Sacred Bones Records
At the end of 2015, I declared Blanck Mass' Dumb Flesh as the 2nd best album of that year, just behind No Joy's More Faithful. In hindsight, judging by the amount of plays those albums got from me I should have declared Dumb Flesh as the best. It is a stellar album and I am not afraid to call it a landmark album in the history of electronic music. To say I had high hopes for World Eater is a massive, massive understatement. High expectations can yield big dissappointments though. M83's 2016 album Junk was a huuuuge let-down and I wasn't that impressed by Nothing's Tired Of Tomorrow as well. I know that musicians don't (and shouldn't) give a rat's bottom about how I feel about a particular album turns out though. It's their album, their fruit of their labour. Still, I got cautious about being too overly enthousiastic about upcoming albums, but in the case of World Eater I couldn't help it. This simply couldn't turn out bad or okay-ish, right?
Right!! If anything it's even better than Dumb Flesh! I know I get carried away easily, dishing out hyperboles a lot of the time but this honestly surpasses all my expectations. Benjamin John Power takes his brainchild to the next logical step. Dumb Flesh already strayed much further from the ambient sounds of Blanck Mass' eponymous debut album by being much more rhythmic but World Eater takes it again to the next level. After the brilliant opener 'John Doe's Carnival of Error', that sounds like a musicbox mated with monstrous setup of analogue synths, complete with the (now almost trademark) glitched and cut-up vocals, 'Rhesus Negative' blasts through your speakers. A monster of a track that left me practically dumbfounded the first time I heard it. Again, the cut and paste vocals give it that alien feel to it. I really like the way that they are used as a percussion instrument. Speaking of which, the beats and occasional harsh vocals of this track lean very close to the rhythmic noise from artists on Ant-Zen and the likes, but the whole epic, larger than life soundtrack-like feel of the tracks results in something unlike you've ever heard. It's a glorious triumph of a track.
'Please' drastically reduces the speed and yet again features the warped voices as the main focal point. I can't quite put my finger on it, but for some reason I'm reminded of The Bulgarian Voices Choir when it comes to the vocals. It has that same otherworldly feel to it. 'The Rat' goes down the rhythmic noise road again, albeit much more playful and, like the whole album in fact, doused in a huge soundtrack sound sauce. 'Silent Treatment' is as close to a "love song" as Blanck Mass will get and has a certain broody sensuality to it. 'Minnesota/Eas Fors/Naked' hearkens back to the debut with it's ambient sounds and moods. 'Hive Mind' starts calm enough, once again a sensual 'love song sound' but explodes into a glorious finale at the 6:30 mark which makes you want to crank up the volume all the way to 11. Pure bliss.
I haven't really gotten into the whole idea and concept of the album but then again, Power explains it all in the various press releases, as well as on the bandcamp page. So who am I to explain my interpretation to you, dear reader? I'm all for people finding their own meaning. Power states: 'The human race is consuming itself' and the anger and frustration that come with it are tangible throughout the album. Most notably in 'Rhesus Negative'. But it's not all negativity. There are glimmers of hope, and the aformentioned finale of 'Hive Mind' is a good example of that. At least, that's how I interpret it. The fact that Power manages to invoke so much feeling and emotion in what is essentially a wordless album is an accomplishment on its own.
I cannot stress enough how absolutely stellar this album is. It is an album that transcends genres and like Dumb Flesh before it is yet again a landmark album. We are not even halfway 2017 but this will reach my number 1 spot, unless something even more amazing will come by....