Album Review

Vortex Empath Xen / Moira Scar – “Between Worlds” – [Bat Noise]

whngr   6/11/2021   12-inch, A Library

Wan glam/death rock outta Oakland. A melancholic, driven, inspired, mournful, pitch-bent glimpse into a glimmer-realm of nocturnal isolation.

Bass guitar, drum machine, electric guitar, horn, synthesizer, a wide variety of vocalizations and reverb from this unique two-piece. Pop structure with powerful hooks that buried themselves in my brain, though grotesque and strange enough to cause me to recoil momentarily before curiosity would suck me in again. Like a Gustav Klimt if gold were sadness. Their live sets bring an added level of theater that deepens my enthusiasm, employing elaborate costumes that bolsters the psycho-necrotic fantasy. They appear to love a good vamp and the album that you now hold amounts to a ticket to the Theater of Magic. Other comparisons to Hesse’s Steppenwolf apply; Vortex Empath Xen is a project truly on the fringe, they have no peers, no scene, they appear conspicuously secluded. No censors or filters, we are offered a beautiful/horrific glimpse into a pristine world of pure creative expression. Albeit one that revolves around the profoundly bizarre. It is difficult to imagine Moira Scar caring much about what their critics, nor world thinks of them, they seem totally unencumbered by any judgement from any perspective of any plane or planet, they couldn’t make the albums they do if their drive wasn’t entirely detached from the derision that must surely befall their sweepingly unconventional vision. One that isn’t constrained by vocals that are in any semblance of pitch or mixes that adhere to traditionally established sensibilities and thus, you… have been warned. But you may find, as I have, that once you surmount your initial revulsion that you will find yourself returning to the well repeatedly to bask in the perturbed glow of unrecognized genius and to confirm that there is nothing else, in this world or the next, that will satisfy your disturbed proclivities quite like, V.E.X. / Moira Scar.

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