Jun 302023


On July 12th the Czech label Owlripper Recordings will release Eater of Self, a new album by Pennsylvania-based Squelch Chamber. In describing it, the label invites you to consider the idea of a sonic blender:

For the forthcoming album, mangle together in a blender reminiscences of the untamed ferocity of Primitive Man, The Body, Ken Mode, Therapy? on their first 2 EPs, Abandon (Sweden), Skinny Puppy, then add dashes of Agoraphobic Nosebleed, Full Of Hell and Fear Of God all on 16rpm, but with added liquids, doom and noise. That’s the Squelch Chamber cocktail as I hear it, so I hope this gets you suitably intrigued for the monolithic album that is to follow…

Well, that got us intrigued, and the album track we’re premiering today followed intrigue with deep-seated disturbances, made even more disturbing by the video that accompanies it.

Entitled “The Steeple Is Falling,” this track provides a setting for lyrics that express an extremely bleak world-view — of a decaying world headed for ruin, its people driven by need and consumed by hate.

The sonic sensations are themselves bleak and black. There’s a through-line in the track, one that’s well-established in its opening minute — an urgent electronic throb cloaked in other more shrill sonic radiations. In that initial phase, the throbbing electronics are accompanied by distorted howls, and together they create a dismal and oppressive mood.

Once established, that mechanistic pulse continues, but what surrounds it becomes more harrowing — low-frequency pounding, high-frequency boiling, booming and battering drums, and torrid cries and screams.The pulse itself becomes so abrasive that it begins to sound like a tunnel-boring machine chewing its way through bedrock, while snare-drum gunshots methodically go off and percussive bombs detonate. What was once oppressive is now unnerving and increasingly apocalyptic.

There’s a short break, when the pulse stands alone again, but what follows is, if anything, even more despairing and destructive — the pounding heavier, the snare crashes more splintering, the abrasive tunneling even more mangling, the voice as distraught as ever.

The accompanying video is a remarkable collage of imagery, effects, and flashing words. In the words of The Owl (Owlripper‘s proprietor), who made it:

Visually I wanted to focus in on the damage that humans have done, are doing, the fighting, the lack of respect for the planet and nature, and that humans have so much potential, and they show it in some brilliant things, but that nature will win out in the end if the general masses continue to be oblivious to their actions. That was my interpretation of where the lyrics pointed, and the mood of the song fit this kind of overwhelming theme, so I piled on a few layers and made it noisy, apocalyptic and psychedelic looking to follow the aural attack.

You’ll see — the video does indeed provide a harrowing match for the harrowing audio:

For more info about the release of Eater of Self, make the leap to these locations:



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