Am Not – Extraterritoriality (mc 2020)

Thanks to Noise Receptor I heard about this release before the 102 copies were gone.

“Extraterritoriality” is a six track tape. It opens with the brutal “Cleansing Violence”, a great track. Then follow two more tranquil tracks with lyrics or lengthy samples. Recognisable lyrics and samples? The recognisability is certain with “Homecoming” which seems to be an alternative version to “Come Home”.

The latter mentioned title is the first on side B called “Entry” and is a not too extreme, but a somewhat industrial track. Next up the aggression rises again. Distorted sounds, a pounding rhythm, shouting samples and after a while aggressive vocals. “Red Emperor, White Forces” is a magnificent Am Not track. The closing track is again more ‘noisescapes’ with a lengthy sample.

It looks like it that Noise Receptor has a better eye and ear to find the thematics of Am Not’s music, so I suggest reading that review too.

Links: Am Not, Unrest Productions

High Stress Reaction ‎– Cumulative Hurt (mc 2020)

Apparently a debut. I cannot find anything about this project.

In the cover there is a quote in Polish meaning ‘dictatorship is not a bad word’. The quote leads me to a Polish Wikipedia article about Chaim Rumkowski, a Jew who thought that working for the Nazis would save him and his people.

That said, HSR offers muffled noise with an industrial angle and sometimes very distorted vocals. The sound is a bit like hearing industrial while the speaker is below a pillow. There are not the high frequencies of many noise releases in most tracks, but neither is this the ‘wall of noise’ kind of music.

I prefer the more death industrial type tracks, especially when there are vocals, over the more minimalist ones and over the more chaotic (typical) ones.

Overall “Cumulative Hurt” sounds alright. It has a few descent tracks (especially the opening and closing tracks) and the rest is not bad either.

Link: Unrest Productions

Operation Cleansweep ‎– Release Now! Hungry For Power (2019)

Discogs.com

Tesco rereleased the 1996 debut album “Powerhungry” with an extra track.

“Powerhungry” is a classic in death industrial, a great album with brutal, industrial rhythms, violent vocals, but on ‘the noise scale’ closer to industrial than to noise.

The tracks have been reworked, some even stretched up and a 12 minute track has been added. It is called “Blood Is Tripping From Our Hands” (seriously) and it is a great Cleansweep track.

I have never been able to lay my hands on “Powerhungry”, so now I can get the nice looking digipack. Playing it was no problem, since it is the only Cleansweep album available on Spotify. Perhaps the other albums should be rereleased too!

Links: Operation Cleansweep, Tesco

Nordvargr – Daath (2019)

Unbelievable. Here is another Henrik Nordvargr Björkk. The man releases so much music, that he has problems picking a name for all the releases it seems.

According to the label, the material was recorded during the “Svartmyrkr” sessions. I already wondered why that was released under the monicker MZ.412, since the album sounds more like Nordvargr’s “Metempsychosis” than earlier MZ.412 material. Perhaps the answer lays in the line: “that can be heard in Nordvargr´s solo efforts”. MZ.412 is a band, Nordvargr is Björkk on his own.

That said, “Daath” is similar to “Metempsychosis” (but also to “Svartmyrkr”) with here and there a death industrial tone, then more dark ambient, but mostly fairly pomp beats and sounds that seems to lean to a more martial approach every now and then. Björkk spits his brutal vocals in some variety.

In my review of “Metempsychosis” I said that it reminds of of TxRxP’s “Kainskult“, but I have this less with “Daath”. Perhaps the sound is not completely alike, or my association is different this time.

A descent album again. Out on December 21th on cd and 12″.

Links: Nordvargr, Cyclic Law

Death Boulevard – Killed By Killers (2019)

I got lucky. I was paging through the Tesco website when I noticed the unimaginable project name with the unimaginable album title. For some reason I decided to look up what Death Boulevard would sound like. Perhaps because the ‘blurb’ says the project is from Brazil?

“Killed By Killers” contains noise and death industrial. The sound is about as original as the project’s name and album title, but it is executed very well. Good low frequency noise, great aggressive vocals. The tracks go from relatively tranquil industrial to more Cleansweep wall-of-sound type noise. Some tracks are more sample driven, giving a bit of a GO feeling. Some of the more vocal tracks do too by the way.

The album is released on L.White and there are only 100 cds available. You can get it digitally through Bandcamp though. As I said, it is a very enjoyable album.

Link: L.White

Folkstorm – Nihil Total (2019)

The productive Henrik Björkk releases material under a variety of names. Folkstorm is one of them. This project has been around for over two decades.

