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Gravity's Rim

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Album Review

Like some warped and post-apocalyptic symphony, the Vampire Rodents collective swan dives into another remarkably textured, sample-constructed exploration of what it means to make music. With the opening "Chain" setting the stage, all hollow vocals and odd jazz twists and form breaks, it's easy to see how the Rodents intend to play out their masquerade. A remarkable assimilation of sound, sonics, and scope follows, from the avant classical "Prophet Clown" to the opening cello of "Ice Borers," which fuses that intent with dancefloor beats, all the way to the late album helicopter beats on "H.M.P.," creating moment upon moment of surprise. But it's no wonder that the Rodents' core of Daniel Vahnke, Victor Wulf, and Anton Rathausen have propelled themselves nearly out of Gravity's Rim this time. Helped along by the crème de la crème of industrial's nether regions, all guest vocalists, the band has sutured its own style with those of Chemlab's Jared Hendrickson, Spahn Ranch's Athan Maroulis, and Battery's Maria Azevedo. The result, which brings some of the Residents' more musical meanderings to mind, is a triumph. And, while Gravity's Rim will be distasteful to some, it should prove to be a tasty main course for the clatterers.


Formed: 1986

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '90s

Assimilating elements of industrial, rock, jazz and surprisingly, classical music, the quartet known as Vampire Rodents use a collective of musicians plus samples to construct their albums; War Music was the first, in 1988, and was followed by Premonition, Lullaby Land, Clockseed and 1996's Gravity's Rim. The core of the band consists of Victor W. (piano,...
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Gravity's Rim, Vampire Rodents
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