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.
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.
I have known Dødsmaskin for a while, but apparently I have never reviewed an album of theirs. I remember liking the first album that I heard in a style that I call “ambient noise” with here and there some dark ambient.
Later albums that I heard seemed to focus more on the dark ambient, with only here and there a noisy tone. Also more and more atmospheric elements seemed to find its way to the music. Thus came that I only liked some of the tracks.
After releases on Malignant and Cyclic Law, the project has been picked up by Tesco. “Verdenssmerte” opens with a soft piano and slowly but surely the track goes over into a noisy texture.
The second track sounds a lot more interesting to me. A somewhat industrial dark ambient soundscape gets some noisy tones after a while. This track is nicely dark and in the style of Dødsmaskin that I like best, especially when things get even more noisy.
After a more experimental ambient track comes another nice noisy industrial track, an alright industrial track and an ambient closing track.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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”.
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.
It does not happen often that Operation Cleansweep releases new material. In 2012 there was a cd of a ‘side project‘, in 2006 a split release with Anenzephalia and Inade and then we are already back in 2003. The last full length (2003) was released on the Italian XN recordings and for this label we can also say that it does not happen often that there is new material. The last release is over 10 years old!
XN releases are always very limited and come in luxury hand-made covers. “Release Now!” is not as luxury packed as the Proiekt Hat / Brighter Death Now split 7″, but it comes in a tasteful, hand-made sleeve that you have to cut open in order to play the release for the first time. The package contains a 12″ and a 7″. There are 86 red vinyl versions and 200 black vinyl versions. Because they are hand-made when ordered and this takes a while, my guess is that they were long gone by the time I got my copy, but it can never hurt to ask the label.
The 12″ has two times four tracks. The 7″ has one track on each side. The opening track is relatively soft, but in the second track we already get a glimpse of the noisy industrial style of Cleansweep, but this track is by far not as dark and extreme as it can get. Again a bit more of that we can hear in “Hunters”, but less so in what follows, especially side II is quite tame and there are (almost) no vocals, not even many samples. Until the closing track of the 12″ and the opening track of the 7″ that is, this is in the style that I love Cleansweep for, especially the latter.
The music certainly is not easy listening though, but when you put this music against “Fuck Your Brains Out” or “Powerhungry”, you have to imagine another approach. A couple of ‘alright tracks’ and a few good ones. Not my favourite Cleansweep release, but still nice to hear some new material after all this time.