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Michael Idehall – Dadaist Gospels As Inspired Leaves (2024)

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On recent releases Idehall often makes a sound that I find alright, but which is not my favorite of his approaches to music. Besides, there have been times with more releases. Recently there was a ritualistic split with Thoabath on Cloister Recordings, but the last release before that was (I believe) in 2022.

On the “Dadaist Gospels” there are five tracks. First there is the “War Magic” type; somewhat industrial soundscapes with spoken word. These are the most interesting tracks to my ears. The more minimalist, slightly ritualistic tracks interest me less.

But Idehall is still around, which is good. This release is not yet up on Discogs, but is available through Bandcamp.

Link: Michael Idehall

Hadewych – Mes (2022)

I had seen announcements for this release, but I somehow thought that it was a rerelease. Good that Spotify surprised me with an excellent track so that I was in time to get me one of the cassettes.

Hadewych is somewhat like O Saala Sakraal, but darker, or perhaps I should say ‘more metal’. There is still the ritual darkness, Dutch lyrics, but more guitar. In the first track at least, the other two are more ambient or even soundscapish.

Just as on the latest O Saala Sakraal, Michael Idehall contributed to “Mes” and there are some other contributors as well.

“Mes” is a three track, 34 minute tape release that comes in a nice little box with a silver print. Also it was my (re)acquaintance with the Dutch Tartarus label that has more doomy music available.

Links: Hadewych, Tartarus Records

O Saala Sakraal – Heven (2021)

The Dutch collaborative project O Saala Sakraal released a mini album a few years after their debut album “Etmaal“.

Three tracks and 21 minutes that remind of the previous album, but “Heven” is more ritual ambient / industrial perhaps. The music is pretty dark, has vocals reciting poems, more ritual elements such as drumming and singing bowls. Last but not least, in the third track the vocals are by Michael Idehall.

Very ice again.

Link: Cyclic Law

Michael Idehall – Crowned Fool (2020)

Initially released on Idehall’s Patreon, non members can now also obtain “Crowned Fool” through Bandcamp.

The album is in de style of the last reviewed releases. Not the soundscape style, not the ‘pomp’ sound of “Deep Code“, but ritualistic industrial, fairly dark, sometimes a little dirty, sometimes more ambient and (of course) with Idehall’s vocals.

10 Tracks and album length, so “Crowned Fool” is yet another recommended release of Michael Idehall.

Link: Michael Idehall

Michael Idehall – Blood Poison (2021)

Unbelievable. Idehall is so productive that he even recorded an album while hospitalised with blood problems. What is more. By the time I found the time to review “Blood Poison” four new releases have been added to his Bandcamp!

“Blood Poison” opens with a soundscapish, slightly ritualistic piece of ambient. Also the second track is more of the ritual ambient style of Idehall. Also the more ‘typical’ sound can be found on “Blood Poison”, let us call it “angstpoppy”, rhythmic, repetitive and with Idehall’s typical vocals. Also a few noisy tones here and there. Especially the title track is very nice.

The style of “Blood Poison” is more that of recent (non ambient) releases than of the early material, but once again, it sounds excellent.

Links: Michael Idehall

Michael Idehall – Recapitulation (2021)

Even though I follow Idehall on different platforms, all these nifty algorithms did not bring “Recapitulation” to my attention. It was actually because I noticed a ‘profile’ picture on Spotify that I did not recognise that I noticed a new release.

I guess it happens more often that I do not hear of a new Idehall. The present title suggests a looking back at previous releases, but to my surprise there are several tracks that do not sound familiar. Indeed all tracks have been released before. On “Marax” for example, but also on releases that I missed such as “Blood Poison” and “Crowned Fool”.

“Recapitulation” opens with the slightly martial industrial sounding “Bull King” (from “Marax”). Most of the other tracks are in the more dirty, yet ritualistic, industrial side of Idehall. Sometimes somewhat noisy, sometimes leaning a bit towards techno. All tracks are nicely dark and mostly with Idehall’s repetitive vocals. The album is again pretty damn good.

So not only labels cannot keep up with Idehall (see my “War Magic” review), but I myself have to find a way to not have to find a new release by accident.

In any case, I do not know if “Recapitulation” is only available on Spotify, but also through other channels, but it is again highly recommended.

Link: Michael Idehall

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

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

va – Dyer’s Pledge (2018)

I thought Belzebez was Michael Idehall‘s publication outlet with an occasional music release. That does not prove to be entirely true. The latest book is a couple of years old and the label’s Bandcamp has a long list of releases. Now Michael comes with an online compilation.

The line-up has known and (to me) unknown artists. Trepaneringsritualen presents a soundscape. There is Æther who once did a split with TxRxP. Hadewych. Of course there is Idehall himself with a nice slightly industrial ritual track. There is even ᚾᛟᚢ ᛁᛁ // ᚦᛟᚦ. Somewhat surprisingly, a project that I located more in the so-called “witch house” scene: V▲LH▲LL. The biggest surprise is perhaps Carl Abrahamsson whose “Occulture” book I am reading right now. Then there are the new projects of which Slow.Slither (about whom I cannot find anything) presented the most interesting track of the compilation (it opens a bit noisey industrial).

As expected on such a ‘magical label’ the music is mostly ritualistic soundscape with a few hints of dark ambient and here and there a bit of industrial. As you probably know by now, not entirely my cup of tea. “Dyer’s Plegde” does contain a couple of good tracks and it is always good to find some new discoveries. Besides, it is easy to get through Bandcamp, so why just not try it? Also check out Belzebez’ other releases on Bandcamp of course.

Links: Belzebez, Belzebez @ Bandcamp

Michael Idehall ‎– Aion Reborn (mc 2018)

This is not Michael Idehall’s first tape on Raubbau. Here we have a 41 minute tape which regarding style holds the middle between the more soundscapish and the more ritualistic style of Idehall.

I have said something similar about several previous releases, so I just might accept that this is Idehall’s style.

That said, I really like the analogously humming opening soundscape. After this follow tracks which often have the more rhythm-driven style and usually with vocals, but not as dirty as on “No Man’s Land” and not as ‘pompous’ as on “Deep Code”. The tracks are fairly dark and minimalist. Very good to read by!

Links: Michael Idehall, Raubbau