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An Isolated Mind - I’m Losing Myself

An Isolated Mind
I’m Losing Myself
by Gary Hernandez at 30 July 2019, 10:26 AM

Context is everything. Well, not everything, but a lot. In the case of AN ISOLATED MIND’s debut album, “I’m Losing Myself,” this is certainly the case. So, first things first: AN ISOLATED MIND is Kameron Boggs. This is a one-man Avant-garde Black metal project, but instead of celebrating death or demonology or societal angst, “I’m Losing Myself” is a personal exploration of one man’s struggle with mental illness. The album came about after Kameron was treated in a psychiatric hospital for a week; it charts his inner voyage during and after being diagnosed with bipolar disorder. It is all at once disturbing and beautiful, heart wrenching and life affirming.

The contextual question I hinted at previously is this: How would “I’m Losing Myself” standup without its poignant back story?  Should context and authorial intent have a bearing on how we appreciate music? Within its context, every tone, chord, growl of the album takes on deep significance. At some point we stop hearing the orchestrated music and start feeling the unfiltered raw emotion. Kameron, with an aesthetic rawness, expresses his tumultuous mindscape and renders his audience speechless.

Now let’s look at “I’m Losing Myself” as a standalone artifact and pretend we don’t know its history. The album starts with an ethereal intro, “We Are Fragile Vibrations.” As the title would suggest, it’s an amorphous wave of synthesizers and feedback which sounds like fog looks. It ends abruptly, exploding into a wall of noise that is “Afraid of Dissonance.” Of course, it isn’t actually just noise—there are various instruments playing various notes across an identifiable scale. There are also guttural lyrics, which you will need the lyric sheet to decipher. Said lyrics are thoughtful and end in a surprising optimistic promise: “I will break through / To the other side / There awaits / A life worth living.” The first four minutes of this song earns the album the moniker of Black metal. The remaining two minutes, and most of the other tracks, speak to the avant-garde element.

The first two minutes of “Eternity in a Minute” sounds like an early OPETH track. (Some people will buy this album based on that single comment.) The rest is a confluence of mellow Progressive and melodic Black metal. Following is one of the most intriguing tracks, “Turritopsis dohrnii.” As we all remember from that one trip to the aquarium we reluctantly took that one summer, Turritopsis dohrnii is otherwise known as the “immortal jellyfish,” so dubbed because of its talent for transdifferentiation (word of the day). This ability allows the organism to continually alter cells from one state into another — a process that, in theory, can go on forever.

The last track with lyrics is “Pathologized Existence.” Arguably it’s the central thesis to the album. Put together like a Black metal sandwich, it starts with a cacophonous grind, softens into a savory middle, and then caps off with another slice of crusted angst. The album ends with two long instrumentals — “I’m Losing Myself” and “I Lost Myself” — which, combined, make up half of the album. While some people see these last two songs as quintessential tracks, they sound to me like someone left the equipment on overnight and ended up recording the ambient sounds of dust and very small life particles. Again, given the proper context they can be interpreted as mind-blowing. I struggled with them . . . but maybe that’s the point.

With context and authorial intent considered, this is a masterpiece. Without those elements, it’s mediocre at best. This album has and will continue to garner a lot of attention because of its subject matter and its very personal nature. I hope it was cathartic for Kameron and that it will help others in their own journeys.

Songwriting: 8
Originality:  7
Memorability: 3
Production:  7


3 Star Rating

1. We Are Fragile Vibrations
2. Afraid of Dissonance
3. Eternity in a Minute
4. Turritopsis dohrnii
5. Pathologized Existence
6. I'm Losing Myself
7. I've Lost Myself
Kameron Bogges – Everything
Record Label: I, Voidhanger Records


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Edited 01 July 2022

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