Diamond Terrifier – Kill The Self That Wants To Kill Yourself – album review

Diamond Terrifier – Kill The Self That Wants To Kill Yourself (Northern Spy)
CD / LP / DL
Available now

An occasionally difficult but rewarding album of experimental sax and electronica.

Diamond Terrifier is, for all intents and purposes, Sam Hiller, an avant-garde, NY based musician who has teamed up with Chris Taylor (Grizzly Bear: providing the album’s production), to unleash his first full length debut album in the form of ”˜Kill The Self That Wants To Kill Yourself’.

I must state clearly and concisely at this juncture; this album is most definitely not for everybody! If the words ”˜experimental’, ”˜saxophone’ and ”˜electronic’ have you edging towards the door, then I will graciously look the other way for a few moments so that you can escape without having to make any awkward excuses.

Ok, I’m turning around again.

Oh, you’re still here?

Then we shall proceed.

Being a big fan of some freaky sax, I was more than eager to give this a shot and I’m exceptionally glad that I did. One of my favourite sax albums is by a somewhat forgotten musician by the name of Eddie Harris. Harris had the ability to make his instrument scream like a banshee and lullaby us like a doting parent.

On his seminal album ”˜I Need Some Money’ (not ironically titled), he recorded the 12 minute opus ”˜I Don’t Want Nobody’, which remains one of my favourite songs to date (seriously, YouTube it). His ability to create absolutely beautiful and haunting tracks from singing through his sax left his songs sounding ethereal and otherworldly, think Sigur Ros /Antony fronting Al Green’s backing band.

Whilst Sam Hiller’s experimentations into the world of obscurely structured musical formations are somewhat less identifiably beautiful, this is not to say that there is not an attractiveness to be found amongst the seemingly chaotic arrangements. The titular track even manages to shoehorn some ”˜Close Encounters of the Third Kind’ audio references, while ”˜Transference Trance’ is something akin to a calypso party in Satan’s back yard. Incomprehensible, oblique, wonderful and magic, I was most definitely sucked in by its charm.

DIAMOND TERRIFIER || Shrine Flu from grossymmetric on Vimeo.

It’s a challenging and, at times, incredibly difficult album, but it certainly achieves in offering something to those willing to put in the work.

All words by Colin McCracken. You can read more from Colin on LTW here, on his website or follow him on Twitter.

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