Reviewed by Gird_09 and Batcheeba
We have no idea what kind of equipment he's used to produce his album, but it really takes us to countless hours spent in various basements with fasttracker II and other primitive equipment. Old school. In addition to the minimal electronic beats and phrases Verfallssymptom utilizes vocals very reminiscent of black metal in portions of the music. (And in fact black metal inspiration can be heard on several tracks.) This combination could easily land you in endzeit hell, but not on this release. The most similar music I have heard would be K.I.F.O.T.H.'s two first album, but certainly much more minimalist, less EBM-like, more scrapy and less disco friendly. But the comparison is certainly good.
The production is notably lo-fi, and one might expect Verfallssymptom to sound muffled and grungy, but he has a talent for finding sounds that fit together without turning into porridge. The drums carry the music steadily and with enough punch that the rest of the music can ride on top. The music is very introvert and doesn't ask for anyone's approval. It's not over produced in any way, and the focus is more on emotion than sound construction. While the two don't need to clash there is no doubt that if we have to chose we'll go for emotion any day. Especially when the content is as interesting as this. There is nothing we hate more than over produced trite.
There are two things we miss on this album though. There could have been more vocals, as Verfallssymptom's vocals really fit the music and adds depth. The instrumental tracks are certainly good on their own, but the vocal tracks were the best of the bunch. The other thing is that there are too many tracks on the album. At certain points we find ourselves losing concentration because some of the tracks are a bit similar to each other. Each single track is a killer track, but as an album it tends towards monotony in some portions. This is mostly a problem with the midsection of the album however, as both the first and last thirds of the album is one interesting track after another.
The coolest tracks on the album are definately on the last third. Abstraction, with its intensely noisy beat and drudging arrangements is a hard hitter and heavier than most anything we've heard. It has layers of distored sounds, noise, beats and all the while retaining Verfallsymptom's melodic sense. Inspiring. This one is certainly going to be played over and over. The track is followed by Stacheldraht and Written in Blood, which are ambient black metal tracks with electronic sounds. The vocals are intense and the melodies subtle, as well as the beats. Still it's consistent with the rest of the album. This is what Aphex Twin would sound like if he was into black metal. More of this! We beg you!
Verfallsymptom is kind enough to release his album free of charge through thee Brad Miller's Kill Your Godz (a blog we will certainly return to from time to time here). If you're sceptical to people who release their music for free, perhaps because you expect it's not good enough to meet the "high standards" of a record company, you should download this release and let it dispel any disbelief you might have.
1 Bigotte Hybris
2 Kollaterale Hysterie
3 Agapes Jahwist
5 Homogene Kontradikturie
10 Written in blood
11 Gefilde der Tristesse
Germany, self released (file), 2008