Distel – Wapens (cd 2018)

After some silence, 2018 has been an active year for Distel so far, a tape on Beläten, a split 12″ on Ant-Zen and now a new full-length.

When I got to know Distel almost a decade ago, the term “angstpop” much applied to the sound. Distel would have fitted well within the Galakthorrö roster on the lighter side of their scale. Over the years the sound seemed to slowly become lighter with some technoish influences here and there. “Wapens” (meaning “weapons” by the way) again has a developed Distel sound. Slow music with some rhythm, strange vocals and some melody with the recognisable organ-like sound. Not much is left from the “angstpop” sound of the early days, but the term still describes the sound of Distel well. It is relatively accessible, but it breathes anxiety. The music is not as dark as it used to be, but it sure did not become happy.

Distel presents another interesting album and keeps developing in style, so every new release is a bit of a surprise. “Wapens” made another nice surprise.

Links: Distel, Ant-Zen

Control, Geneviéve Pasquier, Kommando – Cold War, Hot Love (12″ 2018)

Well well, a collaboration album between three industrial giants: Thomas Garrison, Geneviève Pasquier and Dan Courtman. Their respective projects (that is to way, one of each), are named, so would the result be collaborations, or tracks of each project? I am not entirely sure!

Among the eight tracks it is fairly easy to recognise the different styles. There are wall-of-noise type tracks that remind of Control. There is one Pasquier track which is fairly industrial in sound on her scale, but it is still Pasquier. Some industrial tracks obviously have Courtman’s vocals. Over the entire album, it looks like Garrison had quite some influence. Of course we all know that our friendly Thorofon couple also does not shun sonic brutality. Perhaps the tracks are collaborations after all.

When you like Pasquier and later Thorofon, “Cold War, Hot Love” may be more brutal than you are used to. When you do like the rougher side of these projects, especially when you can appreciate a Control sauce, this album just might be just what you are looking for. I like it, that is for sure! Too bad that it is not released on cd though.

Links: Control, Geneviève Pasquier, Ant-Zen

va – Dyer’s Pledge (2018)

I thought Belzebez was Michael Idehall‘s publication outlet with an occasional music release. That does not prove to be entirely true. The latest book is a couple of years old and the label’s Bandcamp has a long list of releases. Now Michael comes with an online compilation.

The line-up has known and (to me) unknown artists. Trepaneringsritualen presents a soundscape. There is Æther who once did a split with TxRxP. Hadewych. Of course there is Idehall himself with a nice slightly industrial ritual track. There is even ᚾᛟᚢ ᛁᛁ // ᚦᛟᚦ. Somewhat surprisingly, a project that I located more in the so-called “witch house” scene: V▲LH▲LL. The biggest surprise is perhaps Carl Abrahamsson whose “Occulture” book I am reading right now. Then there are the new projects of which Slow.Slither (about whom I cannot find anything) presented the most interesting track of the compilation (it opens a bit noisey industrial).

As expected on such a ‘magical label’ the music is mostly ritualistic soundscape with a few hints of dark ambient and here and there a bit of industrial. As you probably know by now, not entirely my cup of tea. “Dyer’s Plegde” does contain a couple of good tracks and it is always good to find some new discoveries. Besides, it is easy to get through Bandcamp, so why just not try it? Also check out Belzebez’ other releases on Bandcamp of course.

Links: Belzebez, Belzebez @ Bandcamp

ᚾᛟᚢ ᛁᛁ // ᚦᛟᚦ ᚷᛁᚷ ‎– Alpha Ænigma (cd 2018)

The collaboration of Nordvargr and TxRxP on Nordvargr’s “Metempsychosis” is excellent. For “Alpha Ænigma” the two again stepped into the studio together.

The album consists of four long tracks, making a total time of a little under an hour. The style is pretty dark ambient soundscapes and you may guess it: a bit too soundscapishy for me. The album is alright, but not much more than that. The package is great though. An A5 sized digipack, a DVD case so to say.

Links: Nordvargr, Trepaneringsritualen

Trepaneringsritualen / Distel ‎– A Knife In Sound (12″ 2018)

I have shaped vinyl, even a square, flexible one, but I do not believe I ever saw vinyl which has the music on the outside and the shape on the inside. As you can see on the image that I got from Discogs, there is no material surrounding the arrows. A nice little joke.

Distel usually ends his shows with a Coil cover, but I must say that I am not sure if that is the track that he put on this Coil inspired split 12″. Distel took a stab at “Solar Lodge” and Trepaneringsritualen (on side A by the way) at “A Cold Cell”.

Both tracks are alright, but in my opinion not the best material of either project. The Distel track is ‘wild’ within his discography, the TxRxP track is fairly tranquil within his.

