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.
How me and this project go back, I described four years ago in my review of the “Hidden Histories” tape.
The activity of this project goes back well into the previous millennium. As a matter of fact, the initial release of “Abscission” marked 25 years! First released on tape, now three tracks are added and the same label has made the release available on cd.
As on most releases of the project, the sound is varied. the album opens with dark ambient, continues with slightly ritualistic dark ambient with some rhythm and chanting bringing a faint reminiscence of early Coph Nia. The next two tracks are more dark soundscapes and with “Autumn Black” we slowly work towards more of a ‘noisescape’. This erupts into a death industrial track called “Open The Night Sky” with the extreme vocals that you hear in Murderous Vision tracks every once in a while. A quieter track closes the 50 minute album.
The dark ambient tracks are pretty dark. Not the kind of music that I listen to a lot, but not bad at all. I prefer the rougher side of this project so I am treated with one track.
An album for people who like the dark rumbling border between ambient, industrial and noise.
It is weird how the memory works. I have known TVM for a long time, but in my head they make the kind of noise that I do not like, chaotic, many high frequencies, etc. Then I was combing through Spotify to make a playlist of “vocal noise” the name passed by and I thought to take a quick listen just to make sure if I was right about not liking this project.
Spotify has this album released in 2020, Discogs says 2019 and I believe the latter. The Spotify listing is a reason for this review as I do not usually review older releases that I discover.
That said, putting on the album, the sound is exactly what I was looking for for my playlist. Heavy, dark industrial noise with extreme vocals. Damn this stuff is dark! Slow, pounding rhythms, typical noisy metal clanging and very heavy vocals. The music is not as harsh as it can get. Some tracks are almost dark ambient, but the vocals make obvious: this is noise.
Maybe not the best material in the style, but it seems that I have overlooked The Vomit Arsonist and that while exactly a decade ago I reviewed a mcd of theirs that I also liked.
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!
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.
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.
“Incursions” opens brilliantly and brutally. Also “What Are You Waiting For” is a great track. The cooperation with S.T.A.B. Electronics worked out well and (as can be expected) the track is pretty harsh. I am less convinced by the more tranquil tracks, even though I do like the industrial, but not very noisy, “Cruth Do Bhaile”.
Previously I reviewed the “appendix” which also has a more tranquil track that I like less than the other tracks. What occurs to me playing “Incursions” is that the noise on these last two releases is more of the harsh type and less of the structured kind of the two brilliant full-lengths. Even though I do like the more extreme tracks of Am Not, I like the structured tracks a lot better than the more tranquil tracks that seem to have replaced them.
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.
Tesco comes with a loud debut album of this new German outfit. “Age Of Insignificance” mostly contains violent noise and death industrial, with here and there a little gas off.
After a great death industrial opening follow a couple of noise tracks (less rhythm). These styles alternate until my favorite track of album, the title track, a wall-of-sound type track with brutal vocals in the middle. The vocals are varied from undistorted screaming to talking to a sound that is almost unrecognisable as a voice. There is not much focus on vocals. Where some music in the style has screaming lads from the beginning until the end, Deathpanel usually only has vocals in a part of the track. A couple of tracks contains good sample-work giving these track extra atmosphere.
Of the eight tracks presented, half I like a lot and the other four are still good. Indeed a promising debut.