Carpenter Brut - LEATHER TERROR
Released off label 2022
Carpenter Brut has been a name synonymous with the darksynth and synthwave scenes for as long as I can remember. He’s become an icon within the scene and whenever he releases a new album, buzz gets going and fans eagerly await every drop of music that pours forth from the producer. The same can easily be said for his latest album “LEATHER TERROR”, a huge album featuring a slew of solo songs and mega-collaborations that should have audiophiles drooling. And, well, the hype is deserved. “LEATHER TERROR” is easily one of Carpenter Brut’s most ambitious albums to date featuring crunchy and punchy synths and collaborations that are extraordinary.
The opening track is a martial-industrial mash-up of war drums, bells, chants, and crunchy synths that prepare me for the oncoming onslaught of heavy beats. The two-minute opener is a wonderful starting tease before the main course is served. ‘Straight Outta Hell’ is a non-stop slaughterhouse of synthetic beats and pulsating drums. Whether Carpenter Brut likes it or not, he’s created synthetic-metal with this track that is just about heavier than any metal song I’ve ever laid my ears on. Pair that with choral chanting in the background of the song and we really do have music that’s, as the title suggests, straight outta hell.
‘The Widow Maker’ is a mega-collaboration between Carpenter Brut’s engaging music and Gunship’s vocals. During the verses, the music is rather chill and lends its hand to synthpop territory. However, as soon as the chorus begins Carpenter Brut turns the notch up to eleven and blasts out crunchy and punchy synths like never before. The result is an engaging track with solid and handsome vocals alongside mesmerizing and fascinating beats. ‘Imaginary Fire’ continues the mega-collaborations as Greg Puciato (former Dillinger Escape Plan, Black Queen, Killer Be Killed) provides wholesome vocals on this track. Like the previous track, Carpenter Brut packs in a steady stream of smooth rhythms during the verse that reminisces synthetic rock. However, every once in a while, Brut lets loose a barrage of angry synths to my delight. Puciato needs to be recognized as well as he expertly crosses the boundary between soft spoken lyrics, energize and emotive singing, and metal shouts. It’s a wondrous work that deserves a ton of praise.
‘…Good Night, Goodbye’ is a slower, experimental piece featuring Ulver. The beginning minute or so of the song is nothing more than sombre piano keys and violin surrounding by dark ambient textures and samples. Around the one-minute and thirty-second mark does the single shift a bit as brighter synths pour forth from the darkness. And at the one-minute and forty-six second mark does Ulver make their debut on the song with a slow-moving rhythm. There’s a pretty crescendo toward the end of the track that left me impressed, to say the very least. After that string of collabs, we jump back into pure Carpenter Brut territory with ‘Day Stalker’ and ‘Night Prowler’. I speak of them both as one in the same as anyone with a mind can tell they mimic one another as opposites in song titles. ‘Day Stalker’ begins with lo-fi techno beats with layers of electronica above. Around the one-minute mark it breaks into a swell, robust track. Carpenter Brut once again dials the insanity up out of nowhere and ends the song with amazingly crunchy beats. This leads directly into ‘Night Prowler’. It takes the final intense moment of ‘Day Stalker’ and continues the eerie feeling of being followed and hunted for a three-minute ballad of heart pounding darksynth beats.
Carpenter Brut then dives into 80s modern disco territory with ‘Lipstick Masquerade’. This track features Parisian vocalist Persha and she does a phenomenal job of matching the energy Brut dishes out. Her voice is solid, emotional, and quite gorgeous. The beats within the song are funky and energetic, and never once do they fail to make me wanna wiggle my butt at the very chair I sit at. After another rampant track of Brut’s signature style with ‘Color Me Blood’, ‘Stabat Mater’ comes up featuring Norwegian multi-instrumentalist and singer Sylvaine. This is an atmospheric piece that could easily be found as the opening crawl of a horror film. Even when further synthetic work is added into the song later on, ramping up the tension, does it not lose its charm. It’s a wonderful piece that deserves to be heard. And Sylvaine’s voice is just as honest and brilliant as the music.
Before the final song and collaboration on the album, Brut gives us one final solo send-off with the organ filled ‘Paradisi Gloria’. Moments of quiet are often broken by his masterful use of blasting synths. The final song on the album is the title track, ‘Leather Terror’, featuring Johannes "Jonka" Andersson. Considering the song features a Tribulation member, it’s only appropriate that the single combines heavy drums, maniacal synths, organs, and Andersson’s signature growls. It’s a phenomenal way to go out and a fitting end to “Leather Terror”.
I’ve said enough already that I don’t feel the need to make a concluding paragraph here. Simply put, “LEATHER TERROR” is stellar. Go get it. Nine out of ten.Apr 02 2022
I've been writing for Brutal Resonance since November of 2012 and now serve as the editor-in-chief. I love the dark electronic underground and usually have too much to listen to at once but I love it. I am also an editor at Aggressive Deprivation, a digital/physical magazine since March of 2016. I support the scene as much as I can from my humble laptop.
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