In the world of today where information is easily accessible, readily available and plenty, sounds of music and sights of moving pictures almost unavoidable, it is normal that art becomes merely a background item and a fashion statement for many and their extended social media 15 minutes of fame.
Style is favored over substance, 3 minutes long & familiar-sounding tune is favored over the multi-layered album and iPhone screen is favored over the arthouse cinema. And in this very world, where even the underground musicians are forced to craft background muzak that only does the trick, fits the rules, is easily consumable and 2 inches deep there are still artists who walk in the opposite direction and tries to paint on much bigger canvases. Rain To Rust is the brainchild of such an artist.
Mert Yıldız has been actively making music in Turkish Underground Music scene for 20 years, releasing demos and albums with numerous bands such as Black Front (Industrial Metal), The Hollow Dolly (Synthwave), Vassago (Doom Metal), Rhythm 0 (Loner Folk), Dead Man’s Dream (Post-Punk) and Dahakara (Dark Electronic). He also has been writing for many different music publications in Turkey since late ’90s.
Rain To Rust is the culmination of these 20 years of Underground Music experience in Post- Punk form. He is the producer, the writer and the sole performer on the album and spread on the cover artwork are his own 35 mm analog black and white film photos. But instead of trying to follow any retro-trends or fashionable contemporaries, Mert Yıldız goes back to the beginnings of British Post Punk music and follows the footsteps of Singer-Songwriter heroes of the past, such as Adrian Borland (The Sound), Ian Curtis (Joy Division), Mark E. Smith (The Fall) and Andrew Eldritch (The Sisters Of Mercy.) That means Rain To Rust’s music is a product of substance-over-style thinking that feeds upon vast literary and non-literary references and tries to touch the darkest corners of the human psyche.
“Flowers Of Doubt” is a collection of 8 songs that do not have a traditional storyline but are linked morally and thematically. Every song on the album revolves around the themes of fear and dependence, how fear brings a need for dependence and dependence consequently breeds more fear, eventually pushing the human being into a shell of personal dogmas and psychological routines that he/she will probably end up dying within.
The album opener and title track ‘Flowers Of Doubt’ was inspired by the suicide attack that took place in İstiklal Street, Taksim, İstanbul in March 26th, 2016. It is an allegorical story where the human bomb questions the authenticity of his belief 5 seconds into his unavoidable death, thus failing to reach purity in his heart and action.
Fitting these lyrics is the cover photo which was taken in Taksim, in the exact same spot, roughly 2 years after the event.
‘Drinking The Ghosts’, one of the lead-out tracks of the album, continues the themes of fear and doubt with a story that was inspired by Mika Kaurismaki’s “Zombie And The Ghost Train”. It is about the downward spiral of the alcoholic who eventually finds relief from shame in death.
‘No Longer Human,’ the third and most violent track on “Flowers Of Doubt”, takes its title from the Osamu Dazai novel of the same name and is the album’s moral centerpiece. The semi-autobiographical novel revolves around a central character who suffers from an extreme degree of empathy and fear of other human beings. The novel was first published as a serial and Osamu Dazai took his own life shortly after the publication of its final volume on June 13th, 1948.
‘Time And Time Again’ is about David Lynch & Mark Frost’s masterpiece “Twin Peaks: The Return” and its conclusion. Guest artists on this song are Tuğba Selin Ülker on vocals and Dahakara’s Özüm Özgülgen on piano.
The 5th track on the album is the 6-minute Darkwave epic titled ‘Burnt The Light.’ It is the album’s hazy, blackened peak. As album’s most complex and layered lyric, it borrows its title from Elias Merhige’s horror masterpiece “Shadow Of The Vampire”. In this fictional story based around the making of Murnau’s “Nosferatu”, the “light” is situated as the holy grail paradox that the vampire craves for and eventually gets destroyed by.
The story of this song, however, involves a form of assisted suicide where the protagonist is served an opium-based tea and then gets butchered to death by his partner/accomplice during sexual intercourse, thus reaching ultimate ecstasy.
It is a combination of influences varying from Yukio Mishima’s “Kyoko’s House” to Georges Bataille’s “Tears Of Eros”.
‘A Farewell With Regret’ also takes its title from an Osamu Dazai novel, yet it is about two people having a one-night stand and deciding to hide their true feelings from each other out of fear of emotional rejection. Musically, it references Funk influenced bands of British New Wave with its groovy rhythm, funky electric guitar licks, and vocal harmonies.
After the suicide-themed Goth Rocker ‘My Demons Drive’, the album takes a turn to the light and ends with ‘For When It Hurts’, which is an anti-suicide song.
Inspired by Johnny Rotten’s response to his friend Keith Flint’s suicide, ‘For When It Hurts’ is a soft, touching epic that champions human compassion over cruelty, empathy over apathy and true friendship over utilitarianism. The 6-minute epic features Özüm Özgülgen of Dahakara on shared lead vocal duties and he sings his heart out, giving the album a soulful touch in its final minutes.
Overall, “Flowers Of Doubt” is a dark, confrontational and challenging record that exists in an alternate timeline where Post-Punk always remained an experimental, literate and deeply personal music and never became a fashionable caricature full of Peter Murphy circa 1982 impersonators. It is an album that is a complete, coherent artistic statement from its sound to its visual presentation and not a random collection of songs.
Rain To Rust will spend the following months taking its music to the stage (with Erhan Sazlı from Saints N Sinners and Dead Man’s Dream filling on bass guitar duties) and working on the second full-length album for a late 2020 release.
SOURCE: Official Bio
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