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Michael Idehall – Unending Crisis (mc 2022)

Apparently already out since March 2022, a tape of Idehall on a new label from Berlin, Kontralamakina. “Unending Crisis” is a tape of around half an hour. The sound is on the rhythmic side of Idehall’s spectrum, sometimes perhaps even going a bit further into an EBM-ish direction. There are also the ritual elements, here and there a flinch of IDM and of course Michael’s vocals. There are more ambient tracks and towards the end there is a somewhat noisy indutrial track

“Unending Crisis” makes another nice release.

Links: Michael Idehall, Kontralamakina

Gruntsplatter & Underneath The Deadlight – Predation Monoliths (2022)

Gruntsplatter I have known for a couple of decades. Underneath The Deadlight is a new project to me, and (I think) a new project in general. Discogs has only one release listed which is also from 2022 (and released on Gruntsplatter’s label Crionic Mind!). The project’s Bandcamp has six. Discogs has them listed as “dark ambient, industrial”.

A quick scan shows that UTD makes guitar based drone noise, so I guess that explains the amount of guitar on “Predation Monoliths”. The guitar wall of noise with stretched sounds and highly distorted vocals is actually pretty damn good. Perhaps this release is should be more lined with bands such as Khost, Sutekh Hexen or Gnaw Their Tongues than with the ambient death industrial of (early) Gruntsplatter.

There are several platforms where you can listen to the album before deciding whether or not to buy it. I may need to listen to the other releases of UTD as well.

Links: Gruntsplatter, Underneath The Deadlight, Annihilvs

Am Not – Cold + Disloyal (2022)

  • noise

It has been five years since the last cd of Am Not. The meantime has seen some tapes and vinyl. Now suddenly there is a double cd. It is not entirely clear to me what the history of this release is. The album can be listened to on the Bandcamp of a label called “Kampf Unrest” which has the logo of the (defunct?) Unrest Productions label that also released “Unpunished : Appendix” (2018). Bandcamp does not offer buying a physical copy. These physical copies appear to have to come from Tesco, but are not yet available.

Bandcamp says that there are: “10 new songs about dispossession”. According to the Tesco website, there are: “11 new songs about dispossession”. Perhaps the Bandcamp release is one of the cds and there is one long track on the other?

For now, based on the Bandcamp release, I can say that “Cold + Disloyal” has the ‘harsh noise’ style of Am Not. Walls of noise, industrial blasts, metal clanging, extreme vocals. There are not the more dark and structured tracks of the brilliant “Unpunished” (2015). Towards the end there is an ambient track and the Bandcamp album closes with an ‘organ track’.

Update 16/12. The digipack is a nice threefold double cd. The extra cd has an alright 23 minute noisy soundscape.

Am Not remains one of the more interesting ‘new’ noise acts. I am curious what the 11th track will bring.

Links: Am Not, Tesco

Dødsmaskin – Herremoral | Slavemoral (2022)

I noticed an announcement of a new Dødsmaskin and just as before I thought ‘right, that’s that project that made a very descent ambient noise album’. Well, no ‘ambient noise’ on the new album!

The new album starts with a very rough piece of noisy industrial. Loud blasts, metal clanging, distorted sounds. The second track leans a bit towards death industrial and then we go to some sort of technoish rhythmic noise that ends ‘ambiently’. More tough industrial, ambient that goes over into ‘wall of noise’, downright noise, this is mostly pretty damn good too!

Industrial noise lovers beware, you may have to check out the latest Dødsmaskin.

Links: Dødsmaskin, Ant-Zen, Malignant

Thorofon – Gladio (2022)

Out today, but the 200 copies of the 12″ have been long sold out (and I did not get one).

“Gladio” opens with Hoffman singing a hymn over some noise. After that the new album is pretty much what I call “industrial disco”. Ant-Zen describes it as “a diversified and contemporary collection of minimal electro pop tunes, industrial power electronics and retro-body beats”.

The music is not as energetic as Thorofon can get. Besides the more ‘atmosphere’ tracks, the music indeed seems to lean a bit more towards (old school) EBM as we are used to. But the sound is industrial, sometimes noisy and recognisably Thorofon.

Not their best material, but a nice album.

Links: Thorofon, Ant-Zen

Ulvtharm – Wrēkō (2022)

Jouni Ulvtharm (Jouni Heikki Ollila (1972-)) is a long-time collaborator of Henrik Nordvargr Björkk. They not only share MZ.412, but also Pouppée Fabrikk and he collaborated on a Nordvargr album.

Ulvtharm has lived in Malaysia for a while, also during the time of the creation of “Svartmyrkr“. His surroundings brought some other influences than the snowy landscape of Sweden, or so the blurb says.

