Theologian - Finding Comfort In Overwhelming Negativity [Handmade Birds - 2012]Let’s put things in perspective: this new album by the inimitable Lee M. Bartow (of late Navicon Torture Technologies fame), his tenth at least under the Theologian moniker in only four years and the first for Texan label Handmade Birds, is one damn impressive slab of rhythmic electronica that should prove as fitting a remedy as any to cleanse your ears and bring your saccharine levels back into green after the mandatory end-of-year festivities and assorted merriments.
Passed off as an EP but, with each of its four tracks clocking in at more than ten minutes, really more of a full-length, this affably-titled affair is a well-rounded and decidedly infectious mixture of cold, punishing power electronics and big, fat pulsating grooves. Leech being Leech, the sound palette is admittedly broody, menacing and more often than not downright corrosive, while the highly effective rhythmic patterns employed throughout turn the tracks into punishing beasts of genocide that resonate into your brains long after the listening experience has ended. What’s more, for all their nods at dance-floorability, the tunes are invested of a staying power that gives credit to and are ample proof of Bartow’s sonic experience.
Impressive opening track Fighting for Nothing builds up into the kind of mammoth rhythm-fest that seems solely intended to drive the point through and leave the listener breathless while, very intelligently, the aptly-titled All I see is You which follows gives them some respite with its sonically gentler nature and deliciously broody soundscapes. Then, like the proverbial swarm of locusts, in comes the title-track, with an infectiously repetitive electro-riff that makes it the perfect soundtrack to a slightly more degenerated Trainspotting and could’ve lasted another half hour without sounding repetitive in the least. This one alone warrants the album a purchase. The proceedings are then closed by the more reflective and broody In the Moral Leper Colony.
Limited to a mere 500 copies, the EP comes in DVDigipack format and, as will have been clear throughout, comes highly recommended to all industrial connoisseurs out there who don’t mind a touch of acid and pinch of rust with their cocktail. Here’s to the New Year!europakorps