To End It All add enraged voice to inequality, abuse, violence on devastating ‘Scourge of Woman’

Photo by Ambrosia Bardos

I cannot imagine what the past week was like for women in America. I mean, fuck, it’s not like women ever get a fair shake in this country, and in so many others, while they’re expected to accept less at just about every turn despite how hard they work. And when they try to have a voice, when they try to say no, when they attempt to work their way up the ladder, they’re just stomped back to earth by someone whose abuse of power enables them to do that without consequences.

Last week’s joke of an FBI investigation of a man up for the Supreme Court who likely will have a lot of say and decide about women’s rights in the future was jammed through, against people’s will, which is tragically poetic. Yet another woman who faced abuse had her story doubted and mocked by some of the most powerful men (and, actually, a woman) in the world. As a run-of-the-mill white cis male, it infuriated me, and I saw how it burned inside of women everywhere. It made it all the more fitting that we take a look at “Scourge of Woman,” the debut full-length from industrial-death-noise duo To End It All. This union of Joy Von Spain and Maasaki Masao, who also work together in the band Eye of Nix, put together nine terrifying tracks that sound like Von Spain’s spiritual bloodletting, as her words are delivered with a ferocity and power that’s impossible to avoid. This music is the voice of women abandoned, and she and Masao aren’t going to sit idly by and watch it happen.

“Lure” opens the record, and it’s immediately a call to action, as Von Spin speaks over the din to “be ablaze, conflagrate, cauterize,” as she coldly calls out these words before riffs strike, and her voice turns to savage growls. Doomy guitars lurch while shrieks and drone mop up, and we end in a pit of chaos. “No Hero’s Death” lets noise lurch as Von Spin songs over top, setting the tone of somber punishment, a horrible death and castration where the madness ends in a capella calls. “Beast Filth” has sounds buried in war, while death and destruction lurk, noises zap as if from another dimension, and the track takes on the tone of metallic machines at battle for survival, voiced through death growls, rhythmic screams, and absolute horror. “Mouths Searching for the Breast” has noise chugging and landing blows, as Von Spain’s operatic vocals strike and then hang over the scene like a ghoul seeking decayed souls.

“Instinctual Force” is a quicker track with sounds eroding and ringing out, stinging the flesh and leaving bruising. “Cages Bleed Shiver and Shake” is a vinyl-only track that unloads industrial heat, with inhuman machinations, and Von Spain screaming, “You’re just a waste of time.” Growls and pained wails follow, noises twist and crunch, and machine-like pressure is pushing down, almost as if you’re stuck underneath a massive hydraulic press. “Future Aborted” has beats echoing amid mechanical yawns, while Von Spain sings over the fury, “Hand effect, bound, mouths symbol, gagged.” Guitars charge up, while the heat rises before everything fades. “In Cases of Rape and Incest” cuts right to the heart, as noise quivers, and Von Spain’s deep singing goes right for the guts. “I sinned, I violated my own mother,” she calls, and she changes out mother for sister and daughter as she repeats the line, each time digging even deeper. It’s completely sobering and pained. Closer “Burning Rapists” sounds exactly what its title indicates. It’s several minutes of furnaces roaring, torture rumbling, and the intensity building to roars and hisses before the flames finally subside, leaving only a waste of ash.

Things aren’t likely to improve any time soon in this country as far as women’s rights and their plight for equality is concerned, and that’s downright blood boiling. The End It All is that voice, that explosion of pure anger and frustration, and it’s smeared all over “Scourge of Woman.” That people have come together over these matters is heartening, but To End It All is that reminder that the anger cannot be permitted to go to simmer and must stay boiling over until every person responsible is scorched.

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