User Score
7.4

Generally favorable reviews- based on 23 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 17 out of 23
  2. Negative: 4 out of 23
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  1. Oct 14, 2014
    9
    After witnessing her Abandon EP from last year, Bestial Burden's most surprising moment for me comes from Margaret Chardiet's act of restraint on her bonus track cover of Nancy Sinatra's more well-known 1966 cover of Cher's "Bang Bang (My Baby Shot Me Down)" and how well-executed in typical Pharmakon fashion it turned out to be, dethroning Lady Gaga and David Guetta from the covetedAfter witnessing her Abandon EP from last year, Bestial Burden's most surprising moment for me comes from Margaret Chardiet's act of restraint on her bonus track cover of Nancy Sinatra's more well-known 1966 cover of Cher's "Bang Bang (My Baby Shot Me Down)" and how well-executed in typical Pharmakon fashion it turned out to be, dethroning Lady Gaga and David Guetta from the coveted 'Memorable Bang Bang Cover of the Year' award.

    But now that we know Chardiet does have the—in her case—unique ability to have fun, let's back to the dark reality of what Bestial Burden really is: a compositionally cleaner structure of the chilling, horror-esque screams of Chardiet and her accompanying percussions and assortment of noises. As evident by the artwork—which according to Chardiet, is to "the body as a lump of flesh and cells that mutate and fail you and betray you—this very banal, unimportant, grotesque aspect of ourselves" with actual organs (none human though!)—the concept came together after Chardiet had to undergo emergency surgery and cancel her very first European tour in order to rest her body over a period of three weeks.

    Where does that lead us? Well, into more incomprehensible reverbed screams that could've came from the recordings of an actual murder, of course. But with Abandon, it's already been well-embraced by noise music listeners and it only takes us further and further into Chardiet as an artist. Though she insists it's much grittier than her previous material, Bestial Burden actually unveils a more coherent and organized noise artist, from the song titles ("Body Betrays Itself" and "Autoimmune") to the even more meaningful interludes (heavy breathing of "Vacuum" and coughs of "Primitive Struggle"). Wherever Pharmakon eventually takes us, whether that's a full-length LP or a pattern of conceptual yet minimal EPs, Chardiet might not even know. But it's kind of scary—and kind of innovative and endearing.
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  2. Oct 15, 2014
    9
    One of the most impressive albums I've heard this year. This album is very aggressive and provocative, for me, a new territory of music. Excellent album.
  3. Oct 15, 2014
    10
    I wasn't sure how she could possibly top Abandon, but she did. I won't say a whole lot about this album, as I think it's best to just dive right into it, however I can't leave without mentioning the final track, Bestial Burden, which in my opinion might be one of the best songs of the year so far. If you're in the mood for something intense, emotional, and brutal, look no further than Pharmakon.
  4. Mar 7, 2018
    8
    I discovered Pharmakon when I fractured my ankle and all I wanted to do was scream about how unfair it was to see other people walk freely without pain. The idea of the body betraying itself was so deep that I came home from school and let Pharmakon scream for me. I could relate, I could feel and I could relinquish the control my injury had over me. As dark and scary as this music is,I discovered Pharmakon when I fractured my ankle and all I wanted to do was scream about how unfair it was to see other people walk freely without pain. The idea of the body betraying itself was so deep that I came home from school and let Pharmakon scream for me. I could relate, I could feel and I could relinquish the control my injury had over me. As dark and scary as this music is, this is the soundtrack of my feelings at the time: pissed, angry, painful, envious and above all, frightened. Expand
Metascore
80

Generally favorable reviews - based on 17 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 16 out of 17
  2. Negative: 0 out of 17
  1. The Wire
    Dec 15, 2014
    70
    The music--hums, clangs and muffled booms--wields an ominous, oppressive power, especially on headphones, that can create a feeling of queasy horror even for those unaware of the record's backstory. [Nov 2014, p.68]
  2. Nov 25, 2014
    80
    By injecting a self-serious genre with a sense of theatre, Bestial Burden makes Chardiet's music more engaging without dulling its edge.
  3. Nov 19, 2014
    70
    Bestial Burden, remarkably, achieves exactly what it sets out to do: to turn the gory inner mechanics of the body outward, and lay bare its unpredictable capacity for self-destruction.