CD, Malignant Records, 2008
Extreme music demands extreme imagery, and as power electronics and death industrial are about as extreme as music can be, so the associated themes covered in lyrics and artwork must be excessive and shocking, to disturb the listener but also to earn the artist credibility. Sexual violence is one topic guaranteed to offend a maximum number of people, and so this has been a common theme in power electronics, right back to the early days of Whitehouse.
Körperwelten, being a long running collaboration between highly respected scene stalwarts Nordvargr, of MZ 412 and Folkstorm, and Leech, of Navicon Torture Technologies fame, has already plenty of musical credibility without the need for juvenile shock tactics. However, in enlisting the artistic skills of Deathpile’s Jonathan Canady, Körperwelten have provided one of the most unpleasant, and in turn irritating, pieces of cover art I’ve seen in some time. While the cover of the CD features a black metal style illegible logo over a blood red background, the three inlay panels depict an unlikely scene in which a gimp and a skull-headed man enlist the services of some kind of fetish prostitute lady for a threesome. Not content with enjoying oral sex while his gimp companion takes the woman from behind, skull-head plunges a large knife through her belly during the sexual act, and finally the unfortunate woman is decapitated by the blood spattered perverts.
This would be more acceptable if this album six years in the making was some kind of power electronics milestone meisterwerk, something greater than the sum of the two constituent parts, but on listening to “Avatars Of Rape And Rage” it falls a little short of the product Folkstorm and NTT fans may be awaiting. My main complaint is the length, a mere six tracks in under forty minutes. In addition, it seems that the striking imagery of the cover art is not backed up with any clear lyrics offering new insights on the sexual violence subject. Possibly, there is also a vague feeling that the personalities of Nordvargr and Leech cannot be heard as vividly as on their respective solo releases, giving the impression of some new and separate project of above average quality.
The album opens slowly with “The Sun Destroyers”, a solid but overly long and uneventful piece of dark ambient, which finally builds to a more pleasing noisy crescendo, before the second track blasts out with much more powerful death industrial, quite rhythmic in its brutal simplicity. An ominous pounding beat appears, driving the track to a fierce conclusion of desperate cries, then “Oestrus” returns to the more ambient style, suitably sinister yet strangely muffled. “My Heart Pumps Piss For You” again takes a while to get somewhere exciting, but then “Kidney Stone Of Wisdom” provides the album highlight with a lot of abrasive high-end frequencies and really unsettling discordant drones. Finally, “Breed For Me” is a short two minute closer, with a strong rhythm and extremely distorted vocals.
— Nathan Clemence