Album Review: Rhys Fulber – Brutal Nature

The Breakdown

...Like a soaring unmovable monolith standing before you...

Rhys Fulber is a Canadian electronic musician and producer best known for his lengthy (and ongoing) tenures with industrial standard bearers Front Line Assembly and ambient pop exponents Delerium (both with Bill Leeb), his solo project Conjure One, plus a series of recent dark techno-based albums released under his own name. As a producer, he has worked extensively with established metal acts such as Fear Factory and Paradise Lost, as well as the industrial hardcore act Youth Code.

For ‘Brutal Nature’, the lockdowns caused by the global pandemic enabled a more sharply focused period of writing and composition. Utilising a smaller home set-up rather than Fulber’s usual preferred studio made for an engaged environment and the creation of a greater number of intimate compositions to sit alongside club and night culture influenced tracks that dominated his previous releases for the Sonic Groove label. This time around, shimmering ambient textures and floating voices add light to pulsating technoid rhythms, while a curveball appears at the very end with the harsher sounding EBM-flavoured ‘Stare At The Sun’, which features a guest vocal from Sara Taylor of the aforementioned Youth Code.

Check out the opening track to the album here:

Relocating halfway through the writing process from Los Angeles to a small town on the coast outside his original home city of Vancouver provided additional inspiration via the quietly unfolding power of nature. Here is where the album concept was born; the contrast between Brutalist architecture and nature, the legacy of humanity in conjunction with nature and its juxtaposition thereof, and the power and variation of the ocean becoming the ultimate judge. 

The Verdict: Brutal Architecture, an architectural style starting in the 1950s, characterised by minimalist constructions with exposed, unpainted concrete with angular geometric shapes and a predominantly monochrome colour palette. These are cold immense structures that somehow emit a strange complex beauty in their perfection, if these symbols of modernism could be encapsulated in music it would be within this work. The walls made of heavy techno beats, precisely constructed to hold everything in place while the spaces between, the inhabitable spaces, are filled with light and serenity created by carefully orchestrated soundscapes. Like a soaring unmovable monolith standing before you while the elements of nature slowly move around its core, corroding its darkness with life.

Track List:

A1 Central State Institute
A2 Chemical
A3 Marginalized
B1 Fragility
B2 Pyrrhic Act 9
B3 Pressure
C1 Night Render
C2 Rogue Minority
C3 Nature Reclaims
D1 Stare At The Sun

Out Now on FR Recordings – Brutal Nature | Rhys Fulber (

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