Extreme invention and imagination for extreme suffering might be the best way to describe Vertilger from experimental German duo Vom Fetisch der Unbeirrtheit, but that is just a chapter of the tale and experience which comes with its corrosively destructive adventure for the psyche. We have often said a release is not the easiest listen or experience to run with but this album might be the most uncomfortable yet, though throughout there is a siren call which demands attention and seduces thoughts breeding a startled appetite.
The follow-up to 2010 full-length Psychohygiene, the five track release cannot be viewed on one listen, nor 2 or 5 come to that; it needs an intensive time consuming investigation which even then for a great many will never emerge as a palatable proposition. Whether it ever entirely convinces is debatable but certainly there are aspects and moments within its brew of varied metallic and noise sculpted maliciousness which steals a hunger for the ingenious and frightening imagination offered. The promo accompanying the album talks of ‘the sexualization of the psychological trauma’, of the provocation of a fetish in the deeds and psyche of man, but to be truthful it was as confusing to thoughts as the sounds investigating them so to offer a fair or logical input to the theme’s impact on the release and lyrics which are sung in German is impossible. There is an open mania, a psychological bedlam across the music and songs which challenges preconceptions and the imagination though, and at times it has you wondering if maybe finding a passion for Vertilger can be equated to a ‘fetish’ at the end of the day.
The Temple of Torturous released album opens with Lachenvieh and immediately has thoughts and emotions running for cover, swarming riffs and scything sonic manipulation scuttling over and ravenously consuming the ear. There is a virulent aspect to the intrusion though, the guitars weaving a web of schizophrenic mastery which grips like aural velcro to the senses. Musically the perpetually evolving and twisting raw embrace of the invention is enthralling, bordering on hypnotic but that is soon tested by the vocals. It has to be said that after plenty of plays the delivery of the vocals, a fusion of desperate serpentine clad drama and Teutonic authority, still does not lie easy on the ear and for personal tastes the album with another style of vocal delivery or as an instrumental would have had greater success . To be fair though they do add immensely to the deep searching intent and psychological mayhem conjured across the album which possibly with another vocalist would be lost.
The following twenty minute plus long Schabenbrut opens with a celestial spotting of the air before a bestial breath spews its malevolence across the magnetic expanse woven. The ‘enchanting’ start is soon lost in an industrial toxicity which scours the ear and beyond, laying waste to the earlier breath of the song soaking it in a caustic apocalyptic nightmare where needs and urges seem to steer the psyche. A tantalising yet brainwashing run of brief ever changing exhaustive sonic temptations employing everything from noise to jazz, heavy to avant-garde metal follows. The maze of sound is impossible to pin down but riveting though again the vocals temper the success of the confrontation but musically like its predecessor, the track is an insidious bewitchment which flirts with rapture.
Multiformale Leiberdimension is the best track on the album and arguably the most accessible which is maybe why it sneaks top honours. Another swarm of sonic provocation opens up its chilling embrace whilst a fearsome mechanical rhythmic stalking soon adds to the riveting beckoning. This time the vocals are spoken with an industrial effect offering a Rammstein like voice. It is a controlling cold authoritarian narrative which guides and directs the victim, suggesting control of one’s actions and intent is a false promise. The sounds are more restrained but again controlling, enslaving the body in a tight industrialised wrap which scores and smothers the senses whilst bringing a deceitful reassurance. It is a masterful provocation for the imagination and thoughts which other tracks also achieve at times but without the clarity, though to confuse and leave the mind lost in its own maelstrom is their remit.
Both Kadavermeer and Prothesensucht are extensive examinations of the listener’s sanity to complete the album, the first an eleven minute tempest which starts off with a comforting walk before falling into the hands of another mentally frazzling sonic and inventive pyre of sound and the other a near eighteen minute furnace of sound and passionate violence which finds addiction causing grooves and insatiable magnetic scorches of imaginable and ferocious adventure.
Vertilger through time has come to be a distasteful, deceitful friend who lures an appetite back time and time again, but you would not expect this to be the norm for everyone. Vom Fetisch der Unbeirrtheit is a band which shows no mercy or restraint though that is what ignites the passions ultimately. Vocals aside it is a demonic temptress of a release which should be approached with care and safety words, but should nevertheless be approached if brave enough.
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