“Remote control collapse / Respirators, leather, lead / Fate commanded on the rooftop,” grunts Vaulting vocalist Felix Kisseler in their new song “Biorobot.” “60 seconds to be dead.” That’s all the time this German tech-grind band needs to make its point about the deadly risks we take by continuing to operate nuclear power plants. Metal bands have been writing songs about the horrors of nuclear power for 30 years, and there’s still room for more: the album on which “Biorobot” appears, Nucleus, was recorded just one month before the Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant meltdown this past March.

The music that Vaulting writes these days is tight but splintered, with short outbursts of reckless grind colliding into chewy death metal. It’s Vaulting’s spasmodic songwriting, not their full-tilt force, that hits the hardest. It’s the musical equivalent of getting caught in five crossfires at once.

You’d think the video — which premiered at No Clean Singing — would consist of merciless strobe lights and a million jump cuts, but director / Vaulting guitarist Matthias Gathof takes a far more artful route. Like the similarly gorgeous clip he shot for Vaulting’s “We Are the Cavalry,” the “Biorobot” video is so striking because of the friction between its frantic music and ultra-composed, shallow-depth-of-field shots. There’s something eerily off about the mundane post-work routine of the power plant worker Gathof captures. The wedding pictures and nude pinups in his locker remind us of a soldier’s effects; that meaningful full-body lean against the shower wall, cinematic shorthand for “I’ve got me some troubles,” gets a bizarre twist when the guy’s in a biohazard suit.

Stream tracks from Nucleus at Vaulting’s Bandcamp.The physical album will be released in Germany on Unundeux Records. There are currently no plans for a physical release outside of Germany. See some non-grindcore videos from Matthias Gathof at his Vimeo page.


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