Links: Trepaneringsritualen, Distel, Ant-Zen, Raubbau

Michael Idehall ‎– Aion Reborn (mc 2018)

This is not Michael Idehall’s first tape on Raubbau. Here we have a 41 minute tape which regarding style holds the middle between the more soundscapish and the more ritualistic style of Idehall.

I have said something similar about several previous releases, so I just might accept that this is Idehall’s style.

That said, I really like the analogously humming opening soundscape. After this follow tracks which often have the more rhythm-driven style and usually with vocals, but not as dirty as on “No Man’s Land” and not as ‘pompous’ as on “Deep Code”. The tracks are fairly dark and minimalist. Very good to read by!

Links: Michael Idehall, Raubbau

Herz Jühning – Samsara (cd 2018)

Nine years after the great album “Miasma” and four years after the “Paradise” 7″ there is finally new material of Herz Jühning.

“Samsara” does not contain any musical surprises, but Jühning made another great album in his distinctive sound. From slow “angstpop” to more industrial sounds and some tracks with a faster pace. Herz Jühning adds his recognisable vocals which are sometimes spoken, sometimes (slightly distorted) screamed. Wonderfully humming analogue equipment, nice details in the background, “Samsara” has got everything that we love Herz Jühning for.

What else to say? Get the album. The vinyl version if you are quick or just buy the cd when you are too late or simply prefer that format like myself.

Links: Herz Jühning, Galakthorrö

Tanz Ohne Musik – Night (7″ 2018)

Tanz Ohne Musik’s second release on Galakthorrö is a 7″. Four tracks, 33 rounds per minute.

Compared to the previous release on Galakthorrö (“Infinity” cd 2016) the sound is more ‘Galakthorrö’ again. Hints of Haus Arafna and November Növelet are abundant, but leaning more towards Arafna this time. The four tracks from the 7″ are good, maybe in a way more interesting as the album, more like some of the ‘pre-Galakthorrö’ releases.

Of course the 7″ is limited, to 515, but I am sure that Galakthorrö will have a download version available when the physical copies are gone.

Links: Tanz Ohne Musik, Galakthorrö

Deathpanel – Age Of Insignificance (cd 2018)

Tesco comes with a loud debut album of this new German outfit. “Age Of Insignificance” mostly contains violent noise and death industrial, with here and there a little gas off.

After a great death industrial opening follow a couple of noise tracks (less rhythm). These styles alternate until my favorite track of album, the title track, a wall-of-sound type track with brutal vocals in the middle. The vocals are varied from undistorted screaming to talking to a sound that is almost unrecognisable as a voice. There is not much focus on vocals. Where some music in the style has screaming lads from the beginning until the end, Deathpanel usually only has vocals in a part of the track. A couple of tracks contains good sample-work giving these track extra atmosphere.

Of the eight tracks presented, half I like a lot and the other four are still good. Indeed a promising debut.

Link: Tesco

Operation Cleansweep ‎– Release Now! Apathy Induction (12″+7″ 2018)

It does not happen often that Operation Cleansweep releases new material. In 2012 there was a cd of a ‘side project‘, in 2006 a split release with Anenzephalia and Inade and then we are already back in 2003. The last full length (2003) was released on the Italian XN recordings and for this label we can also say that it does not happen often that there is new material. The last release is over 10 years old!

XN releases are always very limited and come in luxury hand-made covers. “Release Now!” is not as luxury packed as the Proiekt Hat / Brighter Death Now split 7″, but it comes in a tasteful, hand-made sleeve that you have to cut open in order to play the release for the first time. The package contains a 12″ and a 7″. There are 86 red vinyl versions and 200 black vinyl versions. Because they are hand-made when ordered and this takes a while, my guess is that they were long gone by the time I got my copy, but it can never hurt to ask the label.

The 12″ has two times four tracks. The 7″ has one track on each side. The opening track is relatively soft, but in the second track we already get a glimpse of the noisy industrial style of Cleansweep, but this track is by far not as dark and extreme as it can get. Again a bit more of that we can hear in “Hunters”, but less so in what follows, especially side II is quite tame and there are (almost) no vocals, not even many samples. Until the closing track of the 12″ and the opening track of the 7″ that is, this is in the style that I love Cleansweep for, especially the latter.

The music certainly is not easy listening though, but when you put this music against “Fuck Your Brains Out” or “Powerhungry”, you have to imagine another approach. A couple of ‘alright tracks’ and a few good ones. Not my favourite Cleansweep release, but still nice to hear some new material after all this time.

Links: Operation Cleansweep, XN Recordings