There Existed an Addiction to Blood, by Clipping
Suggested by Dan Hiscutt
Sarah, my wife, loves a horror movie. From campy schlock slasher to the stone cold classics, she devours them all with a ravenous appetite. She has lines, of course – no Torture Porn, no Creature Features – but if it provides a jump scare or a creeping doom, it’ll see play at Chez Craig at some point.
I asked her to tell me her favourite horror movie, and her response was measured and intricate. The Exorcist, for being so downright scary. Nightmare on Elm Street, for the nostalgia. The Ring, for being a modern take that made her frightened of movies themselves. Prince of Darkness, for being Weird with a capital W. And The Blair Witch Project, for inventing a new subgenre of horror that cannot be killed.
One of the great things about horror is that there are nuanced subgenres that bring the terror in a myriad of differing ways. You can be scared witless by a sharp jarring noise, or creeped out by a distant ominous siren or blanket of fog. It’s an evocative medium, bypassing the conscious, tapping into something primeval, unlocking the more vulnerable parts of your psyche before hoofing you in the brainballs. Sarah’s favourite films are wide-ranging, very different in style and scope, proving that there are countless ways to scar someone for life.
For an experimental horrorcore rap album, Clipping’s There Existed an Addiction to Blood does the most important thing perfectly. It evokes horror, in countless ways, at every point in every track. From the quietly understated spoken word Intro to the bizarre eighteen-minute closing track Piano Burning – the ambient sounds of, well, a piano burning – every measured step is one designed to drag the listener from their comfort zone and hurl them into the Twilight Zone. From the achingly minimal Nothing is Safe to the overbearing threat of La Mala Ordina, from the rhythmic shuffle-shift of Run for Your Life to the pumping throb of the heart in Blood of the Fang, Clipping wring every last drop of foreboding out of verse, bridge and chorus.
Through gratuitous use of uninterrupted synth underpinning an incendiary rap lyric that’s to be lauded for its intelligence, unsettling rhythms, and perfect clarity of communication. There’s none of the usual rap bombast or genre point: instead, the lyrical content is entirely on point with the horror theme, lending more credence to the lurching sense of disquiet that the album generates. Even the precision of the prose and deftness of delivery help heighten the horror, as it’s a clarity of focus that inexplicably adds weight to the relentlessly ominous tone.
There truly is something for every brand of horror fan here. My personal standout is He Dead, which has an African American Horror feel. I love the movie Get Out, and this track leans in that direction. But if that’s not your bag, there’s Vampire Horror, Demonic Horror, Murder Horror, Supernatural Horror, Mental Horror and much more.
Despite leaning a little too heavily on the Experimental Scale at times, I took a lot from There Existed an Addiction to Blood. It’s an 8/10 album, but I’m unsure if it lends itself to prologued play, as stronger minds than mine have cracked under far less foreboding doom than is created here.