Album Review: Output 1:1:1 – Rolling Corpse Pathetiqué

Output 1:1:1 is a Toronto Canada-based Avant-Goth trio who have just released their dark and poetic debut album. Exploring the darker side of our human society, it’s called Rolling Corpse Pathetiqué.

By Graeme Smith

Rolling Corpse Pathetiqué was born in coronavirus lockdown, but the band are very quick to stress that it’s not a COVID record. Instead, it is a collection of tracks that have been long in development, finished, broken down, then reassembled, then reverse-engineered to create something truly experimental.

We hear that right from the off with opening number Ruined Piano. It’s an eerie, slow burning intro with a palpable darkness that develops into an uncomfortable groove. When drums and vocals come in, the picture is complete and we know we’re in for something special with this album.

You and Yours takes things in a noisier direction. There’s an intensity to its arrangement that has undertones of industrial while staying very much experimentally Goth. Ballast is a short and moody scene-setter before Oblast gives us some trance-inducing jazz. Man Godiva and the Rolling Corpse strips things right back. We get some chanting, isolated vocals before ghostly harmonies come in. Droning electronica builds the atmosphere, as does lively percussion. Its many textures make it a highlight.

Skinny Soul Stealing keeps things haunting while building in some distorted electronic elements. Impossible Sweat Machine brings some energy back to proceedings. While staying out there, it is perhaps the album’s most accessible moment. If you tried really hard, you could even dance to it. Howl closes the album with another slow burner. It takes its time gradually building before arriving at some pleasing percussion. It’s a track that comes in waves and eventually washes you away into an unfamiliar, but not altogether unsettling world. It’s a final sting to the tale and a highlight.

I love discovering artists who are doing something different in the world of music. Output 1:1:1 certainly fit the bill. Their music may not be an instant crowd pleaser, but the patient and thoughtful listener will be rewarded by this debut. You can listen to Rolling Corpse Pathetiqué below.