“Wrēkō” does have the more bombastic sound of “Svartmyrkr”, contrary to the more industrial/noisy earlier sound of MZ.412. Ulvtharm is (even) more ‘martial’. Stretched orchestral sounds, blasting drums, some vocals. Perhaps ‘dark ambient’ would even somehow describe the sound, but not as ambient as -let us say- Raisdon D’Être. It reminds a bit of In Slaughter Natives (but much slower), early Sophia, but also of more recent material of MZ.412 and Nordvargr. So perhaps “martial ambient”?

The album is moody. Not entirely my kind of music, but if you like the more bombastic ambient type of material, this new project may be worth checking out.

Links: Ulvtharm, Cyclic Law

Sühne Mensch – Schmerzportrait (2022)

Galakthorrö once again found a new project. This time not (and can I say ‘fortunately’?) a November Növelet type project. Not that “Sühne Mensch” sounds as harsh and dark as Subliminal or some (earlier) material of Haus Arafna though (would we ever get more such material?). Sühne Mensch reminds a bit of the “angstpop” of Arafna’s latest “Asche“. It is not (and can I again say ‘fortunately’?) as depressive as Arafna’s latest.

“Schmerzportrait” has the humming interference, analogous melodies and singing of Haus Arafna (but a very different voice) with here and there a Tanz Ohne Musik or Herz Jühning tone. Of course, the project has a sound of its own. “Angstpop” is a very fitting description. Most tracks are quite melancholic.

“Schmerzportrait” may be the first release of Sühne Mensch, it certainly is not the first release of Michael Belletz. Judging his Discogs page, Belletz is more of (or also) a dance producer, but also with projects leaning more towards industrial. One release was made available by Hymen (Ant-Zen) so he is not a newcomer to the scene either. Having an open musical taste is a good thing, so I guess I will just go and find out what Belletz’ other projects actually sound like.

The album is good, but not great. It will do well as background music when I am reading. It is a kind of music that I do like to listen to, so… The sound really fits on Galakthorrö too, but I must say that the Arafnas no longer release but masterpieces. So: good, very ‘Galakthorrö’, darker than Aska, Tanz Ohne Musik or Da-Sein; more in the Herz Jühing corner of sound.

Links: Sühne Mensch, Galakthorrö

Colossloth – Promethean Meat (2022)

  • noise

This British project has remained below my radar. Yet, he has been around since 2006 and this is the fourth release on Cold Spring. The label ‘blurb’ says:

Rhythmic industrial noise – grinding and churning, drenched in crushing doom-laden guitars – drapes the sacrificial bones of the new album from esoteric electronic alchemist Colossloth.

What I hear mostly on “Promethean Meat” is fairly chaotic noise with a lot of screeches and high frequencies. The guitar noise, sometimes with vocals, reminds me a bit of the Dutch Gnaw Their Tongues. Here and there the chaos tones down a bit towards darker (industrial) tunes and towards the end there is a more ‘ritual’ type of track.

Not entirely my kind of noise. Not too bad either. Perhaps I will also try the older material of this project.

Links: Colossloth, Cold Spring

Bøltorn – Dødsverk (2022)

The over-active Hendrik Nordvargr Björkk has got a new project together with two other people. Even though two of their releases have been made available by Cloister Recordings (and two other by Old Europa Café), I have missed the project until this new release on Tesco.

By the way, there is one self-released EP in 2021 and all other six releases are from 2022!

What I have heard of the project so far is mostly somewhat typical, but excellent Scandinavian death industrial. On “Dødsverk” the sound is much more noisy. The industrial rumbling rhythms of other releases have made way for high frequency mayhem. I must say, that of all releases that I have listened to so far, I prefer all over this new one…

Concluding that the trio wants to explore different sounds and that most of their outputs are pretty good, we have another project to keep an eye on (and try to keep up with!).

Links: Bøltorn, Tesco

A Place To Bury Strangers – See Through You (2022)

  • shoegaze

I have said it in my latest reviews, every new album APTBS seems to get softer. I thought there had again be line-up changes, so I was curious what the latest attempt would sound like.

“See Through You” opens with a bit of an ‘old style’ track. Nice, not too loud, steady rhythm and screeching guitars. The next track sounds less interesting to me. After this the tempo seems to rise a bit, but in “Let’s See Each Other” this is mostly the suggestion that this may happen. Fortunately, with “So Low” we are finally off with the more energetic side of APTBS. Nothing too extreme yet, but a nice rhythm and a typically structured song for the band.

What follows are mostly fairly up-tempo tracks with steady rhythms, screeching guitars, but not as loud as the band used to be. Sometimes a bit more ‘surf’, sometimes more ‘shoegaze’ and sometimes more APTBS.

I still prefer the older albums of the band, but “See Through You” is a fairly good album in general.

Link: A Place To Bury Strangers