Electronica and experimental music are no stranger to our ears, but few artists seem to be able to do it well. Just this year alone we've heard failed experiments from Emptyset and Lawrence English, leaving a wide gap for some good electronic music. That's where Blanck Mass comes in. If one thing is for certain, you can always expect Blanck Mass to come through and deliver something mindboggling.
That's just what he's done. Blanck Mass rages with energy in World Eater, his third record and his first since 2015's eclectic Dumb Flesh. There's a stark difference in Blanck Mass' music that differs from the other experimental artists we've covered: he isn't afraid of energy. Most songs we've heard in the genre revolve around one synth and layering it again and again so the slowness and ambience of a scene can play through. At times, it's really effective and pays off beautifully - Eluvium's 2016 album False Readings On is a testament to that. Other records fail to expand upon sounds, creating simple songs with no personality or character.
Right from the start of World Eater, you are faced with a very clear sense of character. 'John Doe's Carnival Of Terror' is a two and a half minute beast, kicking off with a very light and silly vibe; one you'd expect to hear in a carnival, albeit a weird one. The track begins to become effected, distortion plowing powerfully and confidently above the vocal loop. It's thrilling and pounding, bringing the album to a swinging start. No energy is lost in 'Rhesus Negative,' the nine minute attack of big, enthralling synths and pounding electronic beats. It constantly changes throughout its playtime, going from an almost hip-hop centered track to a downright evil and metal track at the end.
The rest of the record proceeds with energy. 'The Rat' has an absolutely immense beat in it, pounding industrially like a march. It moves forward with a brighter, more innocent synth atop the beat, dancing almost angelically above the song. It eventually progresses into a much less demanding track into something more graceful. The song preceding it, 'Please,' is entirely more refined and calm, being the only track on the record that doesn't have some big, drilling beat in it. It instead dramatically steps forward with its innocent synth bouncing constantly.
A lot of this record doesn't live up to the initial character, though. There isn't a bad song on this record, for what it's worth, but as the album progresses there's a loss of some of initial charm. There was a certain feeling of fun in the beginning of the record that turned into a sturdier approach later on. The weirdness of the medley of 'Minnesota / Eas Fors / Naked' feels almost forced, like it's trying too hard to live up to the previous tracks. 'Hive Mind' closes the album on an interesting note, but the rest of it doesn't quite live up to that final conclusion.
In such a fragile genre, you can always rely on Blanck Mass to provided something interesting. His new album World Eater rages with energy in a genre that seems to fear it lately. He builds character and atmosphere while not steering away from dark and industrial sounds. It's a promising light in the bleak world of experimental electronic. Let's hope it catches on soon.
Favorite Tracks: John Doe's Carnival Of Terror, The Rat, Rhesus Negative
Least Favorite Track: Minnesota / Eas Fors / Naked
Rating: 75 / 100
Buy or listen to World Eater here: