KORPERSCHWACHE (Evil Walks) CD
Outside it's a sunny spring day, but 'Evil Walks' gives me a cold and dystopian feeling and that is not a bad thing in itself. Not because I hate sunny spring days, but because it shows that KORPERSCHWACHE do everything right on their life-threatening and bleak mission. But this is not really surprising, since the band is around for almost 17 years. Well actually, it's not a real band but more the solo project of Austin, Texas-based musician RKF. I think it is safe to say by now that he is really busy because KORPERSCHWACHE's discography comprises of 36 (!) releases. The appearances on a few splits and compilations are not included in this balance. All in all, a huge body of work. In musical terms, KORPERSCHWACHE's experimental work range from power electronics and dark ambient to black metal and sludge. Unfortunately, I have not had the opportunity to listen to his music before though I have a preference for the sort of noisy, dark sound that makes me feel uncomfortable.
Therefore, this is my first introduction to RKF's music and it went very well. As previously mentioned, this album is so sinister and oppressive that you can't help but be drawn in. It provides a soundtrack to the depths of urban decay, with programmed Godflesh-like drums and guitars that are harsh, atmospheric and distorted. On 'Evil Walks' KORPERSCHWACHE take the basic mechanisms of black metal, industrial, and noise and tear that machinery apart - only to reassemble the collected elements in a new intriguing way. It's a rather minimalistic yet heavy mix, on top of which RKF's demonic voice is enthroned. There are no catchy melodies to be found here, but some unsettling spoken word parts and bizarre vocal samples. These elements will be used efficiently, as exemplified by the fourth track 'The City Of Lost Girls'.
It has a cinematic character that drags you into the murk with layers of ghostly drones and obscure piano music. This is like a cavernous sonic black hole that leaves no room for joy and pleasure. Death is all that remains. In contrast, 'Heaven's Gate' reveals RKF's fondness for raw black metal. Usually, I'm not a huge fan of this genre but this is a good song, because it's saturated with lots of harsh noise. Perhaps the most challenging track on 'Evil Walks' is 'Burning Man', a brutal cacophony with melodic undertones. This may at first sound like a musical nightmare, but even here KORPERSCHWACHE has created somthing fascinating out of it. Of course, this album is crushing, aggressive, abstract, and (at times) frightening - but it is also flowing, lyrical, dense, expansive and multilayered. Fitting in perfectly, the tasteful booklet including all lyrics and the great cover artwork by Nicole Boitos. As usual on Crucial Blast, this release is only of interest for a small audience and for those who are looking for something different and not so conventional. Well, I am one of them.