Scorn – Vae Solis (1992)

Vae Solis the record that introduced me to the Scorn project. It took a few years, but Scorn became one of my favourite musical ventures, and was a massive influence on myself and my own musical production (not that it really matters), whether that was from the older, industrial full-band records like Vae Solis or the beat-led solo stuff that would come later.

Vae Solis sees the Side A line up of Napalm Death’s Scum re-united for a downbeat and drab dirge through meaty industrial music. Think early Swans, Godflesh or even Skin Chamber (lol), with that trademark Broadrick wailing guitar, that Bullen drawl, and Mick Harris…. well this guy is just a damn genius, full stop.

The record opens up with a spate of industrial metal tracks. The band is tight and the music is robotic and deathly lifeless and muddy. Things start to change around “Lick Forever Dog” which spreads open, and the tracks become gradually more and more sparse, bizarre, dubby and experimental as the record goes on. It is almost like two records stapled together.

“On Ice”, “Heavy Blood” and the whole ending-third of the album is some of my favourite music of all time. It took me way longer than I would like to admit to notice that “Scum After Death (Dub)” was a dubbed reworking of ND’s “Scum”, but then again I’m an idiot.