The malevolent music crafted by Aderlating on their latest release, Gospel of the Burning Idols, transcends realms of mere sound and surface-level noise to inhabit multiple sensory zones with a powerful and appalling palpability. You not only hear this damnable racket, but you also feel it inside and around your body. Close your eyes and breathe in the deathly fetor of the accompanying auditory carnage. Feel it fall like smoking ash on the skin as it enters the bloodstream and poisons the body. The violating sounds and subject matter herein offer no chance for salvation, only total annihilation of body, mind, and spirit. You are probably best off simply going limp and allowing Aderlating to have their ravaging way with you; it will be easier for everyone this way (though no less painful a visitation).
The pestilential din Aderlating create seems so horrifyingly real in its vision and capacity for true, dread-inducing atmosphere that you’d think Gospel of the Burning Idols was recorded amongst an awful realm of burning ruins, impaled saints, and endless depravity. Many acts within the dark ambient and death industrial genres strive to create nightmarish music of this sort, but there is an authoritative energy that Aderlating draw upon to raise their work to unexpected levels of stygian potency that separates their music from the rest of the pack. Previous Aderlating albums have shown this tendency as well, but here on Gospel of the Burning Idols the musical attack and command is finely honed to a deadly point, bringing the duo’s sickening vision to a greater caliber and realization. Aderlating are shamans that have traveled to hellish nether regions, danced with abhorrent energies, spoken with dreadful spirits, supplicated themselves before the very heart of evil, and returned to tell their tale.
The combined talents of musicians Eric Eijspaart (Mowlawner) and Maurice de Jong (Gnaw their Tongues) have an otherworldly synergy and skilfulness in the way they forge Aderlating’s infernal music. Gospel of the Burning Idols is a powerful death industrial / ritual ambient hybrid that conjures up terrifying images of some of the worst possible transgressions, both real and imagined. Corpses are molested, humanity is enslaved, and cemeteries are ransacked. You know that happy place that we all go to when we’re troubled by something? This album is the polar opposite of that – in full-blown, putrid Technicolor. In Aderlating’s world, the sun is forever obscured, vomit and bile fall from the sky like stinging rain, and eternal agony becomes the norm.
The opening squall of the album starts calmly but eventually builds into a terrifying uproar. “Opening the Tomb” is a deliberate and smoldering mass of scorch and static that feels potent and alive with the cries of the recently risen dead, their moans carried towards the listener on ashen carrion winds. The track is an immediate demonstration that showcases Aderlating’s constraint and command of the musical style, their instruments and voices, and the album’s harrowing vision. “The Burial Gown Reeks of Semen” (one of the best song titles ever) plunges the listener into a dank tomb of rot and graveyard deviancy. As twisted as anything that Roger Karmanik / Brighter Death Now could have dredged up from his sick mind, Aderlating sustain a low, ominous distortion that supports the track while chains clank and bang throughout, and something without name howls out in the darkness. Something has awoken in the recesses of the earth and a nightly hunger for cemetery desecration must be quenched. It’s another fine lesson in Aderlating’s absolute control of the material and the horrid imagery which the title and sounds arouse.
Rather than suddenly erupting to immediately shock listeners, these songs are purposefully restrained for large portions of their playing time. The conflagration of sounds eventually builds towards a critical mass with the greatest devastation usually arriving much later on. Using a death-march mantra, manipulated drums, and other noisy elements, these songs are clearly constructed for maximum damage. It’s a method the group successfully plays with throughout the rest of the album in various guises on each song. Eric and Maurice opt for a skulking and anxious terror that takes time in letting each song’s cruelty be slowly known – like some insanely painful torture device – instead of going straight for the jugular and expending all of their energies too soon.
Though the subject matter might be truly awful and rotten to its core – eternal damnation, necrophilia, and sexual humiliation, oh my – that’s obviously part of the draw for fans of the group and their potent ritualistic death industrial style in general. Subject matter aside (some folks might think it a bit silly or even too repulsive to listen to because of it), the songs themselves are strong and mature explorations, and some of the most convincingly ghastly music I’ve heard in a long while. Aderlating are masters of the craft and their latest album is a modern-day jewel as far as this niche genre is concerned. I really haven’t heard anything this foreboding since Brighter Death Now’s Great Death, or more recently, Hypsiphrone’s And the Void shall Pierce their Eyes (coincidentally also released on Malignant Records‘ sub-imprint Black Plagve). Gospel of the Burning Idols is a monument of all that is heartless and malevolent, an homage to every torture and perversion ever perpetrated by mankind that is sure to be looked upon with fondness by listeners and practitioners of such dark and deathly music.
01) Opening of the Tomb
02) A Vulture’s Tongue Disease
03) The Burial Gown Reeks of Semen
04) Dragged to the Smouldering Pits of Infinity
05) Bondaged in Shame, Disgraced in Fear
06) Spewed on by Slaves of Inhumanity
07) Gospel of the Burning Idols