Wallowing’s Orwellian vision of the future, as rendered through their new album Planet Loss, is harrowing. Constructed as a politically charged narrative of a small rebellion against an oppressive ruling regime which results in the end of civilization, the album is a single 32-minute piece of music divided into six sub-tracks — and they are every bit as harrowing as this UK band’s apocalyptic tale.
The album will be released on September 13th by Sludgelord Records and Black Voodoo Records. References are made, like a musical GPS, to Indian, Primitive Man, and Slabdragger. Further locational guides to Wallowing’s place in the underground include references to blackened sludge, grindcore, and noise. Where all those coordinates lead is a nightmare wasteland rendered through sound, where the physical demolition of civilization’s proud edifices is still in progress, and where sanity has already become a casualty.
Lyrically, the sub-parts of Planet Loss address such issues as the current political climate, the effects it has on the planet and its inhabitants (“Earthless”); being born into a failing system (“Hail Creation”), mental illness as well as the stigma surrounding it (“Vessel”), and racism, homophobia, and discrimination as a whole (“Phosgene”). It’s that last song, “Phosgene“, that we’re presenting today.
Wallowing launch the track with a barrage of detonating drums, heaving and roiling chord masses, and unhinged vocal insanity. The onslaught of sound is virtually unrelenting as it moves into massive, lurching, depth-charge rhythms. With bursts of crazed fretwork and schizophrenic tempos, the song plunders, shrieks, wails — and then slows way down, making way for deep, dragging chords that moan in misery while the vocalist cuts his throat from ear to ear with the lacerations of those screams.
There’s an awful grandeur to that sequence, depicting desolation on a breathtaking scale, and then the song shifts gears into earth-moving mode, pushing the wreckage of broken buildings ahead of it, while delivering bursts of blaring melody into the ruined skies above. Somehow, in the mist of all the lunacy and titanic destruction, there’s a futuristic (as well as fatalistic) atmosphere to the music.
One other track from Planet Loss premiered previously at CVLT Nation. “Hail Creation” gives the band two more minutes to work with than the song we’re premiering today. The ingredients aren’t dissimilar (the song is still titanically heavy, relentlessly discordant, and vocally brain-wrecking), but the extra time allows Wallowing to make the song even more hallucinatory and apocalyptic, and to stomp your fractured skeleton into even smaller pieces. It stays in the slow and lurching lane more consistently than “Phosgene“, but the song’s pounding pulses do have their own contagious qualities. The nightmarish video for the track, which we’ve included below, only makes the music more… nightmarish.
Planet Loss was recorded, mixed, and mastered by Wayne Adams at Bear Bites Horse Studios. The cover art was created by Luke Oram. It will be released on a slime-green translucent LP, which comes with a digital download code.
We’ll also alert you to the fact that Wallowing will be touring in the UK with Monolithian next month in support of Planet Loss. Here are the dates:
Sept. 12 – New River Studios, London
Sept. 13 – Temple of Boom, Leeds
Sept. 14 – Chameleon Cafe, Nottingham
Sept. 15 – The Old England, Bristol