Sunday 12 March 2017

Review of 'World Eater' by Blanck Mass

If you prefer your electronica devoid of sunshine and rainbows, World Eater is certain to have the dark and twisted thrills you desire. However, you’ll also need to be a more patient listener than I am.

One half of synthlord twosome Fuck Buttons, Benjamin John Power (AKA Blanck Mass) is now on his third solo album – and he’s still an artist proudly in his own lane. Gunshot-like snares, lurching sub-bass and music box twinkles make up these heaving digital earthmovers. There are no hooks to speak of – whilst there are vocal samples sprinkled throughout, they’re so chopped and screwed that they may as well be alien sounds.

Opener ‘John Doe’s Carnival Of Error’ is a creepy merry-go-round theme that distorts into noise, segueing into aggressive industrial eardrum assault ‘Rhesus Negative’. It’s a thrilling start to the record that takes no prisoners, likely to terrify and confuse Calvin Harris fans, but certain to challenge and excite disciples of EDM’s more avant-garde side.

Unfortunately, Benjamin swiftly reveals his love of the Aphex Twin doctrine – which is to say he loves elongating tracks beyond the six minute mark. Previous album Dumb Flesh suffered a similar affliction, although the likes of ‘Dead Format’ felt more immediate. Many of the tracks here plod on too long for focused listening, whilst ‘Minnesota/Eas Fors/Naked’ is blatantly ambient.

With some condensing, this could be stronger stuff. I’ll definitely be dipping back into World Eater for individual tracks, but for a full listen it’s better suited as a background piece for playing a scary horror game to or practicing live taxidermy to or whatever freakish hobbies you have.