Blanck Mass: Animated Violence Mild (Sacred Bones) Review | Under The Radar Magazine Under the Radar | Music Blog for the Indie Music Magazine
Thursday, September 23rd, 2021  

Blanck Mass

Blanck Mass Animated Violence Mild

Sacred Bones

Aug 22, 2019 Web Exclusive Bookmark and Share

Animated Violence Mild, the fourth full-length from Benjamin John Power’s Blanck Mass, builds on 2017’s excellent World Eater to deliver his most vicious, focused, and danceable release yet. After 15 years of consistently outstanding output, first with partner Andrew Hung as Fuck Buttons, then solo as Blanck Mass, Power’s sonic vocabulary continues to expand. He confidently mixes elements of drone, industrial, and black metal with astonishing ease. It’s about as accessible as experimental electronic music gets but, make no mistake, this is a brutal record for troubled times.

Power’s work has always been timely but these eight tracks feel particularly representative of the current social and political moment in the western world. From the authoritarian stomp of opener “Death Drop” to the searing synth lead of closer “Wings of Hate,” this album is pure, mechanized evil from start-to-finish. It’s driven by big, nasty beats that propel us into a schizophrenic fever dream. Layer upon layer of distorted samples pound and crash into each other. When vocals emerge from the mix, they’re always warped or wraith-like, pitch shifted into a fun house mirror of pain and confusion. Even on “Creature/West Fuqua,” which contains the most restrained, meditative moments, we’re always standing on shifting sands, unable to discern fantasy from reality. It’s beautiful and horrific all at once.

Power sees Animated Violence Mild as an elegy “for what we as a species have lost and handed over to our blood-sucking counterpart, consumerism, only to be ravaged by it.” This sentiment is best expressed in “Love is a Parasite,” the throbbing heart at the album’s center. It’s a microcosm that underlines many of these ideas in just over six minutesa massive statement that’s fully realized, fascinatingly fragmented, and deeply unsettling. This is essential listening from an essential artist. (

Author rating: 8/10

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Average reader rating: 7/10


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