This is an amazing first for me. A couple weeks ago, I was contacted by David Disher on behalf of his close friend, Mark Lenover. In late March, Lenover released his 8th album, The Wreckage, and Disher asked me to give it a listen. I really connected, in more ways than one, to this offering of . The Wreckage was a year and a half in the making but could have been out much earlier save for one road block. Partway through the creative process, Mark was diagnosed with schizophrenia.
Just coming to terms with such a disorder is often impossible but Mark persevered. He struggled to find a treatment that didn’t hamper his creative process. With that done, he drew upon the experiences and the social stigma he now lived with to produce a truly dark and emotionally-stirring record. The disorder could have derailed his life and career but instead Mark used it, moulding it to his purpose.
The final product emphasises the paranoia and suspicion schizophrenia and other mental imbalances can invoke in what would otherwise be perfectly ordinary events. One begins to distrust their own perceptions of reality. This imagery also served to inspire the video Disher, a Hamilton-based audio engineer and videographer, produced for the album’s 10th track, Malice.
From the echoing feedback to the multi-layered vocals, Lenover has created a glimpse into the mindset of the mentally distressed. Mental illness has been on a continually positive trajectory in the realm of social awareness but is still widely misunderstood. For those who have not had first-hand experience, it is impossible to comprehend the distorted view these disorders force upon you. Yet this album can help. Immersing yourself in it, you will feel the paranoia, unsettling swings of emotion and jarring alienation that can define the daily lives of those long-suffering individuals.
This record will raise your hackles. It is available to be streamed in its entirety or for purchase on bandcamp. If you choose to pay the meagre $5 for the full 13 tracks, $1 will be donated to the Schizophrenia Society of Ontario.