Tuesday 20 August 2019

Blanck Mass - House vs. House

The new Blanck Mass album is all over the place. In a good way. It’s an album that reminds you there’s a difference between being scatterbrained and being conflicted. There’s a difference between being disordered and being tumultuous. Benjamin John Power channels conflict and chaos, but, like St. George taming the dragon, he has the chaos under his command. The name of the album: Animated Violence Mild. Oh, now I get it.

“Death Drop” is like being fired out of a cannon over a Mad Max landscape – a landscape that sees a lot of death metal screaming. The end of “Death Drop” is tethered to the beginning of “House vs. House” by a final morbid shriek, which echoes at the opening of the latter. But immediately the scream is overtaken by a regular, if somewhat aggressive, series of kick drum punches. As the drum pounds on, you are left unsure where Power is taking you. Are you still flying through the wasteland? Are you suspended in midair? As the melodic elements grow brighter and more prominent, you realize that you are being pulled upwards, that you are being lifted somewhere better, somewhere less furious. The bass beats right into a trance-y chorus, with a glittery synth hook, and you may as well be at a festival, under the stars, or surrounded by them.

The rest of the album extends the surprising journey. From the industrial whirlwind of “Love is a Parasite” to the unexpected celestial harp reprieve on “Creature/West Fuqua”, Power keeps you guessing.  But I’ll cut the exegesis here. It's worth launching out of this particular cannon and seeing where you land – listen already!

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