[Reviewed by Peter Marks]
They have discovered something, our intrepid duo. A place where the world has ended, where humanity walk on a razor edge between existence and extinction; where the conceits of orthodoxy have become the ultimate expression of power. The remnants of civilization cannot explain anything, no control remains; vestiges of the previous age which mankind thoroughly put an end to only serve now to prey upon the few left who cannot understand what has happened. In this place, two opposing camps have arisen to deliver their own version of what the truth now is. The leading faction is who this album provides a soundtrack for and they are a loving bunch… The Servants of Wrath.
This lot deify the one who began what would lay waste to the planet, a man to focus their own love of nihilism through. There’s just one problem, no one knows what he looks like or where he resides. A quest is therefore undertaken to find the object of their worship in order to capture an image of him, the goal being to prove his existence to any who disbelieve. All throughout the journey the vast scope of destruction which this god of theirs has wrought comes into plain, painful view. The annihilation has been thorough although there are some notable escapees. The diabolical artificial intelligence of the Big C eclipses everything else our pilgrims encounter as its now been reduced to consuming human beings in order to survive.
It is a land where life has little, if any, value. Armed with their formidable arsenal of equipment, Flint Glass and Collapsar depict the lonliness and barbaric hostility of the search for Lufteufel. This is the sort of post apocalyptic setting which only the continual threat of nuclear war could provide. In the late 1970s there wasn’t a whole lot of belief in the future, a kind of perpetual malaise had set in. On one side there was the East and on the other the West. Two opponents with an intractable doctrine of mutual mistrust and cold contempt. I remember the early 1980s where this book is set with even sharper clarity. 1982 would have been the perfect choice for the end, no one would have been surprised; those in charge certainly wanted it.
It is dark and terrifying what these gentlemen have composed, two long form pieces which go through several movements as though they are meant to coincide with actual chapters in the book. If a film ever is made of this, what I’m hearing here had better be what gets used for the score. Horrible though the outcome may be we have no one to blame but ourselves. The nature of faith and the foundations of belief were what Dick and Zelazny mainly addressed with “Deus Irae” and I have to commend those who composed this music for somehow staying true to that spirit. They don’t back down or give an inch! This is an epic symphony of droning decay, a litany for the ruins and a searing indictment of technology.
Man and his need to believe will be the undoing of us all.