DIES is the side project of Showbread frontman Joshua Porter (aka Josh Dies). His main project is a much scrutinized, devoutly Jesus following group. Showbread gets a bad rap because they are “Christian anarchists” – staunch pacifist, Christ-following teetotalers.
Despite these intense orthodox worldviews, the band has been pelted by conservatives in the Christian rock/metal community (can I just say Tooth & Nail Community?) for how different they operate… as bizarre as that sounds.
These guys love horror movies; music from bands like Nine Inch Nails, Marilyn Manson, Skinny Puppy, et al; and anti-nationalistic views.
In a lot of ways, I identify almost to the T with their views. I mention it because a lot of the negativity rained down on Showbread and the DIES side project has to do with the fact that it sounds so industrial and Reznoresque.
It’s ridiculous to anyone not a Christian or who hasn’t heard of either group before. Trust me, it is absurd.
Aesthetics of Violence is the first full-length released by DIES. The album has its moments, in spite of being produced on the cheap. This has a lot to do with the fact that, as a side project, there’s little left over after producing a movie and releasing multiple books. He’s a busy dude.
Most evident in the cheapness is that all the drums are programmed. I imagine based on budgetary concerns, Aesthetics was recorded, mixed, mastered and released by Porter himself.
As you might expect from an album with a heavy industrial influence, it’s super gritty. “Gojira” sounds like it could have been an early 90s track, with a wailing lead guitar and thumping electric drums.
Also a neat aside: there’s some periodic movie sampling – just don’t tell the studios. Titles paid homage to include the incomparable American Psycho and what I think is cult classic The Fly, though I could be off base there.
One has to be in that certain angry, subversive mood to want to listen to some digital-based, edgy, chippy industrial. Another highlight is “Less Than Zero” (again with the Bret Easton Ellis reference!). It very well could come from another nil track, perhaps from Reznor’s Year Zero.
Good stuff here, if you’re into industrial. And if you want to feel like you’re watching a snuff film through an MP3 (or any music video from Pretty Hate Machine), listen to “…The Dream is Over, the Insect is Awake.”
It closes on the line, “I have to return some video tapes.” SOLD!
From his first DIES release in 2007, this is “Does This Inspire You?” –
Standout tracks: “Less Than Zero” and “Does This Inspire You?”
Weakest track: “My Bride, When You Think Of Me” – ew, love songs. It doesn’t fit. Knowing Josh, it’s exactly why he did it too.
RIYL: Showbread, Nine Inch Nails. Industrial, alt-metal, anything Trent Reznor tried to do. Knife to Meet You!