Corpus Invocationem is the second full-length release from Denmark’s Destruktionsanstalt. Per Najbjerg Odderskov, the man behind this challenging project, describes his work as, “back to basics death-industrial with atmospheric psychedelic overlays.” Fair enough, but does he pull it off? Does he succeed in joining the likes of Brighter Death Now, Genocide Organ, Atrax Morgue, and a host of other dark artists as they plumb the edges of music, looking for bleakness and horror?
Yes, he absolutely does.
First, you’ll be struck by how raw and unclean this music is. In a world of extreme music that’s rife with virtual synthesizers and digital outboard gear, Destruktionsanstalt sounds unrepentantly analog. Thick, buzzing stabs and washes latch themselves onto ruthlessly arpeggiated loops, everything treated heavily with reverb and delay. Mutated synth warbles spit out gut-churning ugliness that’s strongly reminiscent of Second Annual Report-era Throbbing Gristle (hell, if you’re going to go roots industrial, go with one of its finest practitioners). Beneath it all, chugging, piston-like bass throbs make you feel as though you’re a passenger trapped on some bleak train bound for darker territories, while the “psychedelic overlays” that Odderskov champions more often take the form of thick, black ambient clouds that threaten to smother you in lieu of making you trippy.
There are only a few vocals featured here, but those that do show up are given the full treatment and are taken out into the alley and beaten with pitch shifts and distortion until they beg for death. This stuff isn’t pretty, and it’s not meant to be. This is visceral music crafted to elicit thoughts about how wretched life can be; it’s meant to be grim. Overall, the feel is appropriately ominous: harsh, sterile, and mechanical, like some mad robot that has gained sentience and gone amuck. Simply put, it’s ugly because that’s the point. We all have ugliness inside us and we all live in a world that’s capable of things unspeakable. And we’re all disintegrating while this happens.
Don’t get me wrong. I’m not stating any of this as a criticism. I am huge believer in music that pushes the listener into places they might not feel comfortable, and Corpus Invocationem has that in spades. A telling point: samples of Jim Jones’ infamous final Jonestown speech are featured prominently on the album’s parting shot, and it’s a fitting denouement as they succinctly convey the overall feeling that this album so wholeheartedly embraces:
“From the time you’re a child to the time you get gray, you’re dying.”
01) Evigilabit Dissectione
02) Semitonis Raptus
03) Spiritualis Mortuis
04) Somno Per Motum Tardum Aere
06) Homicidium Autem Satanica
07) Pertesus Materia
08) Religionis Mortem