Considering the story behind Pink Midnight’s debut effort, it should come as no surprise that it’s a draining listening experience both emotionally as well as physically. Chronicling Lee Wade’s fight with lymphoma (from symptomatic all the way to remission), R-DA-Epoch represents the physiological and psychological toll taken when your body turns against itself and your only recourses are radiation, will, and hope.
Walls of droning dark ambient stretch and twist the innards to symbolically replicate Wade’s nausea, ebbing and flowing through periods of bilious dulled tones and harsh, violent bouts of agonous noise, while high-pitched, arrhythmic electronics loop, subtly shifting in pitch and pattern to portray anxiety (in a more literal sense, it likely represents a hospital heart monitor). While drenched in sick sweat and riddled with infection, cramped by claustrophobia and shrouded in paranoia, there’s a notable liveliness and fighting spirit that quietly peeks through the viscous muck of discomfort, pain, and fear. R-DA-Epoch‘s cover art looks as though it were ripped straight from a comic book or manga, and in a true-to-life way, this is a classic tale of ‘superhero vs. supervillian’, where after a long, arduous battle, the hero stands triumphant after kicking the villain’s ass and sending them packing with their tail tucked between their legs.
R-DA-Epoch is not the easiest thing to sit through, which is a credit to the project. It effectively translates one of the most terrifying situations a person might find themselves in: being rough itself comes right along with that. However, while it may not be pleasant in the traditional sense of the word, it is a palpable work of art that is very easy to hold in high esteem for its ability to suck you into that hospital with Wade and, eventually, come out the other end with a greater appreciation for health, life, and music.
Favorite tracks: “Heart Scan and Chest X-Ray”, “Primary Mediastinal Large B-Cell Lymphoma”
Rating: Strongly Recommended
You can purchase Pink Midnight’s R-DA-Epoch here.