Michael Idehall – War Magic (2021)

Hello! It has been a terrible year for everyone so let’s just move on. Here is my latest full-length album. I hope you enjoy it

These were the words with which I received a promo of “War Magic”. Idehall already had some more dirty, industrial tracks and the frustration that appear in these words suggest that “War Magic” would be such a release. Indeed it it!

“War Magic” is not as noisy as Idehall can get, but the approach is more industrial than on some of his other albums. Rhythmic hums give an industrial feel. Idehall’s repetitive lyrics and drumming the ritual feel that we know this project for. Ad some extra noises and you have an idea of the sound of “War Magic”. Some tracks are more ambient, but not as soundscapish as some of Idehall’s releases.

“War Magic” is excellent, it has great tracks such as “High Honeycomb Way” which is a wonderful darkly ritual industrial track. Most other tracks can also be described as ritual industrial, but more to the ambient side.

Now comes the weird part. “War Magic” has not yet been officially released! There are other “self released” releases listed in Discogs. That is not because Idehall likes to record music and send it around, but because he apparently works faster than labels can manage. I cannot imagine that there are no labels out there that would love to release material of the unique and productive Michael Idehall. Perhaps we could help with that spreading the word?

Link: Michael Idehall

Current 909 – Enthusiasm (2021)

I literally only discovered Current 909 last week. I was making an “angstpop” playlist on Spotify and I was looking for less typical projects. So I started to scan Aufnahme + Wiedergabe releases to see if some of their older material would be fitting. I do not remember if I ever heard of the name Current 909, but I sure did not know their music.

The style is not really “angstpop”. Actually this project is better fitting in my “electronic doom” playlist. There I compile slow, minimalist, dark and gloomy techno such as the great project Oake.

Current 909 already has a few releases. Three on a label called “Atmosfear” that I do not know and “Enthusiasm” is the third release on A+W already.

So the new album (a 12″ with four tracks and a running time of 23 minutes) contains slow, minimalist, dark and gloomy techno. How fitting. I do not like it as much as the early material of Oake, but this is pretty good music, probably better than the later material of Oake.

In the early days of A+W I liked quite a few of their releases. Nowadays this is less often so, but I must say that with “Enthusiasm” the label has a great new release on their roster.

Link: Aufnahme + Wiedergabe

Lille Roger – Undead 1984-1987 (2021)

In 1995 I was in contact with Mortiis and so I also came in contact with Cold Meat Industry. I bought quite some of their back catalogue, but it was mostly the more tranquil material that I was interested in in the beginning. It took a while before I learned to appreciate things like Mental Destruction and MZ.412 and even longer before I started to like Brighter Death Now.

Lille Roger I of course knew by name. It was the pre-BDN project of the main man behind CMI, Roger Karmanik. The original “Undead” 7″ has been released in 1987 so it was long sold out. Also it was the final release of Lille Roger (and the start of CMI). The old project nevermore appeared on compilations, so I never really got to know Lille Roger.

Apparently there has been more releases before “Undead”. It is not entirely clear to me what the story is about his box set. Discogs has it listed as a 2018 CMI release, but only recently it seems to have been made available by Tesco. Is that a rerelease or did the CMI version never come about? Or is this a cooperation?

In any case, you can get this 64 track compilation as a Bandcamp release, a 7 lp box or a 5 cd box. It is quite pricey, but it seems to look good. I got myself the cd set, but waiting for the physical version, I can already listen to all the tracks on Bandcamp.

“Lille Roger” made what we would call death industrial nowadays I guess, but for some tracks ther term angstpop may fit the bill as well. Industrial noise with slow rhythms, samples and vocals. The vocals are somewhat ‘atypical’ as they are usually not heavily distorted and often even sung. The tracks are not as dark as BDN can get, but the sound does often already remind of BDN. Here and there the sound becomes a bit lighter.

Some tracks are somewhat simple, but many tracks are actually quite enjoyable. It is not overly extreme industrial music, so it is relatively easy to listen to. Not bad at all!

Link: Tesco

Distel – Rare (2021)

Distel has been putting old releases on Bandcamp and then there suddenly was a new release. Not that “Rare” contains new music though.

“Rare” has six tracks that were previously only available on compilations, also compilations that I did not know, so that is good.

The opening track is from the recent compilation “19 Beläten — En Sommar Av Plåga” (2020), a nice track called “Tempels”. Then follows a live version of “Galapagos” from the last album “Wapens” (2018). The most interesting track is a cooperation with Geneviève Pasquier. This track “Velvet Ground” was so far only available on the “Maschinenfest 2015” compilation that I apparently missed. “Fall” is a track that we know from “Zand” (2015), but this particular version comes from the soundtrack of the film “Exploitation” of Edwin Brienen (2012) that I have yet to see. Then we have “Fand” that we find on “Puur” (2013), but this version is from the compilation “Radio Resistencia” (2009). The last track is another Coil cover (as on “A Knife In Sound“, but then the track “Something”), a gloomy soundscape.

