wired for sound part 13: the return of sanity muffin, part two

July 20, 2011 at 11:48 am | Posted in new music, no audience underground | Leave a comment
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Torture Corpse – Crazy Wisdom (Sanity Muffin)

The return to RFM of Robert Kroos, warrior monk.  Attentive readers will recall an earlier post in which I got the hump about Mr. Kroos’s choice of band name.  I considered it offensively crass, he exercised his right to reply in a civilised exchange of comments and we left it at that.  Now Billy has mischievously sent a second Torture Corpse product and has stood back awaiting the fireworks.  However, this time I intend to smugly rise above it – s’all about the music, yeah?

Well, not quite.  Firstly, praise must be heaped upon Billy’s awesome artwork.  The outer side of the inlay card features a shoggoth-like mass of knotted gristle and sinew out of which the band name emerges on the spine.  The inner side features a terrifying three headed, multi-mouthed, many-eyed demon that looks like a cross between Buddha and John Carpenter’s ‘The Thing’ (apologies for my pitiful grasp on the relevant mythology).  If I ever get my arse into gear and properly reactivate midwich I will be paypalling fat commissions to Mr. Sprague for cover art… 

OK, now it is all about the music, and the music is good.  Side one comprises eight tracks cataloguing various sub-genres of racket.  These include, in no particular order: balls-out noise, detuned sludge metal, surprisingly serene atmospherics, power electronics (well one track has a trebled-out vocal snippet which gives it that feel) and, best of all, a terrific, unclassifiable piece that sounds like a giant ogre dragging a cumbersome handcart through a swamp to a filthy, deserted trading post.  What are you looking at me like that for?  It does.  I find myself impressed by all this as, despite having a label-sampler-compilation feel, it is obvious that the same informing aesthetic is at work throughout. 

Side two comprises three longer tracks and is a more straightforward dark ambient affair.  That isn’t meant to be a disparaging verdict, however, as it is put together with intelligence and skill, there are enough changes in texture and pace to keep it engaging (including one massively squiggly moment to nix any drifting) and it occasionally peaks at ‘genuinely eerie’.  Dark ambient isn’t a genre I spend much time with but if it floats your boat – your boat being, for example, a galleon full of orcs, or maybe a lifeboat in which you lay emaciated, surrounded by the bones of your former shipmates – then you should check this out.

Buy here.

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