Bohren & Der Club of Gore Black Earth

There’s a certain something one expects from an album with a pitch black cover that has an equally black shiny skull emblazoned upon it. There’s also something one expects from a German band that calls themselves Bohren & Der Club of Gore. However, that something isn’t a CD full of atmospheric, carefully orchestrated, instrumental tracks. Black Earth could easily be the soundtrack for the darkest and most despairing film you will ever see. Lonely saxophones call out in doomsday voices from slow and funereal drumbeats, while gorgeous drones of auditory texture support heavy brooding guitar chords. Equally sophisticated and beautiful, this disc draws obvious comparison to some of the darker works of composer Angelo Badalamenti infused with a dose of film noir, rain-drenched streetscapes and a tiny bit of late night, smoky club jazz. If there was going to be a black tie cocktail party in the underworld, this album they would be spinning. (Ipecac)