May 27, 2024

Caspar Brotzmann Massaker – “Home” – terrifying ultra-heavy rock trio from the nineties

SOUTHERN LORD 17th April 2020

Six months on from the screaming jazz feedback and heavy rock of the early nineties albums, “Der Abend Der Schwarzen Folklore” / “Koksofen” comes this reissue offering with ever more crushing riffs and extreme punishment for guitars. “Home” is very much a continuation and is the penultimate album from the trio and the last with the line up that sustained this run of albums. Recorded in the home studio of Einstürzende Neubauten’s drummer, FM Einheit, who set up his gear in a disused swimming pool while the band played in the roof. I can’t imagine it going down well with the neighbours.

Happy with this line-up, Brotzmann revisits a few tracks from much earlier albums and bends them all out of shape again. That’s what he does – experimental guitar twisting lashed to some of the heaviest sounds this side of Earth. The opener is one of the reworkings and is packed with loud thumping, niggling guitar, repetitive bass and ominous growling whispers. Occasionally the drums break off to jazzier places or the guitar takes off on electronic flights on wings of feedback and howling dissonance. In essence this band is a menacing primitive twist on the Jimi Hendrix Trio.

Elsewhere, variations in pace and colour keep the interest high as we cower in a corner. Grunts slam into the powerful guitar, over-amping brings the strings’ sound in as metallic attack on the touch of a finger. Sometimes there is an extended drum workout, other times we get fifteen minutes of an exploratory guitar journey. The whole is frighteningly intense and as compelling as a slow motion collision. Noises combine and assault the ear, legs liquefy and the sensation is of being prey to the sound, trapped by a sudden inertia.

It’s all about the mood and the freedom to go where a trio wants to go, meaning this can carry the spirit of jazz into terrifying heavy rock. Highly recommended for fans of Krautrock, Cream or heavy jazzy trios.

Read our review of the previous reissues here:

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