CD Black Earth [Digipak] [Bohren & der Club of Gore] (CD 947336),
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Black Earth [Digipak] [Bohren & der Club of Gore]

  • 1. Midnight Black Earth
    2. Crimson Ways
    3. Maximum Black
    4. Vigilante Crusade
    5. Destroying Angels
    6. Grave Wisdom
    7. Constant Fear
    8. Skeletal Remains
    9. Art of Coffins, The
  • Additional Info
    Manufacturer Part Number (MPN): 48

  • Credits
    ProducerMorten Gass; Morten Gass
    EngineerMorten Gass

    Bohren & Der Club Of Gore: Bohren (vocals, programming); Christoph Closer (saxophone, piano, Rhodes electric piano); Morten Gass (piano, Fender Rhodes piano, Mellotron); Robin Rodenberg (double bass); Thorsten Benning (drums).
    Recorded at Dark Victory, Ruhr, Germany.
    Bohren & der Club of Gore: Thorston Benning (drums); Morten Gass, Christophe Closer, Robin Rodenberg.
    Personnel: Christophe Closer (saxophone, piano, Fender Rhodes piano); Morten Gass (piano, Fender Rhodes piano, Mellotron); Robin Rodenberg (double bass); Thorsten Benning (drums).
    Audio Mixer: Bohren & der Club of Gore.
    Recording information: Dark Victory, Mulheim; Ruhr.
    Germany's Bohren & der Club of Gore are a black metal fan's lounge jazz act. Or, for those driven by the more extreme side of noir-ish ambient material, these cats lay it out with musical instruments (and a Mellotron), painfully slow and muted tempos, and a relentlessly gloomy atmosphere worthy of the first Black Sabbath album. Originally issued in 2002 on Wonder and now re-released by the great Ipecac label, Black Earth is, by the very nature of what it is, a classic. Black Earth is a wrenching, turtle-like crawl through the vast darkness of jazz balladry and unreservedly bleak nihilism. The song titles say it all: "Midnight Black Earth," "Crimson Ways," "Maximum Black," "Vigilante Crusade," "Grave Wisdom," "The Art of Coffins" -- you get the idea. All of that said, however, this music is infectiously delicious, darkly sensual, and the only tonic for a lonely brooding night. The quartet of drummer Thorsten Benning, saxophonist and pianist Christoph Closer, Mellotron operator, pianist, and Rhodes piano king Morten Gass, and double bassist Robin Rodenberg began life as a death metal hardcore act in the 1980s. Seeking a more original sound, they gradually gravitated to this incarnation of musical brilliance and mysterium organum. On most tracks, a shimmering Rhodes piano plays repetitive lines and chords and receives a deathly kiss from snares, cymbals, and the occasional bass drum before being adorned with the sparsest of Mellotron lines, paced with an excruciatingly tense groove by a low-tuned plucked or bowed double bass, and finally sung over with mournfully sensual tenor saxophone la Ben Webster. The tunes are all long, drawn-out affairs, with aural images of abandoned streets and buildings on foggy nights, or steamy sewer grates inviting only the most desperate lovers and recreational killers and thieves out to roam through the blackness together. It's so delicious, so overwhelmingly intoxicating and sickly sweet that it suffocates the listener with the twin scents of sex and death. Indispensable macabre listening. ~ Thom Jurek

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