• iron forest Body Horror (CD, £11.50)

    label: Crucial Blast Records

    Super heavy industrial rhythms, mutated drone / dub experiments and doom-metalinfluenced riffcrush from experimental artist Brandon Elkins. Packaged in a DVD-style case with a set of full-color collage prints. Limited to 400 hand-numbered copies. Body Horror is the second full-length release from Iron Forest, the new project of Midwestern industrial / experimental artist Brandon Elkins, and follows his extremely limited 2012 album Pantechnicon. Some might know Elkins from A Crown of Amaranth (who released an excellent album of dark, futuristic heaviness and black-hole ambience on Crucial Blast’s Crucial Bliss series in 2005) as well as his short-lived group A Crown of Light. The eight songs on Body Horror are forged from gleaming metallic drones, glitchy electronica and vast clouds of interstellar synthesizer that wind around fractured, doom-laden riffs. The album is rife with the sort of apocalyptic atmosphere that Godflesh exuded on their more experimental albums, and while Justin Broadrick’s pioneering industrial metal is an obvious influence on Iron Forest’s sound, here the crushing guitars and solemn ambience are cracked and broken into strange splatters of percussive noise and dissonant dronescapes that evoke an altogether more warped vision. Elkins abuses dubstep tropes — the speaker-rattling bass tones, the vicious synthesizers, the fragmented rhythms — but there’s nothing here that a sane person would consider “danceable.” It’s a chaotic, noise-damaged, dub-infested version of Skin Chamber’s industrial metal, if that band had been obsessed with Autechre’s experimental glitchery. Combine that with an obsession with Cronenbergian themes (mutation, deformity, etc.) to get an idea of the type of pitchblack, mechanized dread found on Body Horror. Released in a limited edition of 400 hand-numbered copies, the album comes in the signature Crucial Blaze clear DVD-style case with an insert card and a black folio that holds a set of gorgeously grotesque full-colour collage prints. Tracks : 1. Pathogenesis 2. Rust and Decay 3. The Divide 4. Treatment 5. Dead Batteries 6. Mountain of Teeth 7. Viridae 8. Prognosis

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