Avatars Of Rape And Rage
posted on 12/2008 By:
If I had to choose only one word to describe Avatars Of Rape And Rage, I’d go with "pulsating." If I had to choose two words, I’d go with "pulsating" and "ominous." If I had to choose approximately 410 words, I’d go with something like this:
From a casual glance, judging by the album art and title and the band’s name, one could likely be forgiven for assuming this was some kind of German retro thrash/death record or perhaps even black metal, but it isn’t either of those. Koerperwelten is a collaboration, some five years old now, between prominent Swedish noisemaker Nordvargr (Henrik Björkk) and American industrialist(s) Navicon Torture Technologies. Avatars was recorded a few years back, but only now is it being released. I’m unsure exactly what took them so long to get this out, but in this instance, it’s certainly much better late than never.
Given the two collaborators involved, it’s no surprise that Koerperwelten inhabits the industrial side of dark ambient. Avatars Of Rape And Rage is comprised of deep rumbles and angular distorted motifs atop pulsing mechanical rhythms. Avatars has a definite cyclic propulsion, that rhythm of giant foreboding machines in endless repetitive motion, their gears whirring and pistons pumping in the filthy glow of a single naked light bulb in the labyrinthine sub-basements of some factory somewhere. Strangely, in addition to that factory comparison that is attached to every ambient industrial record ever reviewed, Avatars often makes me think of insects. Yeah, it seems weird, I know, but there’s a white-noise buzzing that brings to my mind the image of hordes of winged mechanical insects, attacking in droves or even just milling about, as though I’m walking around in some cavern filled with a pulsing mass of otherworldly hornets, buzzing around and doing whatever otherworldly hornets do when they’re in their caverns.
There’s more than just ambient and industrial elements on hand, though—there’s also a doom-laden atmosphere, oppressive and dark, although it’s more a feeling than anything tangible. Album opener "The Sun Destroyers" is a ten-plus-minute excursion into ugly ambience, pulsing and swirling and building to a scraping crescendo before falling into the stuttering super-distorted main theme of "The Forces Of Chastity Are Massing Against You." "Kidney Stone Of Wisdom" incorporates samples from The X-Files into its pulsing, grinding dissonance.
Avatars is another very good dark ambient record, my second such discovery in the last few months, and one of which a large portion at least is likely see some repeat spins whenever the dark ambient mood may strike. (Also of note, for those among us like me, those who still prize things as obsolete as CD booklets, the artwork for Avatars is by sex-and-death-obsessed artist Jonathan Canady.)
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