Earlier in April, Masonic Abyss, the alias of versatile theatrical artist and musician Serotonin, released an album titled Music For The Void. The superbly executed ten-track, Gothic Industrial Metal solo project has a raw and uncompromising DIY aesthetic, and deserves to find admirers among the fans of Marilyn Manson, Rammstein or Ministry.
Music For The Void continues the journey begun by Serotonin after leaving behind the classic Masonic Abyss 4-piece, and leaning in to all-encompassing creative control. Taking charge of laying down all aspects of the writing and recording process allows him to channel exactly the atmosphere he wants, developing a rich and textured portrait of his alter-ego.
Formed in 2008, Masonic Abyss has been through various former members – the playlist above showcases some of their earlier work. From 2011 onwards, Serotonin has taken the reigns, providing lead vocals, lyrics, guitar and bass, keyboards and drums, and the entire process of mixing and mastering.
“My alter-ego character Serotonin is a personal demon…” – Serotonin
This is a total contrast with his work as lead vocalist in Volcano X, a powerhouse heavy metal outfit formed in 2013 strongly influenced by NWOBHM (New Wave Of British Heavy Metal) bands.
Revel Rousers caught up with Serotonin to find out more about his alter-ego, the shift from band to solo project, and what the character means to him.
“My alter-ego character Serotonin is a personal demon. He confronts everything on one hand, and is an outspoken in-your-face political activist on the other. The character is extreme in every fashion and sees things in black and white. It mirrors my shy and reserved real life character.”
Does he feel that those aspects of the stage character already live inside him? Or does he have the power to channel those qualities through this alt-character? “Performing brings about a different confidence in me I don’t usually have, so I guess those aspects of character are being eked out through the mask of Serotonin. I feel really at home when on a stage, or creating something behind in front of a camera.”
This album is rousing, with anthemic qualities. Within these well-produced tracks there is a mass of creative energy that unfllinchingly takes the pulse of today’s paranoiac, troubled situation, opening with Pandemic, a booming electronic industrial track. The album opens up into a mass of rousing, riotous songs, all with an uncompromising political edge.
Serotonin might be angry, but he never succumbs to nihilism. There is an empowering quality in his music and lyrics which asks the listener to rise up, be counted and fight. These tracks have gestated over several years, only to emerge at just the right cultural moment.
The atmosphere and tone of the album is showcased with visual flair in the official music video for Sick Sick, where Serotonin takes control of the filmmaking to produce something equally mysterious and terrifying.
Music For The Void offers engrossing, truth seeking lyrics, agit-prop vocals over militant beats, guitar groove and interwoven electronics. Monstrously energetic and hugely atmospheric, Serotonin draws on influences like Machine Head, Gary Numan, Marilyn Manson, and even Rob Zombie’s grand guignol horror aesthetic. This is truly an outstanding DIY project that oozes creative passion and packs a big punch!