Korperschwache returns! The Texan black-industrial drone-sludge project of RKF, who is also the mastermind behind the longrunning out-music webzine Dead Angel and the sadly defunct avant-rock label Monotremata, is back with not one, but two new discs of damaged black-metal infected drone rock, hot on the heels of that 3" CD-R that Public Guilt released at the beginning of the summer . Since the mid-90's, Korperschwache has been issuing fairly obscure but solidly heavy doses of blackened noise rock, or noisy abstract black metal, depending on your point of view, mostly through small-run cassettes and cd-rs on a myriad of labels. More recently, RKF and his trusty pile of smoking amplifiers and damaged drum machines have been constructing a trilogy of cd-rs entitled Ouroboros for our Crucial Bliss imprint, which began with the Voice Of The Ouroboros disc which came out on Crucial Bliss over a year and a half ago. It's taken me awhile for a multitide of reasons - well, mainly just because we're perpetually swamped here at Crucial Blast - but we've finally issued these last two chapters in this trilogy, the Sacrifice... and Ritual... discs, and each one emits a bleak, suffocating fog of stuttering drum machines, Skullflowery feedback dirge, weird cackling goblin vocals, layers of fuzz and grit, distortion and buzzing speakers, all offered up in tribute to the great serpent.
Ritual Of The Ourobros only has four tracks compared to the thirteen of Sacrifice..., but each of these runs from 7 to 20 minutes in length, huge spawling epics of swirling black guitar drone and IIIrd Gatekeeper style riffage, with pulsating drum machines throbbing and clattering away like machines ticking underneath layers of grime and factory noise and beautiful feedback. The first track "Ouroboros: first lesson: our eternal salvation (in the beginning there was the Serpent)" - quite the mouthful, there - is the longest piece, 20 minutes in length, a slow droning ambient dirge, like a buzzy, noisy basement black metal band melting their demos down into a shimmery Loveless style wash of floating feedback and simplistic, two-note basslines. It's one of my favorite Korperschwache tracks so far, and definitely one of the prettiest and most hypnotic. After that is "first invocation of the Ouoroboros: Behold, I set before you the way of life, and the way of death", and it's even slower and druggier than the previous song, a minimal black dirge, heavy feedback hanging like lead in the air, the drum machine beats doused in glue and struggling to push themselves forward through the thick miasma of amp hum and droning strings, like playing an Abruptum record and dragging your hand on it, slurring and slowing the evil blacknoise into a syrupy crawl.
But then everything becomes a bit more aggressive with the third track "Ouroboros: second lesson: the serpent's warning", as the drum machine locks in on a funky, heavy breakbeat off in the distance, and anguished howling vocals can be heard pouring out of the wall of feedback. The beats on this track remind me of the fucked-up funky vibe that previous Korperschwache releases have had, like what you might expect if Abruptum was scoring the theme music for Miami Vice. And again, there's a almost melodic hook that surfaces later on, a simple catchy bass riff that suddenly turns the piece into an ominous, rocking blacknoise drone rock jam. Killer! Finally, "Ouroboros: blessing: all things shall be destroyed (death is the only answer)" appears to close out the album, the shortest track on the disc (relatively speaking) at only seven minutes, but it's an awesome, trancey slab of dreamy heavy feedback, huge guitar riffs floating in the ether and twisting around each other, overdriven amplifiers vibrating at high volume and dripping rivers of buzz over cascading powerchords; it reminds me of Skullflower, which is of course a great thing, but darker and blurrier, with weird pulsating rhythms hidden deep inside the swirl of guitar noise. An absolutely beautiful closer to this disc. Like the other two entries in the trilogy, Ritual Of The Ouroboros is a grim, gauzy blast of slow moving hypno drone rock fused with abstract black metal, existing at the edges of the stygian intersection between Skullflower, Burzum, Abruptum, and Godflesh. Out of all three of the discs though, Ritual... is the most Skullflowery, noisy and hypnotic but definitely catchy at times. Packaged in an oversized sleeve with the disc attached on a plastic hub, in a limited edition of 150 copies.