Kerridge is a product of the dance floor. He manipulates tension like a techno producer, switching up rhythms with wonderful sleights of hand. The dread sonics of jungle echo nightmarishly in his music. Though hugely rhythmic and best experienced at immense volume in a dark club, his sluggish sound isn't meant to make you dance. The beats are just one textural component amid pivoting plains of noise and sizzling plateaus of distortion, elements that Kerridge cleverly manipulates to create surprisingly hooky riffs and melodies. Pierce the rough surface on "Death Is Upon Us," the tribal "Straight To Hell" or the almost jaunty "Heavy Metal" and you will find all manner of slow-moving melodies within: great bulkheads of sound shifted up or down an octave, lumbering doom-metal riffs, spectral hypnotic patterns.
This readiness to acknowledge human warmth differentiates Kerridge from much of the noise electronics axis. This is not purely violent, visceral music; it's a primeval howl of existential despair, one that, even at its most brutal, is multilayered and vulnerable. "Disgust" is rhythmically angry, but its jackhammer beat is wrapped in fuzzy blurts and descending drones that sound exhausted to the point of derangement. "Black Sun" collapses into terrified noise, but—like A Fallen Empire as a whole—the effect is enigmatic and haunting, disturbing rather than confrontational. This is a sonic maelstrom with an eternal sadness at its heart. If you can give yourself over to it, it offers profound catharsis.