A true castaway on the vast oceans of the Mind, Mentol Nomad has been plying his trade on the New York underground for the better part of the '90s. After being inducted into the Order of the Crooked Knights following a festival in Nantes, France in '99, the Nomad has been a footsoldier in the war against mediocre music, keeping the underground fed from the 1 and 2's. Then, the come-up: a masterful performance in last year's cult-classic CRoOKeD (WSCD041), to which he also contributed tracks. Now, many moons and tainted twists of fate later, the Nomad finally rises to the task of his solo debut, a kaleidoscopic journey through the parallel dimension called Mentallica...and its Inhabitants (WSCD043).
On a mission beyond the within, Mentol shows he's capable of traversing many types of terrain. On Mentallica, he deftly combines ambient atmospheres with crackling beats, leaden basslines, euphoric samples and electronic washes, creating seething layers of sound which mutate with each passing moment like radioactive decay. The result is a masterpiece of downtempo darkness, covered with a veil of light. The soundtrack to the dreams of a man with much on his mind. Mentol Nomad says, "It's not anything to shake your ass to, but it is composed to have you feel many emotions--some of it dark, some of it light, all of it me."
So what more can be said? While not easy to describe in words, Mentallica, like all good drugs, is best experienced, preferably late at night, on a big system, with some incense and candles burning, and a strong desire to be one with the essence. Campfire music for the lost souls....
Review on Technopunkmusic.com:
I find this one pretty interesting. Mentol Nomad is coming from a Brooklyn hip-hop label (the great WordSound) but it's not really hip-hop. It's ambient, but more evil than that, so some electronic music lovers open-minded enough to explore will probably find some excellent experiences inside.
Regardless of it's 'cross-over', though, it's definitely one of my recent faves because I don't get nearly enough bold music. Above all else, that's exactly what this is.
Trying to definitively define Mentol Nomad's 'Mentallica and Its Inhabitants' is a frustratingly daunting and ultimately unachievable task. I'm sure if one were so inclined this could simply be summed up as horror-hop - evil, lurking mental music churning up urban soundscape structures that terrorize, mythologically turning the simple art of music listening into a complex and vastly affecting practice.
I would suggest that understanding isn't necessary though. It rather detracts from the experience, dilutes the aural adventure that the Mental Nomad takes you on. Simply closing one's eyes and allowing these maliciously discomforting compositions to sweep over easily conjures anything from images of stalking butlers to evil, hooded monks preparing for a forbidden ceremony.
Without lyrics of any type this all-electronic summary feels well suited as an updated soundtrack for the silent film classic Nosferatu if one were so inclined to boldly enhance an already sensational piece of celluloid.
Still, besides the imagination Mentallica forces a listener to adapt to this vividly dreadful project, it is intelligent, never striking a false note that might temporarily shatter the mood. It is sturdily crafted, never resorting to any predictable or plastic horror sounds in order to accomplish its goals. It is quite obviously meticulous, darkly passionate and sensational in every spooky corner it builds in its 17 rooms of aural storytelling.
This is one of those rare and precious musical gifts one is quite pleased to have given themselves - so long as they're not too frightened by what they've discovered within.