CHRISTWVRKS – Messiah Complex

Rating: 2/5
Label: Apocalyptic Witchcraft Records
Released: 7th August 2020
Buy Album: https://apocalypticwitchcraft.bandcamp.com/album/messiah-complex
Band Website: https://www.christwvrks.com/

Band line-up:

Jamie Christ – Vocals, all instruments

Tracklisting:

01 – Three Daggers I Have For You
02 – Chaos in My Head
03 – Dragged Back to Life
04 – Fuck My Life
05 – The Black Swan
06 – The Messiah Complex
07 – ‘The Band’ is Dead
08 – A New Corpse
09 – Rebirth

Review:

CHRISTWVRKS – the introspective death industrial multimedia project of Jamie Christ, a blackwork tattoo artist and member of Sectioned and Godhole – has forged a hellish alliance with Apocalyptic Witchcraft Records for his second solo record Messiah Complex, which is available now for streaming or purchase on Bandcamp.

Christ comments:

It almost seemed impossible to find a label that would understand what CHRISTWVRKS is all about. Not just an act playing shows but an always changing and shifting art form, art rooted in extreme music, sadness, and depravity. But Apocalyptic Witchcraft simply get it and I physically fist-pumped the air like in a bad 80s movie when they showed interest in releasing my art after I sent demos to a number of labels I would have liked to work with.”

The project manifested after a personal tragedy which combined with Jamie Christ’s affinity for noise, doom, black metal, and electronic music amalgamated into a disgusting and hellish visual and aural landscape that shapes the unique sound of CHRISTWVRKS. Guitars, vocals, bass, and blast-beat drums all collide to create a cacophony of noise, and the distortion just becomes static after a certain point.

Messiah Complex is a totally miserable affair, and if you’re looking for a good time, you definitely won’t find it buried among the nine tracks on offer. It’s a deep dive into the mind of Jamie Christ, and it’s not at all pleasant. Dark, destructive, and cathartic in certain places, spoken word samples talk over each other as visceral screams and off-tempo drums add to an overwhelming sense of craziness and absolute chaos. ‘Fuck My Life’ is the closest thing here to an actual song, but the lyrics are still largely indistinguishable thanks to the rapid-fire delivery and the wall of noise Jamie Christ has created.

In addition to the album, there is a strictly limited book to coincide with Messiah Complex. The art book entitled The Death of Ego is the visual component to Messiah Complex containing Jamie Christ’s signature blackwork artwork spread out over 56 pages available in hardback (50 copies) and in paperback (150 copies) edition.

I will always have huge amounts of respect and admiration for artists from any industry that try new things, put their hearts firmly on their sleeves and release exactly the project they want to create, but sadly, Messiah Complex isn’t for me. I adore his artwork but the music doesn’t have a lot going for it. For some dealing with mental health issues, you may even find some beauty and respite from the harsh, unforgiving world we are currently living in. The album is best experienced as one listen from start to finish. It’s a journey, and ultimately, picking out individual songs to talk about doesn’t make much sense here.

Messiah Complex is brutal, dark, destructive in its execution, and I truly wish I liked this album more because, on paper, it sounds right up my alley. As is often the case with multimedia projects, Messiah Complex seems like only one part of a larger whole made up of the limited book being released alongside the album. It’s far from easy listening, but certain people may find solace within the torturous sounds found within.

Review by Jack Merry
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