In 1995, Godflesh’s Ben Green retired to a remote cottage in the Cambrian Mountains of Wales, where he had spent much time as a child. For the next year, he virtually isolated himself from the modern world and allowed nature to speak to him in ways in which he previously could not decipher. Equipped only with a basic 8-track, guitar, and two microphones, he recorded layer upon layer of natural acoustic phenomena as he honed his mind with the philosophies of natural science, alchemy, magick, and the qabbala. Each of Vitriol’s seven cuts is a stage of Green’s subsequent self-realization, painstakingly recorded in spacious soundscapes and spanning the centuries as any ambient drone from Mick Harris, Thomas Koner, or Justin Broadrick would. The 43-minute disc has a terraced effect: track “I” begins lithely yet chillingly unlike Rapoon or Alio Die; track “II” is a bit more mechanical, like Close To The Edge-era Yes ambience remixed by Dead World; track “III” proceeds through the dense fabric of space noise with a deep baritone vox (but slowed to a creep) like the MCP from Disney’s Tron; track “IV” ebbs through the blackness like Brian May wished he could’ve on Queen’s 1980 soundtrack to Flash Gordon; track “V” is permeated with Aube-like electric water that oozes toward an ancient, unseen hinterland; track “VI” casts a spell of otherworldly descent in a dreamlike trance; and track “VII” stretches toward the light once again with hopeful guitar chords that reveal Green’s successful return from within. Oh, if only we non-musical blokes could run off into the wilderness to find ourselves, and return with something this infinite.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Dan Woolley
April 6th, 2001


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