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.
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.
Links: Operation Cleansweep, XN Recordings
Late 2013 I heard of Trepaneringsritualen because Distel cooperated to an album. The styles of these projects have little alike. Where Distel is more of an “angstpop” type of project (especially in the earlier days), Trepaneringsritualen makes very dark “death industrial”. I did (nor do) like all material, but some albums are great and live performances are too.
I got quite some material of this “Götisk dödsindustri” project, but it often sounds quite alike. Therefor the project dropped on my priority list.
I am very glad that I gave “Kainskult” a try though! This album sounds as exciting as when I first encountered this project. All known elements are still there, but as Tesco’s selling text says: “somehow it reaches a new level of intensity”. Among earlier material there already were tracks with less distortion, but on “Kainskult” Thomas Ekelund experimented with his common elements again together with a whole host of fellow conspirators. One of them is Michael Idehall who I think sings on the great and moody opening track. Also there is Kim Larsen who I think sings on the magnificent closing track. Between these two tracks there are Trepaneringsritualen tracks that are somewhat more uptempo than the usual material, Ekelund’s vocals moved more towards a kind of rhythmic growling with more text than just a few lines. Walls of dark noise, hammering on metal and well-placed drumming, “Kainskult” without a doubt contains Trepaneringsritualen’s best material so far. Distel returned as conspirator as the mixer of this album
Links: Trepaneringsritualen, Tesco
The new Ex.Order is not a new album. It is a compilation with ‘old and rare’ tracks, just as “War Within Breath“. But the tracks are not really that rare. They are mostly of compilations that I have, probably bought because Ex.Order is on them. “Juche” (2008), Zugzwang” (2010), “Heilige Feuer II” (2002), “Collapse” (2000), “Resistance” (1999)and “Don’t Hunt What You Can’t Kill” (2002). Then there are two unreleased tracks from 2008 and 2010.
The tracks vary in style like we are used to from Ex.Order. Some tracks are not-too-extreme noise (what I often term “ambient noise”), sometimes they even lean towards dark ambient. There are also extreme “death industrial” walls of sound with aggressive vocals and/or samples. Back in the days I was not fond of these extreme sounds (just read back my old Ex.Order reviews), nowadays I think such tracks are the best. Especially when they are as structured and ‘moody’ as Ex.Order can make them.
Indeed, the new album that is named after a book by William Burroughs, is a wonderful release of one of my favorite noise projects. I would not mind a release with really new music (or a compilation that includes material of the old 7″s), but I have another great album to play while laying on the couch with a glass of whisky and a book!
Link: Power & Steel (Loki Foundation)
Unrest may not be a guarantee for a good release, but of the labels that I (relatively) recently discovered, Unrest has a descent success rate.
Here we have the second release of Abscheu, both tapes on Unrest Productions. I do not know the debut, but judging the new tape, it may be a good idea to get a copy. “Pretense” is limited to 141 copies though, so perhaps “Breviary Of Chaos” might well be sold out.
Similar to other Unrest releases, Abscheu presents great tracks and not-my-kind-of-noise tracks (chaotic, high frequencies, etc.). The thing is, there are some great death industrial things here, perhaps even reminding of Ex.Order. Other tracks have a bit of that structured noise sound of Am Not, the project that acquainted me with Unrest Productions.
Perhaps I should make some sort of Unrest playlist with the good tracks and leave out the ones that I do not like, because the good tracks can be great and this can be said for “Pretense” too.
Links: Abscheu, Unrest Productions
In 2015 Unrest Productions release the superb Am Not album “Unpunished”. There appeared to be an earlier album (“First Morbid Vibrations” 2012 Unrest) which is descent, but not as good as “Unpunished”. Now Tesco picked up Am Not to release the third full-length.
I do not remember how I learned of this project, but with the previous and the latest album, this project rapidly rises to being one of my favorite projects. Tamon Miyakita combines elements that I enjoy in music. It is dark, structured, emotional, but most of all, he seems to have something to say. Just music for the sake of music (or anti-music in the case of noise) can be entertaining, but I like it a lot when the artist seems to be concerned with more than just music. Am Not actually has lyrics, lengthy ones too sometimes. Not just the shouted one-liners of many similar artists, but lyrics that make me wonder what the artist means with them. A track opening with a sample of a man telling about him torturing black people, ending with “Leopold reigns today” (on the previous album), a stance against racism, as Leopold was a Belgian king who had a terrible regime in the then-colony Congo?
