Painkiller - Actual Existence

Karlrecords present for the first time on vinyl, their reissue of Painkiller's 1994 drastic opus Execution Ground. On paper this band may seem totally absurd and problematic – the drummer of Napalm Death Mick Harris joining forces with avant jazz-heads John Zorn and Bill Laswell to create an amibent / grind / dub / jazz freak-out mutation. Execution Ground was their third record but by all accounts, a triumph of fusing sonic elements that rarely get the chance to cross-pollinate. Originally released as a double CD with the first disc titled Execution Ground and the second simply Ambient, all signs point to deception when considering the totality of this record. All these labels are relative terms, it may be more appropriate to think of the two discs as conscious and unconscious. The first disc begins with “Parish of Tama (Ossuary Dub)” with a spiral assault of electronics, saxophone, bass vibrations and dizzying rhythms. Groove and structure interweave amongst static sounds and shrieks. In ethos it feels like a jazz album but in aesthetic, it appears more insane and unruly than the genre traditionally allows. There is no sunshine or reggae tones in sight with this dub. Innovation tends to occur when artists see commonality in seemingly disparate traits and it's hard to describe this album as anything other than that. The dub they speak of is simply the pursuit of using the mixing board as an instrument. Disc two is a similar assessment as there is nothing relaxing or soothingly indifferent about Painkiller's singular brand of ambiance. It's more like the way your dreams invert and rearrange the details of your waking state, there's familiarity yet chaos, order and disorder. As hesitant as one should be to label an album as timeless, this album sounds as if it could have been made today, tomorrow, or 20 years ago. (Adam)
Check out a track here.