A.V. Club Most Read

News Newswire Great Job, Internet!
TV Club All Reviews What's On Tonight
Video All Video A.V. Undercover A.V. Cocktail Club Gift Guide
Reviews All Reviews Film TV Music Books
Features All Features Income Disposal Newswire
Sections Film Tv Music Food Comedy Books Games Aux
Our Company About Us Contact Advertise Privacy Policy Careers RSS
Onion Inc. Sites The Onion The A.V. Club ClickHole Onion Studios

Prurient: Bermuda Drain

A

Prurient

Album: Bermuda Drain
Label: Hydra Head

Community Grade (6 Users)

  • A
  • A-
  • B+
  • B
  • B-
  • C+
  • C
  • C-
  • D+
  • D
  • D-
  • F

Your Grade

?

“If I could, I’d take a tree branch and ram it inside you / but it’s already been done,” Dominick Fernow coldly intones on “Palm Tree Corpse,” one of the least friendly songs on Bermuda Drain, the latest from Fernow’s long-running project Prurient. In a sense, those lines sum up Bermuda Drain itself. After a decade of forging the most jagged, invasive noise imaginable, Fernow has moved ahead, tempering his menace with a broader range of texture and tone. And yes, even melody. The result is Prurient’s strongest statement to date, and its best album.

The disc is out for blood: After opening with “Many Jewels Surround The Crown”—a crushingly distorted, Goblin-esque dirge that could soundtrack a snuff film—Bermuda Drain offers a false sense of tolerability with the industrialized thrash of “A Meal Can Be Made.” The digitized riffs and bleak hooks evoke everything from Young Gods to Black Celebration-era Depeche Mode, a departure from Prurient’s usual Whitehouse worship. It’s also possible that Fernow’s recent tenure in the dark-wave outfit Cold Cave exerts a small influence, although “There Are Still Secrets,” the album’s most accessible song, still manages to sear skin with liquid-nitrogen synths and curdled screams.

The power-electronics attack of Prurient’s past remains at the core of the album, particularly in the serrated, disembodied title track. Even at its most blunt and abusive, though, there’s a dynamic subtlety and blown-out ambience that lulls sanity to the brink, then dangles it there. “Give birth to something dead / Give birth to something old,” Fernow whispers like a Cronenbergian gynecologist in the chilling “Let’s Make A Slave.” But with Bermuda Drain, he’s done the opposite, giving birth to something alive and new.