Moral Order – Freedom Locked (2018)

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Tesco has found another wonderful noise project. “Freedom Locked” contains a nice bunch of industrial noise tracks. Droning sounds, raw rhythms, brutal vocals. Dark and moody. It is a sound that we hear more often lately. Think Ausströmen or the recent Tesco release of Deathpanel. This is not too bad, since I love the style, but it is starting to get hard to keep projects apart.

“Freedom Locked” is not too long (about 40 minutes, 12″ length) and it is certainly good. I do not have a whole lot more to say about it. When you like the other projects that I mentioned, you can safely buy Moral Order’s debut. There seems to be another album, “Wrath Of God” which comes in a wooden box, limited to 45 copies and released by Gradual Hate. I hope a better accessible version of it will be made available too.

Links: Moral Order, Tesco Organisation

Offerbeest – Afrika (2018)

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As the name of this project suggests, it is from the Netherlands. It means ‘sacrificial animal’. Offerbeest is actually one of the projects of the man behind Gnaw Their Tongues, an interesting dark doom metal project. I do not know if I knew if that came from my homeland though. He also appears to be active in the nice noise project Aderlating.

“Afrika” is the second of three Offerbeest albums and is released by Malignant, so well available (even though the physical copies are limited to 300).

It is but a half hour album with with noise music. Layers of distorted sounds, drumming or more industrial rhythms and distorted vocals. The album has a few nice tunes here and there. I like the tracks “I Am The One” and “Cut Out Their Hearts” which are fairly typical noise tracks with brutal vocals, but the other tracks are not too much to my liking. The sound is a bit too chaotic for me perhaps. Nothing to do about that.

You can listen to this album on Spotify or Bandcamp. When you want a physical copy, be quick about it.

Link: Malignant Records

L//D//R ‎– Shadow//World (2018)

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When I was looking for music to add to my “women in extreme music” playlist, I ran into a name that did not ring a bell: Lana Del Rabies. Now that is a funny artist name. Del Rabies has two albums out, but on Deathcomb Arc. A label that I did not know.

“Shadow//World” has a sound that is somewhat industrial, but different. Repeated rhythms give a bit of an ‘industrial vibe’ and the weird sounds that Del Rabies sometimes uses perhaps even more so, but different from your typical industrial album. A notable part of the music are Del Rabies’ varied vocals; from softly sung to screaming to (slightly) distorted. There are ‘unpleasant sounds’ and distorted rhythms. Indeed, I think an industrial audience may like it. I must say that I do.

Links: Lana Del Rabies, Deathcomb Arc

Lingua Ignota – All Bitches Die (2018)

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I was looking around for music to add to my “women in extreme music” playlist when I ran into a name that did not ring a bell. Lingua Ignota appears to be a classically trained artist who released two albums by herself. The second album has been rereleased on a label that I did not know, Profound Lore, which does have releases by artists that I do know.

“All Bitches Die” opens with noisy and pompous electronic music which is accompanied by the tortured screams of Ignota. The music leans a bit towards martial industrial, but heavier, especially because of the vocals. Then about halfway the music goes over in piano music with normally sung vocals. Towards the end of the 15 minute track, mayhem returns.

The second track is lot shorter, just below five minutes. It contains singing and some organ on the background. Then follows a longer track, also with singing over piano, but with a noise-backdrop halfway. The screams return in the next track, but more muffled over what could again have been part of a martial industrial album, an organ and dark ambient tones. The last track is more tranquil again.

Like Diamanda Galás we here have a woman wandering through the darker parts of music and using her powerful voice in a variety of ways. I especially enjoy the darker tracks of this album and “All Bitches Die” made me curious about the debut album called “Let The Evil Of His Own Lips Cover Him”.

Links: Lingua Ignota, Profound Lore Records

Am Not – Unpunished: Appendix (10″ 2018)

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The appendix to the excellent “Unpunished” album comes as a beautiful 10″. It has cards with the lyrics and an A5 booklet with an interview between the label and the project.

The appendix contains four tracks. They are more of the wall-of-sound type than some of the tracks on the cd, but excellently moody and layered like we are used to from this great project. 

The 10″ opens with a monologue from “The Singing Detective” slowly going over in a death industrial type of low frequency noise blasts. The vocals are screamed and hardly understandable. 
The vocals are even more muffled on “Dark Star Kinshasa” which is really a wall of noise. 
Over on side B follows the only obvious link to the “Unpunished” album (track-wise) with “Extremophilia II”. Where this is a short track on the cd, we now get a longer, pounding track with screamed vocals.
Closing with the instrumental “State Funeral”, which is relatively tranquil and a not too interesting track, we close this way too short album. But not to worry, by the time this piece of vinyl arrived, I had heard of a cassette released by Zaetraom, so I guess I better be quick. There was a tape version of “Appendix” limited to 24 copies, so how many copies will there be of “Incursions”? 

Three magnificent tracks. Am Not remains perhaps the best new noise project of late.

Links: Am Not, Tesco

O Saala Sakraal – Etmaal (cd 2018)

Only out on December 21th, but the good thing about running a website is that sometimes I get promo material. Here we have a collaboration between five Dutchmen including two from Hadewych (and hence, including Distel).  Indeed, O Saala Sakraal reminds of Hadewych here and there.

Hadewych has a ‘soundscapish’ sound, but with guitar and more energy here and there, a quite unique sound that is hard to describe. That soundscape side is more prominent in O Saala Sakraal, but also here and there the sound becomes more ‘lively’. The music is fairly dark, nicely weird (but not as weird as Hadewych), contains several vocalists who recite poems, scream or sing. Overall this album is more tranquil from what we know from Hadewych and (of course) somewhat different in sound, but I think that band gives the best idea of what to expect from the album that has a Dutch title which cannot be immediately translated to English (perhaps being the reason for being chosen?). The word “etmaal” refers to a day of 24 hours. There are two tracks of about 20 minutes by the way.

So, a nice album if you like something dark and original.

Link: Cyclic Law

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