyant” suggests psychic resistance to superegoist forces: “My god’s face is made of mirrors/My god’s face looks like my father’s.” The ultimate paradox of this album is the idea of white noise as utility, and it’s qua contradiction that Totem thrives—it’s a great work of art and demands listening. –Alexander Ortega
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