Corrupted - Garten Der Unbewusstheit (2011)
©Nostalgia Blackrain


  1. Garten
  2. Against the Darkest Days
  3. Gekkou no Daichi

Corrupted are fairly well known among the doom metal scene as being particularly challenging, crushing and sometimes down-right difficult to listen to. Be it the song lengths that sometimes exceed even the most seasoned music listener's realm of patience (71 minute song anyone? Go and listen to El Mundo Frio.) or the unforgivably sludge-driven and punishing riffs; they're known for being a band for people who truly do love their doom completely uncompromised. Many thought that Corrupted would just keep evolving into something heavier and harsher, but that isn't what happened here. If that's what you're looking for, I'd probably opt for one of the many records in the Corrupted back-catalogue since they have enough EP's to fill anyone's urge for doom/sludge. The direction they took here even surprised me, but I'm so glad that they took the route they did. I doubt you can get much more crushing or dark than the massive El Mundo Frio, so I'm glad they didn't try and equal it or top it using the same aesthetic.

Garten Der Unbewusstheit is a melancholic work of brilliance. The sludge is all but gone in this record but what remains is a beautiful, perfectly executed catharsis of doom that many just don't manage without totally boring the listener into submission. The builds here are drawn out to lengths that even surprised me, an avid post-rock listener that practically lives off of huge builds. A lot of the music here is so under-stated but at the same time so captivating. Starting with a simple clean guitar and occasional drum hits until slowly building into something bigger for about 7 minutes, it doesn't feel that length whatsoever - nothing here does. The simplicity here is something that Boris tried to realize in Flood, perfectly executed here to the point where they just can't be compared. Every idea and movement flows into each other that puts all past Corrupted works to shame, which makes an incredibly immersive experience. 

The album is split into two half hour monsters only split by a brief acoustic guitar interlude, and each song here is near perfect. From the Boris - Flood movements to the hard-hitting doom moments that the album constantly flows between and merge, nothing breaks the spellbinding feeling that this record makes you feel for its entirety. The production compliments every last thing that this record strives for, making the slow acoustics and drums resonate with every little hit and the doom-like distorted guitars hit heavy and deep with huge impact. The vocals are also probably Corrupted's best performance, the almost incredibly deep vocal performance floating above the mix just like the clouds on the cover of the album. The sound is airy and resonant yet powerful and striking, and it couldn't be a better mix of the two. My only small gripe is the fact that the vocals barely change throughout. They're not exactly the same in every verse, and they do change, but due to the stark differences in each movement it would have been nice to see more variation in the vocal department - but the vocals here are so well executed that it's mere nitpicking.

This is melancholic, slow and brilliantly written doom metal for listeners who want it with none of the gimmicks or frills. The melodies and riffs here are heartbreakers and never stay for too long before moving to something else, be it a softer movement or an entirely new riff altogether that just makes the effect of the record keep climbing until it draws to a brilliant close when all the instrumentation just dissolves into noise and fades away. The record keeps the bleak, desolate feeling throughout its playing time but it feels and sounds like it is from a personal perspective that is so easy to relate to despite the fact most people won't understand a word that is being sung (try a Japanese band singing in Spanish with an album title in German on for size). I think anyone who gives this record the chance will find something in it to relate to and totally get lost in, which is something that should honestly be applauded. Corrupted have changed their sound and totally mastered that sound in the process, and I can't wait to see it top many of the album lists at the end of the year because I can't think of many more efforts that deserve it more.



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