Ugly, loud and proud like its 1989 again, this is a far cry from what usually passes as industrial or electro-metal in this day and age. It completely eschews slick synths, breakbeats, melodies and commercial appeal in favor of the bludgeoning slow-motion apocalyptic intensity of early Swans and Godflesh (their self admitted reference points). If anything, its even more minimal and crushing than the aforementioned giants, based around a very stripped down arrangement of ultra-distorted guitars, as-low-as-can-go overdriven bass, occasional samples, a drum machine with what sounds like just five pads only (!) and a inhuman semi-grunted vocal presence. A long way from the slick modern death metal Poland is known for, and we are all the more thankful for that.
The listener is lulled into a false sense of security with the serene opening, but that is the fist and last example of such a slick restrained texture on this release. “Dead Planet” opens up with some interesting samples and then its straight to crush (do not pass go or collect 200). The percussion sounds like a broken machine that actually seems to go out of order for the mid parts (slowing down in a odd and disorienting manner). The combined guitar and bass rumble will test you woofers to their limits. The vocals offer up lyrical lines like ‘dead planet,acid lakes,dead planet,rotting men,dead planet’ in a gruff and militarily precise manner while the instruments beat you into submission.
“Fallout” again begins with some intriguing samples and simple yet catchy riff, but once the rhythm kicks in, you are again worrying about the health of your sound system. “Rat King” has the gruff vocals alternating with a clean spoken word voice, adding to the cold disturbing feel. The break also adds to the this filthy environment, with some interesting guitar textures layered up.
This is definitely not something for everyone , and even then its not something you could listen to most for the time. However, when the mood strikes you, this is a very fitting soundtrack. A guitar less sound piece like “Cold Depression” effortlessly slides into the now-familiar industrial sludge of “Filth” (eat my face, crush my spine, reap my heart,vomit my mind ), moving along with a near tribal groovy feel, yet being way too heavy and harsh to see club play (unless its a really messed up DJ). The percussion continuously eschews conventional metal and rock drum sounds for harsh industrial sounds that work great in this context.
“Baptism in Post Nuclear Acid Lake” again shows the band’s affinity to the uglier side of sludge in the opening, but soon goes into ‘primitive man playing industrial metal’ mode. “Toxic Rain Falls upon the Earth” manages in creating the most disturbing aura of the album, by holding back a little yet letting the darkness flow.
If you miss the days of yore, when Justin Boadrick did not attempt to sing and before Micheal Gira and Co. discovered acoustic guitars, this is for you. Just the bass tone is enough convulse insects. Go ahead, wallow in filth.
Avantgenre: Caveman Industro-Metal
Official site: http://www.whalesong.pl/
Review online since: 29.11.2011 / 08:59:59
01 – Welcome To (1:02)