Review: Corrupted ‘Felicific Algorithm / Mushikeras’

Japan’s Corrupted are a mystery to most. No interviews, no photo shoots, very little is known about these drone, doom and sludge icons, other than they produce some of the genre’s most devastating and intoxicating music. All self-respecting doom-heads should be familiar with their 1997 landmark Paso Inferior. Felicific Algorithm / Mushikeras is a compilation release of their multi-speed vinyl only Felicific Algorithm release from 2018, while it also includes a physical version for the first time of their 2023 digital only Mushikeras piece as well and is out now through Cold Spring Records.

Corrupted 'Felicific Algorithm / Mushikeras' Artwork
Corrupted ‘Felicific Algorithm / Mushikeras’ Artwork

This is no simple reissue though, as the title tracks have been reworked into darker versions of themselves, taken from the original recordings and evolved somewhat. The first, 33rpm part of Felicific Algiorithm begins with the slowest, subtlest tones; a droning quietness broken briefly by humming notes. That builds into a harsh noise explosion, squalling feedback and industrial effects skitter and scream across the humming backdrop, pummelling your psyche until around the halfway point it disappears again, back into the obsidian gloom. A haunting piece of music, as sinister at full volume as it is in the silent deep.

The second, 45rpm title track is just as dark, but a more insistent drone formulates into being before the gurgling rumble begins to drift into existence. An almost completely dark ambient piece, the harshness of the first track never comes into effect but the uncomfortable feelings generated are really haunting.

A mesmerising release, cradling the idea of comfort music in bloodstained hands…

Mushikeras is just as impressive in its emotional creation. It opens with beautiful, mourning piano and clean vocals before transitioning into an achingly slow, groaning rumble of a track. At twenty-seven minutes, there is a lot to cover here but if you know Corrupted, you’ll be familiar with their sound here. Devastating, almost glacially slow and multilayered, whether their riffs are rolling over you or the percussive pounding lingers beyond ghostly ambience and uncomfortable screams and whispers, this is deeply affecting. The sludgy crush that closes the track out is classic Corrupted to its core.

What I’ve always enjoyed about Corrupted is that they seem to reappear out of nowhere with something masterful, dark and sinister, and then resubmerge back into their gloom. Whether their releases are frequent or there is time between, every re-emergence feels like an event not to be missed, and Felicific Algorithm / Mushikeras is the same. A mesmerising release, cradling the idea of comfort music in bloodstained hands and letting it go forever.

Label: Cold Spring Records
Band Links: Bandcamp | Spotify

Scribed by: Sandy Williamson