Aderlating – Gospel of the Burning Idols CD Black Plagve 2013
The rather prolific Aderlating return with their fourth official album since 2009, which forms part of an already extensive discography spanning 14 releases (including full lengths, splits, cassettes and digital only releases). Whilst Aderlating tend to inhabit a general black ambient/ black industrial type sphere, for ‘The Gospel of Burning Idols’ it includes some more overt musically aspects which align with the black metal scene – albeit obliquely. Thus on this basis alone Aderlating are a project which should have quite a bit of crossover appeal for both underground metal and underground industrial types.
The crumbling walls of muted noise of ‘opening of the tomb’ introduce the album and straight away brings to mind the classic ‘Great Death’ era of Bighter Death Now. Yet from this leaping off point the sound quickly descend into a ritualised maelstrom of demonic drawled voices, sampled choir vocals, grinding mechanised noise, a bass heavy percussive thump and general cacophony of metallic percussive elements which collectively generate a rising sense of dread and unease. In simpler terms – a fantastic album opener. The ritualistic aura is also retained on the following piece ‘a vulture’s tongue disease’ with its muted rumbling soundscape and droning choir vocals, yet it remains entirely chaotic due to the use of free-form black metal style drumming. Noting this track’s merging of abstract ritual atmospheres and flailing black metal drumming, it sets the template for a number of the other album tracks which fall into a similar stylistic pattern – aka a maelstrom of industrial debris, sweeping echoed noise and a variety of vocal textures (muttered evocations / screeched curses / sampled choirs), as the kit drum percussion furiously flails somewhere off in the distance of a deep cavernous space. Late album track ‘spewed on by slaves of inhumanity’ displays a slightly more focused death industrial sound, with its heavy bass thump and a rousing orchestral elements (heavy strings/ brass), yet as always there is still a sense that the track is on the verge of descending into a chaos at any moment.
A heavy ritualistic aura permeates the entire album which also imbues the dank and suffocating atmosphere of a cavernous tomb. But rather than being merely ‘ambient’ in texture, the overall feel is such that it has a prominently tense, chaotic and unhinged sound throughout. Likewise the driving free-form kit percussion edges the sound of Aderlating towards a live rehearsal/ lo-fi black metal band type sound, rather than a mere studio project, which also gives this album a certain tonal edge. Although the demonic and quasi satanic sounding aspects are in no way subtle, they are handled with such nightmarish intensity as to ensure it never enters ‘cheesy’ territory, which such material has been known to suffer from.
On the visual side of things the death and daemonic themed medieval paintings used as part of the cover provide a suitable visual counterpart to these unhinged black industrial musings. Although containing its own distinctive sound, ‘The Gospel of Burning Idols’ will no doubt please fans of like minded groups such as MZ.412, some aspects early Brighter Death Now and Gnaw Their Tongues (which if not known is the main solo project of one of Aderlating’s members), with its chaotic ritual cacophony.