Wrekmeister Harmonies - We Love To Look At The Carnage review


16 users:
Band: Wrekmeister Harmonies
Album: We Love To Look At The Carnage
Release date: February 2020

01. Midnight To Six
02. Still Life With Prick Cancer
03. Coyotes Of Central Park
04. The Rat Catcher
05. Immolation

Akin to the last Mamaleek album, I didn't wanna review the new Wrekmeister Harmonies until I actually saw Béla Tarr's Werckmeister Harmonies.

Now I indeed find similarities between the two that motivated the band to pick the name from the movie, they are both bleak, they both have some emotional music, and they both take their damn sweet time. So also make some time to watch the black and white desolate Hungarian movie that also gave us this Agalloch line. And now being aware of the two, Wrekmeister Harmonies might not be as bleak as the movie, but it's the one I'm probably going to return to more often. If I didn't already make it clear, I'm a big fan of Wreckmeister Harmonies. I admit that maybe I had inflated that rating a bit too much, hence why I won't be rating this, but if there is any album that I had reviews and was so emotionally resonating that it deserved such a rating, it was The Alone Rush.

We Love To Look At The Carnage is mostly somewhat of a continuation of the sound of The Alone Rush but taken both closer towards their earlier material, and forward to some newer directions. With one less track, it is marginally closer to the one long song approach of earlier records, and with all but one song being longer than seven minutes, it still sits on the longer side of things. It is still dark, at times even darker than its predecessor, but with a relatively larger emotional palette that does give away to moments of hopefulness and sanguinity. But the bulk of the record is still a tense ominous slow build of angst, melancholy and most importantly an almost religious grandeur. Huge emphasis on slow.

A lot of the record still leans on Robinson's Nick Cage-like baritone vocals, but this time they feel less one-dimensional as on The Alone Rush. And it is Jamie Stewart's (of Xiu Xiu) vocals that also contribute to expanding this album's vocal palette from the usual Robinson/Shaw juxtaposition. The lineup of the album is only expanded thus far, with Jamie on vocals and electronics and Thor Harris (of Swans) continuing his role on percussion. These four manage to create such a meticulous layer of droning sounds, with the subtle drumming, the pensive violin and the now occasionally heavy guitar drones. The violins and the piano especially do give a significant neoclassical vibe, one that mixes especially well with the guitars. There is a newfound heaviness in those latter ones, still not close the the sludgy ones from earlier records, but noticeably heavier than on the previous.

The electronics are absent or very subdued throughout most of the record, but they make a big impact on "The Rat Catcher", when the song arrives at a standstill that is replaced by an almost industrial soundscape. Everything sounds absolutely pristine, like every note was meticulously polished for greater impact. And with such a patience testing album, each note has increased importance. Martin Bisi is once again at the helm of the production, so he deserves a lot of the credit of why this album has the impact that it did.

I keep being afraid that with every new Wrekmeister Harmonies album I would find their music not as cathartic as I did before. I was somewhat disappointed on first listen, and likewise I can understand the criticism that one can raise at the band being all build-up, not enough release. I get it. But not much else makes me feel the way this makes me.


Written on 17.05.2020 by My opinion is objective, sorry if you don't agree, but you're wrong.


Comments: 1   Visited by: 31 users
17.05.2020 - 23:18
Evil Cooper
Bela Tarr's film is a masterpiece, this album is deadly boring.

Hits total: 754 | This month: 39