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Getting The Fear

Can you feel the threat of imminent annihilation reaching for your throat?
December 1, 2003, 12:00am

Can you feel it reaching for your throat? That threat of imminent annihilation. Tensing your muscles as you walk the streets and through the underground, head down, shoulders hunched, waiting to be poisoned by terrorist gas or blown to bits by a dirty bomb. Odourless, colourless, formless it may be, but war fear is ever present nonetheless, filling every crevice of the city with this dreaded malaise. How fortunate then that those canny Germans have seen fit to apply their industrial know-how and offer a palliative for those seeking a final solution. Enter Bohren & Der Club Of Gore (literally, ‘Boredom and The Club Of Gore’), teutonic prophets of doom based in the industrial hinterland of Mülheim an der Ruhr who, with their latest opus Black Earth, have crafted the aural equivalent of Jack Kervorkian’s jerry-rigged Suicide Machine (albeit executed with rather more finesse): push the button and nine kinds of pleasurable poison flood your system, providing a painless end to eternal misery. The origins of this four-piece are shrouded in mystery, save the fact that at some point during the 90s members of German hardcore legends 7 Inch Boots laid their weapons of mass destruction to rest and decided to employ more sublime instruments of torture. They turned to the mellifluous tones of 50s cocktail jazz - drums, double bass, sax and electric piano - as a tool to lull the listener into a false sense of security. When Bohren take their solemn death parade to the people there are few (if any) concessions to those of weak mind or constitution. They are renowned for playing in pitch blackness, at other times illuminated from above by four spotlights while butchers’ hooks on heavy steel chains rock pendulously around them. The goal, says the group’s diseased organ player Morten Gass, is “to create a quiet heaviness”, the sound of silence with the crushing intensity of black metal. And, frankly, euthanasia never sounded so good. CHARLIE CHUCKLES
Bohren & Der Club Of Gore’s ‘Black Earth’ is out now on Wonder Records.