Vicious Beast was the duo of Thomas Mortigan and Cornelius, a power electronics/droning noise group that released Tortura Obscura back in 2009 on Destructive Industries. This re-release on L. White Records comes packaged in a slim DVD case with new artwork, and includes two bonus tracks, featuring Mortigan and Churner on bass and electronics.
The five tracks originally included on Tortura Obscura are synth-heavy and laden with effects. Often, Vicious Beast use repetitive synth rhythms to bolster a track, then incorporate noisy layers overtop of them; opener “Bog Beasts” sets a foggy course with a droning synth repetition, and “All in Black” follows with mournful violin-esque lines punctuated with bass.
Later tracks like the lengthy “Finale/Tortura Obscura” drone on with prominent electronic effects rather than rhythm. “Even in Death, They Sang Songs” focuses more on simplistic synths with whispered vocals and even some pipe manipulation; the lyrics aren’t as effective, but this track is already steeped in atmosphere. The two bonus tracks are welcome additions to the release, with Churner’s bass a significant factor in both that gives Vicious Beast even more depth.
All told Tortura Obscura‘s re-release is certainly a strong album, made more so by a couple of additional tracks providing another 15 minutes of content. The release looks great, too, so it’s a project worth looking into.