I've seen some internet talk about how this is our death metal record and honestly, if you read that and expect anything beyond one or two harmonised riffs you're going to be spectacularly disappointed.
And if you're a fan of the New Wave of Circus Grind you're definitely going to hate it.
It's now on bandcamp for pay what you want download, though bandcamp has a cap on that stuff, so when the free monthly downloads run out go seek a shit rip from the Bridge Nine board or something.
This record was never supposed to be an LP but it just sort of grew after the Rot in Hell split 7" we were going to do fell apart when they had a line up shuffle.
I wanted to write a record that explored some of the reasons why i'm an unrelenting misanthrope and Mission from God was the result.
In a nutshell i grew up whilst serial killer Peter Sutcliffe was killing women in the part of England i'm originally from; far from being some distant and incomprehensible tabloid tale this was something that seriously affected the social landscape of where i was living that's hard to adequately convey to others.
As a teen a lot of my friends were into dumb shit like reading the book of Revelations and scratching pentagrams in their arms in the late 1980s. Hey, it's what kids did back then, just like how now they post pictures of witches on Tumblr. As a wannabe seventeen year old magician i took a hit of acid and went to Soldiers' Field, where Irene Richardson was killed in 1977, and tried to contact her spirit. It didn't work, at least not in the way i was hoping it would.
We sold an alternate version over the weekend in BC that came with a different cover, a short zine, and a tape called Soldiers' Field which is not a separate release, more of an addendum, mostly, but not entirely, pure noise. I'll put the whole thing up on bandcamp in the next week or two.
Rather than rewrite some stuff i've already gone over here are the two statements that are included in that version of the record, the first by Dave, the second by me:
From 1969 until his arrest in 1981, Peter William Sutcliffe, also known as “The Yorkshire Ripper” attacked and murdered women in Yorkshire, England. The overwhelming majority of his victims were caught in the suffocating poverty that defined much of Yorkshire at the time. Many were involved in the sex trade. All were eventually united by Sutcliffe’s clear and extreme hatred of women which erupted as he bludgeoned, stabbed and beat his victims.
Why write an album about a serial killer? To view this album through such a narrow prism is to miss the point utterly. The absolute last thing we wanted to do with this record was to trot out asinine subgenre clichés; truly, does the world need another grind/noise release that vapidly glorifies sexualized violence? Fuck no. So, then. Why? The answer is primarily catharsis. There are member(s) of this band that experienced life in the time and place of Sutcliffe’s activity. This work is intended to help purge oneself of the poison and unease that comes from growing up in Sutcliffe’s shadow, and to remind oneself of how that environment is inexorably part of our being.
The simpler impetus behind this album is that Sutcliffe’s murders are part of a larger, horrifying landscape… a bleak, ruined vista of grinding poverty, institutionalized racism and sexism, police brutality, pollution and inescapable decay. Quite simply, the Yorkshire of Sutcliffe’s day is probably unimaginable to those who weren’t there. It was a time and place that warrants examination and exploration. The environment of Yorkshire at the time and Sutcliffe’s crimes are deeply interrelated, perhaps even symbiotic. Some of this album is deeply personal, much is intentionally enigmatic and some is completely straight ahead. Our desire is not to decode or spell this album out, but to encourage one to consume it on a level that is deeper than a “fuckin’ grind/noise album about a serial killer, man!”.
In a society that is absolutely saturated in violence, much of it directed towards women by men, it is easy to be unaffected by the truly horrific nature of Sutcliffe’s crimes. Years have passed since then, but the reality is that women violently lost their lives. Some survived attacks by Sutcliffe only to pass their remaining years tormented by trauma, fear and depression. Family members of victims took their own lives. The bureaucratic and police reaction was a disgusting farce: Sutcliffe was interviewed by police nine times and was ultimately caught only by complete accident. The police and powers that be simply didn’t care that someone was murdering poor women. It’s a reprehensible reality that sadly continues today all over the world. It’s a cold, terrible place and will likely always be so.
Kristiansen, Summer 2012
I was born in Leeds, West Yorkshire, England in 1973. Seven years before my birth Ian Brady and Myra Hyndley were convicted of killing children in Greater Manchester, just across the Pennines from West Yorkshire. The bodies were buried on Saddleworth Moor; Keith Bennet, missing since 1964, has never been found.
In 1977 Irene Richardson was beaten to death with a hammer and her corpse mutilated with a knife. The murder took place at Soldiers’ Field, less than a mile from where I lived, and was committed by Peter Sutcliffe, the man this record is superficially about. Between 1975 and 1980 Sutcliffe would kill at least 13 other women, including Jayne MacDonald (1977) and Jacqueline Hill (1980), in areas that would grow to have great significance in my life.
It’s hard to really convey what this record is about succinctly, but for me it’s about how the physical and social landscape shapes us.
My childhood physical landscape prominently featured buried children and murdered women. My childhood social landscape had an inept and brutally racist police force that was both unable and unwilling to protect the women of northern England.
In a way this record is my own exploration of the Greek concept of Pharmakós, the ritual scapegoating of people for sacrifice in times of crisis and upheaval.
The 1970s were a shit time to live in northern England and the first half of the 1980s weren’t that much better. I grew up with garbage strikes, an energy crisis that caused shortages of electricity, economic recession that created a three day working week, mass unemployment, and the gradual nationawide realisation that the days of England’s former colonial glories (add your own sarcastic intonation for the word glories) had finally ebbed away into nothing.
Sutcliffe’s misogynistic rampage across northern England gave us a diversion from all the other shit. It wasn’t until Sutcliffe started making ‘mistakes’ and killing women that weren’t sex workers – and thus disposable – that incompetent police officials like George Oldfield became accountable.
Nolan, June 2012
Derf Backderf – My Friend Dahmer
Michael Bilton – Wicked Beyond Belief: the Hunt for the Yorkshire Ripper
Ian Brady – The Gates of Janus: Serial Killing and its Analysis
David Peace – Red Riding Quartet
Next release is a split 7" with Radioactive Vomit from Vancouver on Feast of Tentacles