Review Summary: Corrupted plant a garden of sorrow that blossoms beautifully into barren nothingness.
The mysterious sludge outfit from Osaka, Japan has returned from the shadows once more to offer a follow-up to 2005’s El Mundo Frio
. Garten der Unbewusstheit
, or “Garden of Unawareness”, could not be a more apt title for the band’s fifth album. The contextual meaning of the German “unbewusstheit” is acting without deliberateness, self-awareness, or self-consciousness. This record appears as the very embodiment of that idea. It’s almost as if the moment the record button was pressed, each member entered a trance to relay through instrument all that was seeded within his own being. What surfaced is a perfect balance in Corrupted’s hybrid sound, combining the hypnosis of drone, the crushing heaviness of sludge, and the unfiltered emotion of doom.
Clocking in at just over an hour, the album opens with the gentle plucking of electric guitar soon finding itself to be accompanied by delicate cymbal tapping. The bass drum is struck decisively. Soon, a cold, low growl enters. The light of the sun begins to fade as storm clouds begin to creep in overhead. Drop by drop, bead by bead, the cold rain sparsely descends from the heavens to chill the flesh. The icy precipitation goes on, varying in intensity but never quite reaching downpour before slowly fading out.
The perfect pace is sustained into the melancholic acoustic interlude as it feeds into the new “Gekkou no Daichi”. Lament churns on until the flame of hope is asphyxiated - extinguished until all that remains is the sincere vulnerability of utter despair. Just as soon as the rain is forgotten, the sky opens up in wondrous release, hurling down all that it can muster without relent nor reprieve. Dark and awful as the welkin presents itself, sprawling endlessly to the horizon, not a bolt of lightning flashes; not a thunder clap is heard. The sky is calm save for the rain, still pouring out in voluminous fury. Once the storm has taken its toll, the rain dissipates and draws to a close. The clouds dissolve and slink away revealing the blinding brightness that was always underneath. But not before every inch of earth is left soaked, consumed by the emotion left to resonate and linger on as drops of moisture gorgeously reflecting the reappearing sunlight.
Garten der Unbewusstheit
manages to be something rarely achieved in modern music: human. This music has been wrought with the earnestness of the human soul, baring its torment for the world. Though, amidst the anguish and despondency that rings out with each note, there is an underlying beauty, just able to be made out through the tatter and tarnish. And nothing could be more compelling, for only after the storm of hopelessness has been weathered is it possible to gaze upon the beauty that is hope.