The Bestial Light (Clear Vinyl)
Dutch experimentalists RMFTM are ushering in their tenth year as a band with their sixth full-length ‘The Bestial Light’ and marking yet another evolution in sound and line-up from the shape-shifting Eindhoven-based collective. Across their extensive back-catalogue and many collaborations (including with the likes of Gnod, The Cosmic Dead and 10 000 Russos, as well as the occasional art piece), the band have moved from expansive space-rock to avant-garde drone and industrial techno. Now, however, is the time for something else.
Bolstered by the addition of a vocalist and second drummer, the incendiary ‘Bestial Light’ LP sees the band move on from the electronic experimentations of the Subversive album trilogy (culminating in their most-recent LP, 2018’s ‘De Spelende Mens’) and last year’s ‘Bliss’ EP. Their new direction, instead, finds them journeying into a dissonant industrial punk sound that’s Einstürzende Neubauten and early Swans by way of Neurosis and Godflesh. Fusing heavy industrial rhythm sections, biting post-punk vocals and crushing “acid metal” riffs, the new incarnation of RMFTM (aka Radar Men From The Moon) is comprised of core members Glenn Peeters (guitar), Tony Lathouwers (drums), Titus Verkuijlen (bass) and Bram van Zuijlen (guitar/synth), with the addition of Joep Schmitz (drums) and Harm Neidig (vocals/saxophone).
Not long after recruiting the new members, the now-expanded RMFTM headed back into the studio with their long-term producer Bob de Wit (Gnod, A Place to Bury Strangers, Mudhoney), laying down the new album in 14-hour shifts over 12 days: “We were constantly 100% on it so the process was quite intense but also very rewarding. You can definitely hear that on the record.” On the album’s theme, borne out just as much in their creative approach as it is as the lyrics and instrumentation, they say: “We wanted to write about everything instinctual in mankind, individual desires and true will. Transgression and the seductiveness of unreason.” Unsurprising, then, that ‘The Bestial Light’ is such a primitive, borderline-depraved affair; one that constantly feels like it’s hurtling towards an edge that you’re never quite sure you want to look over.
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