Korperschwache

Evil Walks

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AllMusic Review by

The Texan act Korperschwache has been around since the 1990s, but in a way the release of Evil Walks could not have been better timed at a point where a vast sprawl of bands doesn't seem to so much be metal or art rock or noise or something else as it is a constantly recombined force incorporating them all. "There Is a Certain Smell Attractive to Wolves" kicks off the album with a sense of found sound/radio drama mix, a female voice talking about not wanting to die as wolves start to howl in the background, before the music begins to crawl in. The contrast between spoken word and music recurs throughout Evil Walks, in all meant to be a portrait of the states of mind indicated by the title. Sometimes it's a little more cartoonish than anything else; the voice of the opening pyromaniac at the start of "Burning Man" doesn't raise hackles so much as put on a show. More terrifying -- both in a "real" horror movie sense and with a distinct feeling of putting the act of voyeurism under the microscope -- is "The City of Lost Girls," with bursts of news reports about murders in Mexican border towns and some horribly harrowing screams taking the lead over a slow, funereal procession of an arrangement, distant drums and a mournful, crushed two-note melody later matched with a slightly more active but still calm piano part. The slow, dark grind of the music is on the one hand "black metal" in the stereotypical sense -- distant/howled rasps in the vocals, a suffused murk -- but on the other has a certain focus that suggests something between early Godflesh in full beatbox mode and the darker distorted flow of shoegaze with any romanticism stripped away in favor of a roiling glower. "The Rearing Elephant" has a great, slow epic build of an opening that -- even more enjoyably -- moves into a slightly different arrangement for the vocals, feeling almost akin to the Cure's "The Drowning Man" more than anything else, while the concluding title track essentially repurposes the downward sliding melody of Gary Numan's "M.E." into a huge headcrush.

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