Author Archives: Roy

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

Lingua Ignota ‎- Caligula (2019)

Discogs.com

The new Lingua Ignota reminds me even more of Diamanda Galas than the previous album. The music is mostly piano with singing, but frequently Ignota goes over in the tortured screams that we know her for.

Where “All Bitches Die” has more and more pomp electronics, the new album goes back more to what Ignota appears to be trained in: piano and soprano vocals. There is more classical music here too, cello and violin.

It is quite interesting to look at the (guest) musicians by the way. There is a vocalist who Discogs has listed as playing both folk and “harsh noise” and there seem to be links to Uniform and The Body and from there on with hardcore and grind bands. I guess Ignota did not just drop out of some classical music school and started to make extreme vocal music.

“Caligula” is a moody (in an extreme way) album. Not as sonically extreme as the previous album, but certainly vocally.

Links: Lingua Ignota, Profound Lore

Consumer Electronics – Airles Space (2019)

Discogs.com

I did not see this one coming. A new Consumer Electronics. A cd even, with a very ugly cover too!

“Airless Space” is not as brutal as Consumer Electronics can be. Most tracks are centered around the slow, steady beat that we know from previous albums. The male vocals are of the spoken words type in most tracks and the brutalism is for Sarah who screams her lungs out in many of the tracks.

Here and there the sounds gets a bit harscher, but there are no “Come Clean” wall-of-noise type tracks (unfortunately).

When you know this long running noise outfit, you will know what to expect with the above. Should Consumer Electronics be new to you, this could be an album to try since it is fairly typical and brutal vocal-wise, but a lot less so music-wise.

Links: Consumer Electronics, Harbinger Sound

She Pleasures Herself – XXX (2019)

Discogs.com

For some reason I was under the impression that SPHS was pop-band with a gothic sound, like Editors. I was quite surprised when I saw them listed for the 2019 edition of the Wave Gotik Treffen and even more so when they were scheduled for the smallest of WGT venues, the Moritzbastei.

The overly S&M-themed lyrics and the label could have proven me wrong already. SPHS shares labels with Gitane Demone, Dear Deer (playing just before SPHS in the Moritzbastei), M!r!m and even Agent Side Grinder.

The new album makes it even more obvious. One song features Bestial Mouths, two others have been written with Ash Code and Crying Vessel. So I guess SPHS is ‘just’ a ‘more gothic’ band within the ‘minimal wave’ subscene.

The show started like an S&M electro project, but after the intro the typical gothic sound of the band emerged. A three man project, aided by a girl on the synths on stage, a drummer, a gruftie guitar player and an Andrew Eldritch-like vocalist with a great voice. Nice uptempo gothic rock with synths, drum-machine and drumming. Quite a few songs that I did not know from the “Fetish” album (2017) which was made clear at the end of the show: the new album had just been released.

“XXX” starts with a great uptempo song called “Ich Bin Dead” and contains some other great tracks. Others are less my liking and overall the debut is probably a bit better, but “XXX” is a great album of contemporary goth made by a Portugese band that has a magnificent live performance and hopefully a bright future.

One WGT I saw Agent Side Grinder in the Moritzbastei. They were already too big for that small place, but they grew further rapidly after that. SPHS deserves a bigger stage (and audience) especially on a festival such as the Wave Gotik Treffen. Personally I would have scheduled them in the Täubschental together with Dystopian Society, Inkubbus Sukkubus and Shadow Project. Perhaps another year.

Links: She Pleasures Herself, Manic Depression