Antikatechon has released their fifth album, I Feel Nothing But Repulsion. On this album the Italian solo-artist, Davide Del Col, delves into highly disturbing and bleak soundscapes. Antikatechon have been aptly tagged by their label as post-industrial doom ambient. This album has intricately detailed harsh layers of sounds, often backed by a sort of white noise, which build tension and often a bit of anxiety in the listener. Yet within this tense collection of tracks, we find moments of subtle beauty.
"The Epitome Of Ingratitude" does not attempt to hide the bleak and devastating fury of I Feel Nothing But Repulsion. This track has a slow but steady build to a harsh wall of white noise, which slowly draws to a close by the end of the track. The main focus here is on the texture of these drones. "And All My Dreams, Torn Asunder" brings a much needed respite from the onslaught of the previous track. Here we are given a calm and meditative drone gently rolling in the background as a warm piano arrangement begs our attention. But this peacefulness doesn't last long before the calming drones progress into a much harsher shriek. As the white noise recedes, a woman's voice can be heard speaking through the static. She continues speaking as the track slowly draws to a close, leaving the listener in a state of suspense. "I Feel Nothing But Repulsion" is a fitting title for this track as it will surely not be pleasing to all listeners. This is definitely the harshest and most noisy track on the album. Yet again for the right person, these sounds have a lot of intricacies and almost a ritualistic feel. "From Defeat To Disintegration" is to me the most beautiful track on the album. There is a ritualistic aspect to this track, which holds the listeners attention through all the various ups and downs. A piano arrangement is looped throughout the track, as a drone gently builds to full force in the background. As the drone slowly recedes, a variation of the previous arrangement returns to the forefront bringing with it an almost nostalgic feeling. By the time we reach "The Smell Of A Dying Saviour" we have been numbed by the bleak and doomed atmospheres of the previous tracks. Antikatechon slowly builds up this track, from a very quiet and subdued guitar drone over some other somber sounds to a roaring wall of noise, which drops back to silence and refocuses on its dark somber atmospherics. A final guitar drone gently carries the track to its close over some quite theatrical synths.
Antikatechon are a bit of a love or hate project, on the surface I Feel Nothing But Repulsion is not aesthetically pleasing. There are vast sections of the album which grind away at bleak isolationist sounds that seem to be dredged from some abandoned industrial complex. Yet these expanses are dotted with moments of beauty and clarity, be it a lonely violin or piano entering the mix or the staticy transmission of some ancient sound-clip, there is never too long of a wait before something of interest and beauty re-enters the mix. It will be these moments of beauty which pull in many listeners, and the harsher moments may well drive some of them away. I Feel Nothing But Repulsion is certainly not for everyone, but if you like your ambient music to have a visceral effect on you, and you like intricately layered harsh drones, this is the album for you.
Review written by: Michael