It seems like almost every time you turn around something is coming out of Philly. This time it’s blackened industrialists Écorché and their sophomore album Deep in the Ground. JGW (vocals, guitar, synths, programming) and Wolfman (bass, synths, samples) follow no formula on this experimental experience. The album itself and its tracks seem pieced together from disparate elements, forming a strange and cohesive whole.
Issued forth from some diseased hovel of darkness and chaos, a harsh noise overtakes the listener. Sampled screams are ever-present, piercing the distorted guitars that growl like a feral beast. At other times the guitars are needle sharp, driving their points deep to deliver a corroding venom.
“My Dead Lover” comes with a Middle Eastern flavor and circling, tremulous melodies, while a sense of gothic drama dominates “Godcrow.” Elsewhere a cold thunder hits with chest-caving force then ramps up into a fury, galloping into the fray as a tumultuous panic grips the soul.
The sampled screams continue throughout cutting through synths, ominous and frightful, abusive percussion and those maddening vocal croaks.
“I Am In Hell Help Me” has an almost traditional riff infected by noise and piano tinkling in the middle distance unaffected by the doom and destruction rising on the cacophonous noise. That evaporates into a short-lived triumph before attacking again with a more terrible fervor.
Closing with “Grotesque III: A Pulseless Mould” and its very deadly methodic pulse making that song title a misnomer, Deep in the Ground groans in the death throes of a challenging 50 minutes of dense, layered industrial blackened experimentation. The listener is thrown from one dark corner to the next, barely able to register the source of their terror before being bullied into another fit of pain and rage.
Fans of Author & Punisher and Legion of Andromeda should find Écorché to their liking but Deep in the Ground is more horrific than either of them.
It’s not an easy album to take in as it penetrates without invitation and swallows from within. But for those hardened souls that enjoy the thrill of auditory terror, Écorché shall fulfill your desires.