Review Summary: One of the more interesting records of Whitehouse's lengthy discography.
After the severe misstep that was Dedicated to Peter Kurten
, Whitehouse needed to change its content up. Buchenwald
was the result. Both a return to form and a fall from grace, Buchenwald
has many things going for it, but wastes it on tired tools of trade. Buchenwald
remains one of the biggest oddities in Whitehouse history and asking fans opinions on the album will give varied answers ranging between love and hate.
The title track Buchenwald
is definitely the best track on the record. It utilizes distorted feedback with a heavy horn distortion that creates this unbelievable sense of dread and general evil. Utilizing Peter McKay's knack for the absurd, Buchenwald has an insane amount of new tools at use for William Bennett to use, the most important being William's unfettered screeching over the backdrop of the distorted horn. Clocking in at over twelve minutes, Buchenwald
is an amazing track and a great addition to William's epic series.
One thing to note about this album is the lack of William's screaming for most of it. It is really disappointing especially with the innovations in radio feedback and horn distortion. Beggars can't be choosers I guess.
As we move on to Dedicated to Albert Salvo
a disturbing reality begins to creep up on me. William is relying way too much on the screeching feedback from his previous 1981 records. I suppose there was a time when this was a really good idea, but now it seems overused and tends to overshadow the other amazing features on the album. One of them being the distorted horn and another being this thunderous roar of static that plays in the background of this track. The track is mostly good, but the lack of attention paid to the thunderous roar seems a bit of a poor choice.
The Days at Florabelle
once again utilize the distorted horn to my feverish delight, but also ramp up the feedback screeching to new heights, once again overshadowing the distorted horn and causes the track to fail distinguishing itself from Dedicated to Albert Salvo
. Mostly there is very little to identify between these two tracks except for a brilliant use of radio static churned through a filter about 50 times throughout The Days at Florabelle
is a bit pathetic. Not only does it, once again, needlessly rely on feedback screeching again; it also uses the water sound effect from Dedicated to Peter Kurten. At four minutes, the one saving grace I can think about for this track is that William's screaming makes a triumphant return through most of it.
sadistically milks the feedback screeching for all it's worth, sterilizes the effect of innovating tools, and makes very little use of William's screaming. Buchenwald
's title track, however, turns this album from an absolute farce into a golden goose. It's brilliant mix-up of ideas along with its epic twelve minute length, create one of the best tracks in Whitehouse history, and make Buchenwald worth listening to.