The new album seems to have more “1984” type lyrics, complaining about the almighty bureaucratic system that is more powerful than politics and a “child” that is summoned to “come home” with what appears to be a dangerous regime.
I do not mind that the lyrics are not ‘clear’ or even if there appears to be something there that I agree with or not, but this underused element of extreme electronic music definitely adds something for me.
The music then. Just as the previous album the music is pretty dense and noisy. The vocals are more often heavily distorted compared the previous album. Some tracks are more power electronics in sound, others somewhat less extreme, but “The Developing World” is certainly no easy-listening. It is abrasively dark though and, I said it before, I have a thing with extreme music with vocals. The new Am Not is, once again, pretty damn good!
Links: Am Not, Tesco
Thank you Noise Receptor for letting me know about the new Gnawed. I like the previous “Feign And Cloak” album quite a bit and I now see that I also thanked Noise Receptor for bringing that release to my attention.
“Pestilence Beholden” opens with a few pieces of dark ambient, but within the third track we go over to the death industrial style from the previous album. Well, maybe not exactly, the new album seems a little less as extreme as its predecessor, which also has more higher frequencies and overall a more noise-feeling.
The music is still very slow, somewhat rhythmic, with soundscapish tones and here and there highly distorted vocals. Maybe more like a ‘doom’ kind of industrial.
I like the new album. I think I prefer the rougher edge of “Feign and Cloak”, but the latest release may be more fitting to play when reading or something.
Links: Gnawed, Malignant Records
Apparently the first Steel Hook that I review. This is weird, because I have known this American project for quite some time. I guess I never came to buy any of their releases or I just never came to really listen to them before I started to enjoy noise better.
“Calm Morbidity” is not the first release on Malignant, a label that seems to be shifting more and more towards noise.
The album contains the wall-of-sound type of noise, dark, slow, dense, with extremely distorted vocals, but also more dark ambient tracks. I like this dark type of noise that is not as chaotic as some other styles. The album is not terribly good or varied, but enjoyable nonetheless.
Links: Steel Hook Proestheses, Malignant Records
A while ago I was playing the great album “Unpunished” by Am Not and I wondered what other releases Unrest Productions would have. I listened to the tracks on their Soundcloud account and liked the track of S.T.A.B. Electronics, like Am Not (and like the label) from the UK.
Nowadays when I want to ‘try out’ a band, I just see if they are featured on Deezer or if they have a Bandcamp or Soundcloud page. Not everything is available online (which is perfectly fine with me) and I did not find much of S.T.A.B. Electronics. So, just as in the old days, I just bought a cd of a project I was curious about.
“Day Of The Male” opens with a descent ‘death industrial’ track with rumbling and noisy rhythms and screamed vocals. Perhaps ‘power electronics’ is a better description. However I do not entirely like the vocals, this track is a nice one.
Then follows a screeching noise track that I do not like at all.
Things get better with the title track which is again more ‘death industrial’. What follows hereafter is brutal power electronics, in one case pretty extreme: the great track “Marquis Complex”. The other tracks are nice to good, so overall I may conclude that “Day Of The Male” is a good power electronics album.
Links: S.T.A.B. Electronics, Unrest Productions
Epicurean Escapism is an ‘extreme media’ festival and this release looks back at the second edition. There is a cd with tracks from Ke/Hil, Anemone Tube, Post Scriptvm, Trepaneringsritualen and Dieter Muh (the last is a 20+ minutes track). Compared to the DVD all these tracks are ‘easy listening’. Dark, noisy, industrial, ambient and quite enjoyable too.
Then we go to five videos recorded by Con-Dom from 1983/4 and one from a decade later. The videos are mostly shots of photos and images taken with a shaky camera. Some footage has been montaged in between. The videos are accompanied by Con-Doms most uncompromising sound. No ‘easy listening’ for sure! In fact, I do not really like this side of Con-Dom. The videos have been remastered and they are interesting ‘for archival reaons’. They give a peek into the early extreme noise scene.
The packages is DVD box sized and made from cardboard. A booklet is glued to the last panel and contains an essay and photos of artwork that was on display during the festival. The concerning artists are Alex Tennigkeit, Andrew Liles, Carmen Burguess, Dennis Rudolph, Philip Best and Rudolf Eb.er.
I like the more ‘overall approach’ to this release, but personally I find the cd part the most interesting.
I see that volume III was also released a few months ago.
Links: Silken Tofu