Quite a few Folkstorm releases are made available by Old Europa Cafe, as is “Nihil Total”. A nice digipack, limited to 300 copies.

Folkstorm is one of Björkk’s harsher projects. “Nihil Total” goes from death industrial to noise and back. Aggressive vocals, brutal rhythms. The tracks are more varied than on many death industrial releases, which is not surprising coming from Björkk.

Probably to add to the aggressive sound, the lyrics make that the project could have been name F**kstorm for this release, which is a bit of a down point to me.

Not all tracks are brilliant, but most are great. If you like aggressive industrial, you could give the latest Folkstorm a shot.

Links: Folkstorm, Old Europa Cafe

Detrimental Effect – Your Truth (2019)

Discogs.com

I ran into Detrimental Effect before. In 2017 the debut tape was released on Unsound.

As “To Brandon Bryant”, “Your Truth” contains an excellent piece of aggressive death industrial. Industrial rhythms, noise, fierce vocals, name it. There are harsher and more tranquil tracks.

This album fits well in Tesco’s roster with Deathpanel, Moral Order and the like. If you like a project such as Ex.Order, Operation Cleansweep or Gnawed, you may be interested in this album. Detrimental Effect sounds more aggressive than the names I mentioned though. Perhaps I should have just said Genocide Organ.

Anyway, I guess you get the idea. Old-fashioned industrial noise and good too.

Links: Detrimental Effect, Tesco

Linekraft – Subhuman Principle (2019)

Discogs.com

Linekraft, a familiar name, but I have not reviewed anything of theirs yet, so I guess I did not have anything. There are many releases on a variety of labels though.

Linekraft is from Japan, but the sound is more ‘Western’. The album opens with excellent dark noise or perhaps even death industrial tracks. Industrial rhythms, walls of noise, samples, distorted vocals, it is all there.

From then on, the style shifts away from my preference. The sound becomes more chaotic. Some sort of industrial undertone remains, but there are more high frequencies and less structure. Some tracks even lean towards total (Japanese?) noise chaos.

Two great tracks, a few good moments, but overall this is not my kind of noise.

Links: Linekraft, Tesco

Post Scriptvm ‎– Variola Vera (2019)

Discogs.com

In the early 2000’s I bought cds from the American Somanbulant Corpse (later: Somnambulant) label. Usually in the DVD A5 type package. The had some projects that became legendary, such as Murderous Vision (also still alive) and Post Scriptvm.

Post Scriptvm later released an excellent album on Propergol’s Hermetique label (“Marginal Existence” 2005). This was a weird, dark, noisy ambient kind of thing. The sound shifted more towards soundscapes which appeal to me less.

Putting on “Variola Vera” I thought that this would be another such soundscape-album, but I am happy to say that the second track (“Born Into Trauma”) is an excellent piece of “ambient noise”. Not too extreme, a pulsating rhythms, highly distorted vocals, but with that weird Post Scriptvm Sound.

The rest of the album is mostly the strange ambient soundscape type of sound with only here and there the vocals and a more industrial approach. Interesting, different, but not too much to my liking.

Links: Post Scriptvm, Tesco

Black Earth – Gnarled Ritual Of Self Annihilation (2019)

Discogs.com

In the early 1990’ies some black metal heads started to make ‘other music’, electronic music. Some sort of ‘sub-scene’ emerged with melodic acts such as Mortiis and Cernunnos’ Woods and darker projects like Profane Grace and Darkness Enshroud. Collectively the music was often called “ritual music”. Here and there the guitars were not entirely abandonned and a project such as Abruptum made what nowadays would be ‘drone metal’ or something.

Cyclic Law has found a contemporary project from Spain that makes me think of these “ritual music” days. The band-name does not ring a bell, but this is not the first release. There is a split with Sewer Goddess which may place the band in the right music corner for the listener of today.

The music is dark, minimalist, with muffled voices, droning guitars, samples and what not. Perhaps a description could be that Black Earth sounds somewhere between Equimanthorn and Khost.

Initially I was surprised about this album. It took me back a couple of decades and after some “ritual music” I started to play old black metal (yet briefly). “Gnarled Ritual” itself did not really keep my attention for the whole 45 minutes. Perhaps another run will point to details that I missed.

I think people who like the drone type of metal, especially the darker bands in that style, may want to try “Gnarled Ritual”. People who know the music I started this review with could be transported back like myself when listening to this album.

The album is in a way interesting, but not terribly good for my taste, but bringing back memories is a quality too. Out September 27th.

Links: Black Earth, Cyclic Law