Dream Into Dust – Fragments Of Legacy (2020)

So Beautiful And So Dangerous” was the first album in nine years. Now we are again almost nine years further, but “Fragments Of Legacy” is not a new album, rather a compilation.

Here we have contributions to different compilation that we released between 1998 and 2001. Four new tracks have been added. Yes this project is that old. I am too. Derek always refers to the pre-2007 name of this website when he addresses me.

In 1998 / 2001 I still must have followed DID closely, but I only recognise two tracks from this album. Unfortunately I cannot yet see which track is from which compilation so I can fresh up my memory.

“Fragments Of Legacy” does not contain the rock tracks of “So Beautiful”. Most tracks are quiet, ambient, soundscapish with only here and there a guitar or Derek’s vocals (or those of someone else). Coming with the times, some tracks have a bit of a “martial” touch.

Not a new album, not your ‘typical’ DID music either, but mostly dark(ish) ambient music.

Links: Dream Into Dust, Chthonic Streams

Murderous Vision – Abscission (2020)

How me and this project go back, I described four years ago in my review of the “Hidden Histories” tape.

The activity of this project goes back well into the previous millennium. As a matter of fact, the initial release of “Abscission” marked 25 years! First released on tape, now three tracks are added and the same label has made the release available on cd.

As on most releases of the project, the sound is varied. the album opens with dark ambient, continues with slightly ritualistic dark ambient with some rhythm and chanting bringing a faint reminiscence of early Coph Nia. The next two tracks are more dark soundscapes and with “Autumn Black” we slowly work towards more of a ‘noisescape’. This erupts into a death industrial track called “Open The Night Sky” with the extreme vocals that you hear in Murderous Vision tracks every once in a while. A quieter track closes the 50 minute album.

The dark ambient tracks are pretty dark. Not the kind of music that I listen to a lot, but not bad at all. I prefer the rougher side of this project so I am treated with one track.

An album for people who like the dark rumbling border between ambient, industrial and noise.

Links: Murderous Vision, Chthonic Streams

Beckahesten – Vattenhålens Dräpare (2020)

This is odd. Cyclic Law sent a promo for this album (out 20 November). The project is new to me, so I usually check Discogs to see if there are earlier releases in such a case. Discogs does not have have Beckahesten listed. So I search the web a bit and I run into a Spotify release (which I cannot play) of this album, released in 2017 on a label I do not know: Skullevartslapptigar Records. So I check Discogs again, but they have nothing of the label either.

So I do not really have more information than the Cyclic Law blurb. Members of this Swedish outfit are two people whose names do not ring a bell and Per Åhlund who you may know of Sophia.

Both first two tracks are 5:35 and dark ambient in style. Long stretched sounds, quite minimalist and with singing of sorts. The singing starts to get a bit ‘folky’ towards the end of “Ropet”. This is even more so in the third track where we are introduced to the female member. The music gets a little more pomp too. The next track is the most interesting to me. A bit of an old Wardruna style. The first half of the 10 minute of the closing track is much less dark than what came before, but this is made up in the second half, which brings memories of the ambient side of Sophia.

The album is not the kind of music that I listen to a lot, but in spite of being quite minimalist ambient in basis, it is really not bad. There are some ritualistic and folky elements that go well with the style.

Links: Beckahesten, Cyclic Law

The Vomit Arsonist – That Which Has Been Forgotten (2019)

It is weird how the memory works. I have known TVM for a long time, but in my head they make the kind of noise that I do not like, chaotic, many high frequencies, etc. Then I was combing through Spotify to make a playlist of “vocal noise” the name passed by and I thought to take a quick listen just to make sure if I was right about not liking this project.

Spotify has this album released in 2020, Discogs says 2019 and I believe the latter. The Spotify listing is a reason for this review as I do not usually review older releases that I discover.

That said, putting on the album, the sound is exactly what I was looking for for my playlist. Heavy, dark industrial noise with extreme vocals. Damn this stuff is dark! Slow, pounding rhythms, typical noisy metal clanging and very heavy vocals. The music is not as harsh as it can get. Some tracks are almost dark ambient, but the vocals make obvious: this is noise.

Maybe not the best material in the style, but it seems that I have overlooked The Vomit Arsonist and that while exactly a decade ago I reviewed a mcd of theirs that I also liked.

Links: The Vomit Arsonist, Malignant.

Orplid – Deus Vult (2020)

I was looking for music to play for some people who do not share my musical taste, so I needed something ‘light’. After a while I started browsing some neofolk, a genre I seldom play and I noticed that Orplid has a new album. A new album, 12 years after the last one!

I my memory does not fail me, the titleless 1998 debut of Orplid was my first ‘real’ neofolk album. I still the earlier material of Orplid, but seldom play it.

Putting on “Deus Vult” it is soon clear that Orplid changed a bit. The acoustic guitars had to make place for soft electronics, but there are still electric guitars here and there. The atmosphere is roughly the same as on earlier albums. The music is soft, sometimes somewhat melancholic, the distinctive vocals Uwe Nolte are still there. Unfortunately Claudia Arndt has been replaced by a female vocalist that I like less.

