Album Review – Plutonium / Born Again Misanthrope (2016)

Extremely toxic, flammable, unorthodox and unique. That’s the transuranic radioactive Industrial Extreme Metal engendered by Swedish multi-instrumentalist Mr. J.


albumcoverBAMThe “most common” form of plutonium known worldwide is the transuranic radioactive chemical element with symbol Pu and atomic number 94, with very harmful effects on the human body due to its radioactivity and heavy metal poison effects. However, what would happen if those lethal characteristics were converted into heavy music? Well, I guess the result would sound pretty much like the eccentric Industrial Extreme Metal by Swedish one-man band Plutonium, as you’ll be able to experience while taking a listen at his brand new full-length album, entitled Born Again Misanthrope.

Plutonium was formed in 2003 in the city of Karlskoga, Sweden by Mr. J (also known as J. Carlsson) as his creative oasis and getaway, and since them the world has already witnessed the uprise of a demo named Wind Of Change (2004) and the full-length albums One Size Fits All (2007) and Devilmentertainment Non-Stop (2011). Featuring nine songs that not only have an unorthodox approach but also present idiosyncratic names, Born again Misanthrope signs an evolution in the music by Mr. J and his radioactive Plutonium, and if you’re expecting something easy to listen and absorb I must warn you this album is definitely not for you.

You can feel how experimental the album is from the very first notes of the opening track, Born Again Misanthrope, a fusion of Black and Industrial Metal with Blackened Doom where a hellish ambience together with demonic (and somehow robotic) growls and traditional Black Metal double bass will pulverize your mind. And even more electronic and deranged, Cortex Vortex would be an excellent soundtrack to a futuristic horror flick, with Mr. J crafting what we can call “Extreme Disco Metal”. Besides, its guitar riffs keep the song at the right level of heaviness in its almost eight minutes of violent experimentations.

The Inverted Panopticon Experience, a demented march of evil that goes on and on for six minutes, is a modernized version of Atmospheric Black Metal with an extra dosage of metallic noises, which might also be called Industrial Black Metal, while Casque Strength presents a hellish video-game sounding in a more melodic form of Industrial Metal. In addition, its constant electronic riff and the hobgoblin-like vocals by Mr. J are very interesting and end up working really well in this high-octane tune. And just when you think Mr. J will bring forward another blasting tune, he delivers the Blues-ish Progressive Doom Metal chant The Masque Of The Green Demon, a weird and obscure tune completely different from the rest of the album, sounding like a psychedelic voyage inside the mind of this crazy Swedish multi-instrumentalist.

plutoniumThe second part of Born Again Misanthrope is as otherworldly as possible, starting with the semi-acoustic and totally ominous composition Renuntiationem, another wicked surprise in the album where the music feels like a representation of a desolated planet, with Mr. J whispering the lyrics instead of screaming, followed by the vibrant Electric Barbwire Crown Of Thorns, a rawer Black Metal chant with the impact of its blast beats and harsher growls being enhanced by huge amounts of progressiveness. Then we have Alice In Plutoniumland (Two Minute Hate Part III), a two-minute instrumental track full of eerie noises and a somber atmosphere (and that’s basically it), before Confessions Of A Suicidal Cryptologist, which is perhaps the most brutal of all tracks, closes the album in the darkest way you can imagine. I’d like to see more of this blackened side of Mr. J, growling like an old school Black Metal vocalist while delivering blazing guitar riffs that will rip your soul apart.

Maybe an extra dosage of electronic background effects and a better sound recording for the drums would elevate the overall quality of the album to a whole new level, but we must acknowledge that Born Again Misanthrope is at a very decent standard taking into account the fact Mr. J is a 100% independent artist who recorded and produced everything without any external help. In other words, imagine what this guy could do with some proper support? And if you’re interested in knowing more about the transuranic radioactive Industrial Extreme Metal engendered by Mr. J, go check his Facebook page, SoundCloud and ReverbNation, and buy Born Again Misanthrope at his BandCamp page. As aforementioned, this is not an easy listen at all, being extremely toxic, flammable and unusual, but I’m pretty sure Mr. J has never wanted his uncanny Plutonium to be anywhere close to the mainstream. Quite the contrary, he is extremely comfortable with where he stands today with his music.

Best moments of the album: Electric Barbwire Crown Of Thorns and Confessions Of A Suicidal Cryptologist.

Worst moments of the album: Renuntiationem.

Released in 2016 Independent

Track listing
1. Born Again Misanthrope 4:37
2. Cortex Vortex 7:53
3. The Inverted Panopticon Experience 6:08
4. Casque Strength 7:35
5. The Masque Of The Green Demon 5:30
6. Renuntiationem 5:32
7. Electric Barbwire Crown Of Thorns 6:34
8. Alice In Plutoniumland (Two Minute Hate Part III) 2:00
9. Confessions Of A Suicidal Cryptologist 7:13

Band members
Mr. J – vocals, all instruments

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