It might not hit Dumb Flesh’s dancefloor highs but with decent headphones and a windswept night there’s points on here that are damn near-transcendental, although the damage left might be permanent.
On World Eater, the coexistence of melody and belligerence, of fragility under an invincible veneer, speak to the constructive and destructive capabilities of man. Power is completely honest about which instinct is winning right now.
World Eater is ferocious and intense, but it's also thrilling and bristling with life – and it’s these contrasts that make it such a blast to listen to.
World Eater thrives on the tension between anxiety and peace, nihilism and love. That’s tough stuff to reconcile, but Power attempts it in muscular yet heartfelt fashion. This is an album that will shake you senseless, eat you up and spit you out. And it’s worth very minute.
World Eater is an exercise in building something expansive, lyrical and emotional from a deliberately limited palette. It’s a testament to realising that less can be more, that pointed restraint can open up fertile creative avenues.
Considering his legacy, it's all the more impressive that Power found even more challenging places to go with his music, but World Eater's focused chaos is some of his finest work yet.
It does a solid job of scaring the living daylights out of us, retaining some of the dramatic ambient drones from Blanck Mass’s self-titled solo debut and the intricate programming from the EPs, but burying them in the walls of noise pursued in 2015’s Dumb Flesh.
If Dumb Flesh was a dance record about the fragility of the body, then World Eater is, perhaps, about the fragility of people. Power's frustration is clear.
It may be Power’s most fatalistic declaration, but also his most engagingly diverse, and his marked exasperations do reflect a not-so-distant dystopia that suitably aligns with today’s societal disconnect.
World Eater isn’t aspirational, it’s nasty. it’s the sort of music you pause when someone knocks on the door. it’s the sort of music you listen to when you need to wallow in your anger, not assuage it; when you want to feel righteous and charged up and weird.
Wreathed in loops and samples, swaddled in stacked vocal sounds, World Eater is former Fuck Button John Power’s response to the turbulence of 2016, and what he regards as “the inner beast inside human beings”. Unsurprisingly, it’s not a pretty sound, though there are moments of transcendent grace.
World Eater is a brutal record, but there’s humanity in it, because Power is drawn to melodies: even at its most pummelling it offers sweet spots and moments of instant gratification. Even without those, its unrelenting nature gives it a hypnotic power.