Something familiar and something new. The music goes from orchestral to more IDM kind of music to minimal ambient. Not bad at all actually, but not really my cup of tea either.

If you are quick, you can get a luxury version of the album that includes a book and there is also a massive box set with the complete Orplid discography available.

Links: Orplid, Auerbach Tonträger

Haus Arafna – Asche (2020)

A while ago Galakthorrö material started to appear on Spotify (not all though), apparently the Arafnas were cooking on something. Then there was a newsletter which included new material, even a new Haus Arafna album! The first since 2011! So then some 7 weeks of impatience before I could finally put the new album in my player.

From “Children Of God” (1998) to “Butterfly” (2003) to “You” (2010) to “New York Rhapsody” (2011), Haus Arafna seemed to have been scraping off some rough edges. There always still were noisy industrial tracks, but there came more and more softer tracks.

When you put on “Asche”, it soon becomes clear that the Arafnas did not scrape off the sharp edges immediately. After two great industrial tracks, the pretty rough “Kreise Um Das Nichts” is presented, which also has the first Haus Arafna official video. The track is not as harsh as Haus Arafna can be though.

So after a first round in the player, I took another spin with my eye on the lyrics. From death to mourning and a lot of misanthrope. After a rough start, the album already gets more melancholic in tone, but combined with the lyrics, the new album is actually pretty depressive.

As we are used to from Haus Arafna, the industrial music is beautifully crafted, magnificently detailed, surprising too, since the sound certainly is not entirely the same as on previous albums. “Asche” contains but one track that can be described as melancholic, but it is certainly not all power electronics here. Also mrs. Arafna’s vocals are remarkably absent. She mostly functions as background singer.

Be all this as it may, the tracks on the new album are superb, but damn this album is heavy.

Links: Haus Arafna, Galakthorrö

Te/DIS – Transparent Subsistence (2020)

Also our tempted dissident comes with a new album, the third album in six years time, all on Galakthorrö.

Te/DIS’ latest seems a bit softer or simpler, I am not sure how to put it. The sound is still recognizable, but it differs somewhat from the previous albums, maybe a bit more… “poppy”?

If you know the project, the music is fairly simple and minimalist, a simple beat, a bit of melody and vocals.

Just as the previous two albums “Transparent Subsistence” sounds nice. Good to play when you want something uncomplicated.

Links: Te/DIS, Galakthorrö

Mode In Gliany – Kelc’h-Lizher (2020)

Not a new project, but new to me. After six albums released between 2015 and 2018 and some other releases, this French project found its way to Galakthorrö.

This 33 rpm 7″ contains four tracks. The sound is pretty much like that of November Növelet and Da-Sein, somewhere between minimal wave and angst pop.

The songs on “Kelc’h-Lizher” are nice. I am going to have to see what other releases of this project sound like.

Links: Mode In Gliani, Galakthorrö

Blitzkrieg Baby – Genocidal Sextasy (2019/20)

It does not happen often, but Spotify surprised me. I have known Blitzkrieg Baby since the “Kids World” tape on Beläten from 2014. Later there were a few other releases.

Spotify had only one Blitzkrieg Baby track on some compilation and yet last week I got “Genocidal Sextasy” as a new release. Not bad of Spotify. Incidentally I notice that older releases have been added to Spotify as well, even an album that I did not yet know: “Homo Sapiens Parasitus” (2019) which was released on Neuropa just as “Porcus Norvegicus“.

Actually “Homo Sapiens Parasitus” seems to be newer than “Genocidal Sexstasy” as this 2020 version seems to be a second edition. Cloister Recordings also rereleased some earlier material and that is probably how it all ended up on Spotify.

Anyway, if you know Blitzkrieg Baby, you will know what to expect. Nihilist lyrics, slow, beat driven music that sometimes leans towards industrial. This project as a very recognizable style, but it is not easy to compare to something else to give an idea of the sound.

This new album, as with previous releases, has amusing tracks and tracks are I like better, particularly the more industrial tracks.

Interesting and should you have missed them so far, give them a listen.

Links: Blitzkrieg Baby, Cloister Recordings

va – 19 Beläten En Sommar Av Plåga (2020)

It looks like it that Beläten is no longer the label of Thomas -Trepaneringsritualen- Ekelund. I already noticed that Bandcamp has it listed as coming from Berlin and Ekelund was happy to have been contributed, which would be a strange way of describing a track on your own compilation. Discogs says that Beläten was active from 2012 to 2016 and apparently it has risen again.

On this compilation you find familiar Beläten names, Distel, Celldöd, Michael Idehall, Blitzkrieg Baby, Cryme and of course TxRxP. There are other familiar names such as Brighter Death Now, Moral Order and ARM. Some names do not immediately ring a bell, such as the TxRxP clone Dayofwrath of which I cannot find any information (good track though).

Music wise the compilation has some industrial (Moral Order), but mostly “post avantgarde pop”. All tracks seem to be exclusive, most are good too. A varied compilation which does hold true of ‘the old Beläten’. Available on tape and through Bandcamp.

Link: Beläten