Christian Dubé’s project has certainly blossomed over the years. Originating back in 2000, Rei Rea started off as a software-based musical outlet based in Dubé’s basement (that must be one fucking dark basement), releasing a number of split collaborations throughout the years as well as standalone albums, such as Hate Hand And Hate and Slug Launching Stinction. As time progressed, Rei Rea evolved and started to encompass electric and acoustic instruments and have now come back with their latest album Food For The Worms.
The macabre ambiance is the first thing that grabs you when the dystopian vision of Rei Rea settles in. The otherworldly quality of the music can appear as menacing as in “Cluster” but then as subtle as in “The Mile.” The twists and turns of that aspect of the record are quite slithering and it becomes very intriguing to try and predict what the next moment might bring. The addition of movement in songs such as “Gerry Membrain” further enhances the dreary mood that Rei Rea are set in, while the absolutely hideous beginning in “Torture Well” shows how sadistic this album can get. The mysterious synths that are thrown in further enhance the hallucinogenic influence of the record, especially in the opening track, while at other times pushes the sonic boundaries of Rei Rea to their extremities, as is the case with “The Mile.”
The vocals do not make the process any more pleasant. Distorted and disfigured beyond recognition, they are nevertheless used in a very unique and creative way to add theatricality and suspense to Dubé’s concepts. From the eerie vocals in “Gerry Membrain” the idea becomes quite clear, but the level of insanity that they can reach is shown in all its glory when “War Rat” comes in.
The industrial foundation that Dubé is making use of is fitting perfectly with his ambiance and the vocal delivery. The repetitive patterns allow the songs to really sink in, with the mechanical approach in tracks such as “Torture Well” making the whole ambiance take a shift for the colder and the darker alike. On the other hand, when more of an impactful mean is required, Rei Rea can throw in the thundering drums, as they do in “War Rat,” rendering every beat an explosion of sonic energy, as the industrial march continues. There are even moments when the rhythm section might take an approach for the more tribal-esque, something that happens in “Garry Membrain” (careful, not the same as “Gerry Membrain)” which absolutely turns the tables on you.
The inclusion of a noise influence in Food For The Worms further enhances the menacing and intense side of the band. From the slight influence of noise in the vocals of “War Rat” and the slight inclusion in the background of “Gerry Membrain,” it becomes quite obvious that Dubé has affection for the genre. That fondness becomes apparent and then unbearable in the final minutes of “Torture Well,” after an intense buildup, and in an absolutely tremendous manner in “Garry Membrain.” The way in which the songs are layered and structured, and the manner in which noise can creep in at any point within their core is making Food For The Worms quite a daunting release.
Still in my opinion the best is kept for last in this case. The final two songs of the album, “Giant” and “Scoff” suddenly find Rei Rea giving retreating to their minimalistic side. Even though one could predict such a move, the way in which it is being done is more exciting than you would expect. The songs start to take a colossal personification with the feedback covering everything around you as sounds collide to create the ever changing soundscapes of the album. The free flowing noise and music that is unleashed reaches much darker depths giving a torturous sense to the songs alongside a ritualistic and majestic vibe.
Food For The Worms is a proper dark album, and I find it quite funny that is considered to be “a record about life” as is stated by Rei Rea. The only reason that I find that statement to be funny is because I am trying to imagine what could Dubé with a record about death… It does not seem to be that funny now that I am thinking about it…
7.5 / 10
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