Premiere: Blackened industrial dread on Gruth’s Befallen

Gruth’s blackened electronics have been festering in the underground over a few releases now, with his roles listed as “black arts, misanthropy and abhorrence” on his Bandcamp profile.

Brazil-based finnish producer Juha Puuperä has released two EPs on São Paulo experimental label Tormenta Electrica, with vinyl release Futile Demise and limited edition tape Laments hitting a sort of grotesque bullseye at the crossroads of black metal, dark ambient, industrial, techno and ritualistic drone music. There’s an obvious horror element, with Puuperä an Italian giallo disciple, but he’s also tapping into the darkest heart of soundsystem culture, inspired by the frazzled dub experiments of bass terrorist The Bug.

Futile Demise was an uncompromising first EP by Tormenta Electrica, with tracks like Disgorged Viscera’s demonic retching and rattling metallic dub making no concession to any electronic music fads. Follow-up Laments was picked up by Andrew Weatherall, who said of its ritual ambient occultism: “If ever I were to go lysergic adventuring again, this would be part of the soundtrack. Magnificent. 5/5.”

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Gruth is releasing his third EP Befallen this week, and the five-track vinyl is billed as a sister piece to Futile Demise, further exploring a mechanical, metallic industrial path, with a return to his first instrument the guitar, and heavily processed black metal vocals.

The title track sees regular collaborator KuJo turn up again on “broken violin”, playing a wailing, discordant string lament over a sludge-paced reverbed kick drum pulse and terrifying ASMR effects, like insects scuttling over the cave walls.

Befallen is out on September 30, and I’ll have an interview with Gruth to mark the release, but until then, listen to the title track below…