CATATONIC EXISTENCE  Elect Me God, And I'll Kill You All  CD   (Epic Recordings)   16.98

As big a fan as I am of weird, messed-up industrial metal, I'd never heard of this obscure California outfit until now. Apparently best known for being a side-project from one of the guys in the notorious grindcore outfit Meatshits, Catatonic Existence popped up briefly in the mid 90s, releasing a split CD and a seperate split 7" with the aforementioned 'Shits, and the two song I'll Kill You All! 7" from 1994, before disappearing back into the boiling black sewer from which they emerged. The band was essentially a one-man effort from Guy Mulidor, with some additional contributions from Meatshits founder Robert Deathrage on vocals, sampling and keyboards, but it's quite different from the other stuff that these guys were doing. It's just as nihilistic and misanthropic, sure, but the music is a bizarre sort of primitive, industrialized electro-metal, not quite the Godflesh worhip that you might expect (although they are cwertainly an influence on this stuff). No, this is much weirder and much more fucked-up. Pounding double-bass drum machine rhythms and machinelike programmed pummel drill through songs like "Guy Told Me To" and "The Last Temptation", tinny thrash riffs buried in the mix beneath Mulidor's monstrous guttural gorilla-grunts, while the bass guitar and synths often break into these odd funk parts, even breaking out some actual slap-bass moves in some of the weirder moments. Also, this stuff us fucking loaded with samples, with long film samples from early 90s movies like Judgement Night and Needful Things as well as fragments of news reports and various other movies are strewn throughout the songs, and there are big chunks of this stuff when the metallic elements drop out and it turns into a demented kind of EBM, some fucked-up, meth-addled take on Front 242. It's not for all tastes, I can tell you that. The awkward song structures, the bizarre funk bass, the squelchy Wax Trax synths and weird bossa nova percussion breaks, the overload of samples and the willfully anti-human attitude, all turns this into a kind of outsider mecha-metal that manages to transcend being just another Godflesh clone. It's weirdly infectious, especially if you've got a taste for weirdo electro-sludge like Black Mayonnaise and stuff in that general vein.