Blanck Mass – In Ferneaux

Benjamin John Power returns with a more reflective and hymnal take on the Blanck Mass sound

Album Review by Skye Butchard | 22 Feb 2021
  • Blanck Mass - In Ferneaux
Album title: In Ferneaux
Artist: Blanck Mass
Label: Sacred Bones
Release date: 26 Feb

Where do you go after pushing the volume to its limit? Benjamin John Power’s music as Blanck Mass has been there for years of extreme and often incredible electronic music. While there’s no doubt that he’s nailed the intensity, In Ferneaux offers a more reflective and hymnal take on his signature sound.

The album remains an ambitious undertaking, broken into two gigantic tracks spanning 20 minutes each. The noise remains too – both tracks open with blasts of sound that jolt you awake from then on. Still, there’s a loose and meditative approach here, and a more private significance for its creator. These tracks began as personal field recordings. Their origins centre the project as a journey alongside its creator.

The result is a texture-driven project that emphasises dark and light at a cosmic scale. Violent machinery, fire smoke and tribal rituals are all conjured in its heaviest moments, giving way to soft pads, open skies and stargazing. Its best moments are the dreamy, melody-driven passages that burst through, and give new weight to the cacophony around them.

The sound of In Ferneaux is impeccable, but it might be more impactful with clearer structure. Ideas disintegrate before developing, awkwardly blending into the next, leading to occasionally aimless moments. At its best, though, it’s a riveting and subtle addition to an already impressive discography.

Listen to: Phase I