Blanck Mass

Animated Violence Mild

Sacred Bones


If Ben Power went all weird on us with his last part-electro drone part-hardcore punk and black metal EP then it was a welcome arrival amidst a morass of soundalike derivatives.

The experimental nature of the Odd Scene/Sh*t Luck 12 inch from last year were an assault to the senses and had more than enough hooks and exploding gothic splendour to allow the former to be our tune of the year.

If the Edinburgh-base electro fiend hinted to us that there might be a change to the extreme nature of this one-off 12 inch, well it may well have been a diversionary tactic.

The fourth album starts off with one of his best. Death Drop moves him back into his more familiar frentic electro with an industrial feel but throws in some enticing house flicks and with a nod to that sublime 12 inch, a sonic blast of primal screamo.

Now this will put a lot off, but that is the beauty of Power, who is one of Scotland's most underrated artists. There appears no compromise to what he thinks the broader population might want to hear.

House vs House shows that Power can cut it with the club DJs with a more straight-ahead dance cut. Yet he still manages the trick of throwing harder synth sounds to make the whole thing still come over edgy. Calvin Harris, he is not.

The frenzied Hush Money sounds like Depeche Mode vs Gary Numan on steroids and that's a compliment.

Power's screamo influences provide a surprise ending to the dizzying twisted synth epic Love Is A Parasite.

And just when you thing there will be more of the same, the harps (artificial or otherwise) of Creature/West Fuqua brings us into a left field chillout zone normally occupied by the likes of Burial. It's only fault is it is way too short and feels like an interlude rather than a prelude to something even bigger.

In AVM, Power, who has been operating under the Blanck Mass moniker since 2010, has in the main taken his foot off the restraint pedal and provided a beguiling 45 minute mash up of trance, house, power ballads, punk, hardcore and grindcore that will leave heads spinning.


What does he say about it?

“In this post-industrial, post-enlightenment religion of ourselves, we have manifested a serpent of consumerism which now coils back upon us. It seduces us with our own bait as we betray the better instincts of our nature and the future of our own world. We throw ourselves out of our own garden. We poison ourselves to the edges of an endless sleep.

"I believe that many of us have willfully allowed our survival instinct to become engulfed by the snake we birthed. Animated — brought to life by humankind. Violent — insurmountable and wild beyond our control. Mild — delicious."

His PR says:"These eight tracks are the diary of a year of work steeped in honing craft, self-discovery, and grief - the latter of which reared its head at the final hurdle of producing this record and created a whole separate narrative: grief, both for what Power has lost personally, but also in a global sense, for what we as a species have lost and handed over to our blood-sucking counterpart, consumerism, only to be ravaged by it.

"Having worked extensively throughout his musical life with dramatics, narrative, and ‘melody against all odds’, these tracks are the most direct and honest yet."