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Gruntsplatter & Underneath The Deadlight – Predation Monoliths (2022)

Gruntsplatter I have known for a couple of decades. Underneath The Deadlight is a new project to me, and (I think) a new project in general. Discogs has only one release listed which is also from 2022 (and released on Gruntsplatter’s label Crionic Mind!). The project’s Bandcamp has six. Discogs has them listed as “dark ambient, industrial”.

A quick scan shows that UTD makes guitar based drone noise, so I guess that explains the amount of guitar on “Predation Monoliths”. The guitar wall of noise with stretched sounds and highly distorted vocals is actually pretty damn good. Perhaps this release is should be more lined with bands such as Khost, Sutekh Hexen or Gnaw Their Tongues than with the ambient death industrial of (early) Gruntsplatter.

There are several platforms where you can listen to the album before deciding whether or not to buy it. I may need to listen to the other releases of UTD as well.

Links: Gruntsplatter, Underneath The Deadlight, Annihilvs

Ten Thousand Miles Of Arteries – Survival Bloom (2019)

I ran into this album on the Annihilvs Bandcamp page where it can be obtained digitally and physically. The name did not immediately ring a bell, but this Chicago based project has been around for well over a decade it seems.

Spotify proves to have two releases of this project (a split and a full-length). Both are noise, not too extreme, but not exactly “ambient noise” either. I am not too fond of the vocals on these releases. I like the vocals a lot better on “Survival Bloom”. They are fairly typical for this type of music: brutally screamed vocals, but I often have a soft spot for vocal noise, so…

“Survival Bloom” appears to be a bit more industrial than the other two releases that I heard, slow, pulsating rhythms, mostly low frequencies (my preference) and, mostly accompanying the vocals, high frequency noises. It may not be brilliant, but the album is pretty enjoyable. Not too extreme and not too chaotic, but pretty brutal. I guess it is no accident that this was released on Annihilvs.

Link: Annihilvs

Theologian * The Transfigurations (cdr 2011)

I have ordered this album three years ago, but Fate has kept it from me. It is worth the wait though! There are so many Theologian releases available that I had a problem choosing when I ordered this one. The main reason to choose “The Transfigurations” is that Propergol is on it. Well, there is something strange about this cd.
The album contains eight tracks, all cooperations, respectivelly with Aderlating, Aun, Four Pi Movement, Inswarm, No Festival Of Light, Propergol, Strom,ec and The Vomit Arsonist. Somehow this is all crammed into one long track! In the words of the label: “this cd-r collects recent collaboration tracks from 2010-2011 — some completed, some still in-progress — into a single long track that runs the gamut from ambient drone to harsh noise walls.” It is hard to tell which part is recorded with which artist, but like the description says, the sound goes from ambient to noise and is overall really not bad. Not expensive either, so surf to the Annihilvs website and get this cdr along with some other stuff.
Link: Theologian / Annihilvs

IRM * The Cult Of The Young Men (cd 2007)

An oldie, but you can get this album from the label with discount. “Cult Of The Young Men” is a typical IRM album. The music is minimalistic noise, not the most extreme stuff you will ever hear, but especially because of the typically sounding distorted vocals and low frequencies, the sound is still pretty oppressive and very dark. However this sound may be like dark ambient in comparison to some power electronics, the totallity of the project makes it one of the more extreme in the scene in my eyes. Bladh presents some of his bloody artwork in the package so you can get the idea. There is a cover of a Joy Division song and a quote of Ian Curtis in the booklet. I doubt that many Joy Division fans would like the association!
Just as the other albums of IRM that I know (and that does not include each and every release), “The Cult Of The Young Men” offers a great piece of dark noise with somehow within the violence an emotional feeling.
Like I said, Annihilvs now offers this album for $ 10,-, but it looks like I got the last copy…. Sorry about that! There are other ways to get this album though, through the Discogs marketplace for example. When you like IRM, get this album too. Do you not know IRM and you want to try some extreme music, but not too extreme in sound, try IRM. A new album is announced for the end of the month by the way, through Malignant.
Links: IRM, Annihilvs

Theologian & Bain Wolfkind * Noir (cd 2013)

Not the most obvious combination, do you think? When I noticed this release I got very curious what this would be like. Theologian’s wall-of-sound type noise with Wolfkind’s vocals or bluesy guitar perhaps, or more Wolfkind’s Novo Homo sound? Well, none of these actually. “Noir” is a four track, 37 minutes, album with soundscapes; stretched sounds, samples, soft rhythm, that sort of stuff. Not really recognisable as Theologian, however there are softer sides to this project too, not as Bain Wolfkind. The sound is fairly dark and ‘cinematographic’. Perhaps a bit like the softer side of Propergol with a little bit of noise towards the end.
A nice piece of background music.
Links: Theologian / Annihilvs, Bain Wolfkind

Theologian * Maximum Bitterness Has Been Achieved (cdr 2009)

In only a few years this American project has released an impressive amount of material. Most of the releases have been made available on Annihilvs in limited cdr format. Lee(ch) is behind Theologian, Navicon Torture Technologies and the label. The releases are not that easy to get, but of course you can get those available directly from the source. I ordered a couple of releases (the other have yet to arrive) to find out what Theologian is all about. Well… dense wall of sound type noise, minimalistic, soundscapish, somewhat dark, sometimes with distorted vocals and quite enjoyable. “Maximum Bitterness…” is a 68 minute, 4 track release that comes in a minimalistic package in a style that is recognisably Theologian once you looked around a bit. Not as good as Ex.Order for example, but better than much of the other noise that I hear and especially the low frequency last track is very good.
Links: Theologian, Annihilvs

Propergol * Ground Proximity Warning System (cd 2005 annihilvs/stridulum)

When I got the Tesco newsletter, I was exited, because it lists a Propergol cd that I didn’t know and I thought it was a new one. I looked around, eventually got a copy from Hermetique himself and it proves to be a 2005 cd that I missed for some reason. The title is often G.P.W.S., by the way. This album is more ‘ambient’ than the other power electronics albums, but still ‘very Propergol’. Tons of samples (this time of airplanes in distress), extremely dark and threatening in sound, but this time just not with the extreme noise outbursts. But… you will not be entirely devoid of noise! This album may be a good introduction to Propergol for people who are not familiar with this French project, but who are not sure about power electronics. For Propergol addicts I can only say that this album won’t let you down for sure! Another great album, maybe a bit hard to get, but get in touch with Jérôme(/Hermetique) himself or of course the labels.