Monday, June 2, 2008

Gruntsplatter - The Aberrant Laboratory (2006)

Scott Candey, the moving spirit behind Gruntsplatter, describes his work as “... a malleable creature that hovers in the grey area between abrasive noise and dark ambient...”; you certainly won’t get any argument from me on that score. Candey seems to use Gruntsplatter as a means to spit bile, plague and acid on the virus that is humanity – there is often an undeniable misanthropy coursing through the veins of the musical beasts he engenders. Certainly on some of his previous outings, such as ‘The Death Fires’ and ‘Chronicling the Famine’, he laid bare that misanthropy in the rawest way possible. I must admit that I too harbour a distaste for the vast majority of the steaming pile of turds that claim to belong to the race of homo sapiens – sometimes their blinding stupidity leads me to believe that it is only by sheer luck that we have survived thus far. This is one of the reasons why I have a soft spot for the work of Gruntsplatter (plus I think the name is quite wonderfully evocative...).

Once again we have harrowing and brooding death ambient atmospheres, cavernous and cathedral-like torch-lit spaces, filled with the ever-burning fires of madness and destruction and peopled by the vile architects of filth and defilement. The earth churns, groans, fractures along fault-lines and spews the hot bile of magma amidst the engines of mass annihilation, the very machines that will do the work of ridding the planet of the parasite that we have become. This is a culling and mass death on a gigantic industrial scale – what’s more there is nothing that we hold dear or have faith in, be it science, religion or military prowess, that will either save us or hold the legions back. Everything will be laid to waste, the earth burned, cities razed and civilisation brought to its knees and beyond. All that will be left will be scorched and blackened earth, unmourned ruins, and the still-smoking funeral pyres of the world we created – the wheels were set in motion long ages ago and however much we try to fight it there is a relentless inevitability about it.

What Candey seems to be saying is that this is our doom and there’s nothing we can do to defer its arrival at the appointed time. We don’t know how long we have left, but whether it is tomorrow, next year, next century or in ten million year’s time, the prognostication remains depressing – the cancer that is humanity will keep on running its destructive and antagonistic course along with its unwillingness to change or uplift itself. One can look upon Gruntsplatter’s music as either a warning or an anticipatory hymn to the eventual demise of the human race and all it represents – they may even stand as testament to those few individuals who possessed enough prescience to see our end coming. There’s definitely a part of me that would love to see the devils and demons dancing on the graves and piles of doomed humanity – I even hope they’ll let me join in with them. If they do, then some album or other of Gruntsplatter’s will be on my mp3 player at the time....

Review taken from Heathen Harvest.

01 - Sifting Genius from the Taboo
02 - The Furnace of Hippocratic Transgression
03 - Experiments in Circumventing Evolution
04 - Deliberating Galvanic Animation
05 - The Singular Accidents of Life
06 - Clamoring Torches Ring the Hives of Science
07 - Inhospitable Genetics and the Mythology of Monsters
08 - A Congregation of Regrettable Biology
09 - Repercussions that Empty the Streets
10 - Can You See the Blood on the Burgundy Sea?