Corrupted - Garten der Unbewusstheit (4 stars)

Japanese doom metallers' moody follow up to El Mundo Frio

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Corrupted - Garten der Unbewusstheit

(Nostalgia Blackrain)

Osaka’s enigmatic Corrupted have been shape-shifting their doom-laden and dystopic sound with each release over the past 15 years, to refer to them as a sludge band in their current phase seems bone-idle. Garten der Unbewusstheit (Garden of Unawareness) marks the logical progression from 2005’s critically applauded epic El Mundo Frio, which was one track clocking in at a mighty 71 minutes. It also marks the first time that Corrupted have delved into an aesthetic content outside of Spanish and their native Japanese.

But it’s not about language; it’s about mood – and opener 'Garten' oozes with it. With its cleaner guitars and production, the Japanese concept of 'Ma' seems wholly appropriate here, as the spaces between notes hang and vacillate between vocalist Hevi’s whispered to growled delivery. There’s a conceptual awareness and integrity with each Corrupted release which makes them fundamentally unique from the likes of Mono or Boris. Despite the inclusion of an indulgent acoustic bridge between 'Against the Darkest Day' and 'Gekkou No Daichi' – the interlude thankfully erupts into a volcano of subbed out distortion and guttural lashings.

Tiptoeing from minimalist post-rock to mournful death-doom, Garten der Unbewusstheit requires a fair bit of attentiveness and lacks the direct aggression of earlier seven inches and splits, but ultimately its Corrupted’s most challenging record to date – having escaped the trappings of the detuned chord in favour of something far more ethereal. Forward thinking doom metal which will no doubt alienate the crowd it was intended for.

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