The music of Distel remains good. Hopefully there will be a new album some time soon.

Link: Distel

Satori – Angor Animi (2020)

I have the idea that I have known the name Satori for decades, but I have never known them. Did I try their music when I could not yet listen to noise? Do I mix them up with a band with a similar name that I am not too crazy about? I do not know.

Noise Receptor has reviewed quite a couple of Cloister releases recently. I know Cloister as a tape label and I never really got to explore their roster. I buy tapes every now and then, but usually only when I have other things that I want to have.

For some reason I never checked if Cloister releases can be obtained in another way, so when I did, I noticed that they have a Bandcamp. The tapes themselves are all sold out in no time, but the Bandcamp page gave me the opportunity to finally find out what Cloister is about.

The newest release (when I write this) on Bandcamp is Satori. ‘Oh yea, Satori, I know them’. No I did not! Fortunately I skipped through “Angor Animi” to find out that Satori makes pretty impressive wall-of-sound type noise with samples and vocals. Not bad at all!

Satori has been around for decades. The oldest release is from 1987! However Dave Kirby is a Brit, “Angor Animi” sounds somewhat like “Japanoise”, but then in a way that I like. Perhaps the vocals?

After a while Satori proves not to be just an extreme noise project. The fourth track opens with fast drumming and after the noise sets in, a very energetic noise track remains. A very interesting combination!

The next track starts with samples and noisy ambience, but towards the end extremity returns. The remaining tracks contain some novel ideas too. In basis the sound remains a harsh wall of noise though.

Not entirely my kind of noise, but I do like the fact that there are some elements here that I have not heard on other noise releases.

Links: Satori, Cloister Recordings

Maltreatment – A Searing Path To Enlightenment (2020)

Just like Tølerant, Maltreatment has only four releases, all released on 2020, three on Trust Collective, one on Cloister.

Maltreatment sounds more like what I thought Cloister Recordings to be like. Chaotic noise, quite some high frequencies. It is not extremely harsh, but I prefer the more (death) industrial approach to noise.

Link: Cloister Recordings

Tølerant – Advanced Exercises In Resource Denial (2020)

Indeed I have been scanning the recent back catalogue of Cloister Recordings. I have known the label for many years and even though I listen to noise more and more in recent years, I never really came to check what this label releases.

Perhaps I thought their releases were more of the chaotic, extreme types of noise or they just were not on my mind enough. Anyway, several of their releases prove to be more ambient than I like, while other releases are in a death industrial direction, a direction that I do like.

I had never heard of Tølerant. It appears to be a new project with only releases in 2020. Four releases!

As with other projects, what you get here is dark, low frequency, minimalist industrial noise with highly distorted vocals. Not very innovative perhaps, but moody and decently made. This sure is a style of industrial that I like.

Link: Cloister Recordings

Westendhall – Reluctant Resistance (2020)

This is not the first release of Westendhall, but the project is new to me. It appears to be a project of the same man who makes music under the monicker Code Neda.

Code Neda makes mostly ‘noisescapes’. Initially I thought the same style filled “Reluctant Resistance”, but it soon becomes clear that Westendhall leans more to the death industrial type of noise with highly distorted vocals.

The music is quite minimalist, perhaps even a bit ‘ambient’, but with low frequencies and heavy blasts, so the result is more ‘death industrial’. The sound reminds a bit of Gnawed. Though not as good as the American project, “Reluctant Resistance” is a descent noise release, especially for those who -like me- like the darker types of noise.

Links: Westendhall, Cloister Recordings

v/a – Dies Natalis Invicti Solis (2020)

For decades I have played the “Mysteria Mithrae” compilation (1996) on ‘dies natalis invicti solis’. This is a folky compilation with bands such as Blood Axis, Ernte, Endvra and Scivias.

Almost 25 years later this compilation gets an ‘industrial counterpart’. The long-running project Murderous Vision has gathered some other long running projects for this thematic compilation. We find Brighter Death Now, Deutsch Nepal, Theologian & The Vomit Arsonist, Contrastate and Dream Into Dust. I have not checked, but I think this is mostly new material. There is the younger project Gnawed and also projects that are new to me. Kleistwahr, ORD, Envenomist and Falling Lights.

The sound is mostly dark ambient, sometimes with a (death) industrial edge, which is not unexpected when you see the artist list.

Neither will it surprise you that this compilation is much darker than the other one. (“To assist in your solitary winter rituals…”) A link is made because the new compilation uses the same Mithras poem of Rudyard Kipling as Blood Axis put to music before.

I do now know if this compilation will be the classic its ‘predecessor’ is, but new material of ancient industrial projects is always a nice thing.

2020 Murderous Vision

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