Influenced by free jazz, opera and experimental industrial sounds, and inspired by abusive prison systems and the Greek military junta of 1967-74, 'Diamanda Galás' is a challenging, enthralling experience. Made up of two side-long pieces, it broadcasts Diamanda Galás' expansive, visionary sound, and showcases her elastic vocal performance. Her voice is weaponized on 'Panopikon', a piece that begins with rumbling noise and morphs into unsettling high-pitched vocal acrobatics, sounding like Goblin's blood-curdling soundtrack to Dario Argento's "Suspiria" if it had been informed by Ornette Coleman and Albert Ayler.
The piece evolves into a chattering, shattered crumble of distortion and screams, anchored by Galás' manic chatter and animalistic noisemaking. On the flipside, she extends the process on 'Tragouthia Apo To Aima exoun Fonos', channeling an ecstatic, shamanic lament in memory of the victims of the Greek junta. It's visceral, moving sound that's not always easy to absorb, but isn't supposed to be - it's supposed to make you feel, and make you consider the themes. Galás is one of the most influential vocal performers of the last few decades, so it's a treat to finally see this outstanding record get the treatment it deserves. Huge recommendation.