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An Isolated Mind - I'm Losing Myself Music Album Reviews

Kameron Bogges makes one-man black metal that charts the hellish exhilarations and debilitating lows of bipolar disorder.

Kameron Bogges wrote and recorded his first album as An Isolated Mind following a week-long stint at a psychiatric hospital and a subsequent bipolar diagnosis. Though rooted in black metal, the music he makes under this alias veers off in multiple directions, charting bipolar disorder’s hellish exhilarations and its debilitating lows. He self-released I’m Losing Myself in March, but now it’s available physically through I, Voidhanger Records, curators of outre and fringe black and death metal.

Losing is not a unified listen, but the brutal seams reflect its subject. “Turritopsis dohrnii” is the most tumultuous song, churning through discordant bits of black metal, synthesizer, and goth piano before opening into starlit post-rock guitar. Even a more conventional song like “Pathologized Existence” can’t stay on one track for long. Frantic subgenre-hopping around isn’t new for Bogges; his previous project Four Hoove Death Pig also played with stylistic collisions. But the stakes are higher here: for Bogges, exploration becomes a way to rebuild himself.

The last two tracks, “I’m Losing Myself” and “I’ve Lost Myself,” take up nearly half of the record, and they’re a devastating combo. “Losing” travels through desolate, bell-like bass, chilling strings, and errant, faint percussion, leading to “Lost’s” ambient drones, where there’s no metal, no drums, no direction, no hope. Unlike most ambient music, which encourages getting lost, “I’ve Lost Myself” feels claustrophobic and eerily blank. After the tumult, it feels less like release and more like surrender. Bogges captures depression at its most devastating: when your capacity to feel dissipates, where you can’t even conjure extreme sadness or self-hatred. Depression isn’t one monolithic mood, after all, but a complicated force with great internal violence.

One-man black metal is usually born of self-imposed isolation and self-righteous anti-humanism; Losing depicts how dangerous isolation can be for an already-fragile mind state. In that way, it feels painfully real, even intimate. Black metal is so often depicted as a destructive force, but Bogges uses it to heal.

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