Boomkat Product Review:
Justifiably hyped debut album proper from New York scream-queen Margaret Chardier, RIYL Prurient, Wolf Eyes, TG, Swans, Gravetemple. At just 22 years old, Chardier is already a hugely respected presence on her native noise scene, bringing a confrontational yet deeply personal, diaristic intensity to her performances that’s as exhilarating as it is discomfiting. Abandon captures this volatile energy, but it’s not a live document, it’s a nuanced, atmospheric and ravishingly well-recorded showcase of Pharmakon’s infernal weaponry, traversing toxic power electronics, guttural doom chords, eldritch ambience and trudging, militaristic industrial rhythm, all bound together by her paint-stripping, epiglottis-shredding vocals that are part Diamanda Galas, part Attila Csihar. Noise artists tend to obscure their self-exorcising howls under layers of distortion, but Chardier seeks no such cover; her mic address is direct and untreated, there’s nowhere to hide - for her or for you. Not only does this make for a visceral listening experience, it also underlines the confessional nature of the Pharmakon project; not since Prurient’s Bermuda Drain have we been drawn so deeply and absolutely into one person’s tormented, ever so slightly deranged psyche, and we’ve gotta say, it’s a fascinating - if terrifying - place to be.