Around the time that I was reading “Industrial Evolution” and “England’s Hidden Reverse” Cold Spring started to announce the rerelease of an old documentary about that very period of early industrial. Four bands are featured on this DVD: Test Dept, Coil, Foetus and Current 93. The last three are extensively featured in “England’s Hidden Reverse”. It was nice to see persons with the stories and interviews that I read in the book.
The documentary was made by country-mates of mine (from the Netherlands) and there is life footage of Test Dept. in an abandonned building in Amsterdam and Foetus in Paradiso (also Amsterdam). Of Current 93 there is live footage from Hamburg, Germany. There is no live material of Coil.
The 40 minutes feature snippets of interviews and the mentioned live footage. It has all been cut and montaged a bit and sometimes you can see who are talking, sometimes you do not. Of Coil there are interviews shot in the house of Peter “Sleazy” Christopherson (1955-2010) and John Balance (1962–2004). There are also parts of an interview with Balance and Stephen Thrower (1963-) outside a studio. Then there is footage from inside a studio when the band was recording “Horse Rotorvator”. The other bands are interviewed around the shows that I mentioned earlier (inside or outside the places they played in).
This DVD certainly makes a nice addition to the mentioned books. The interviews are not groundbreaking, but the live material and the Coil studio material are particularly nice.
Link: Cold Spring
However my musical masochism grew in the last decade, I am still not a big fan of chaotic, unstructured noise terrorism, especially not when a lot of high frequencies are used. As far as I knew, Sufcliffe Jugend is one of these projects.
Sutcliffe Jugend has been around since 1982. It is one of the early projects that started to make a very extreme form of the upcoming industrial music. Of course, with them having been active for so many years and me having been involved in uncommon music also for quite a few years, I had run into this British project a couple of times. Still, inspite of a growing likeness of noise and even a bit of power electronics, Sutcliffe Jugend remained one of these projects that were a bridge to far for my taste. I did see them at the Wave Gotik Treffen a few years ago though. I do not remember much of the show…
Recently I accidentally heard a few tracks that I actually like (or did I hear the same track a few times?). They are probably part of some playlist or came by when I listened to a ‘similar artist radio’ or something. These tracks show that Sutcliffe Jugend also has tracks which are more of the ‘wall-of-sound’ type noise (that I do like sometimes) with completely insane vocals with normal and high-pitched screaming. Guessing that this could be a new direction, I decided to try the latest album of Cold Spring (but now I see that two other albums are already listed after it on Discogs!)
“Offal” opens with a wall-of-sound type track only not with the typical screamed vocals, but for the rest a track track that I expected from this project, just perhaps a little less extreme. The track is not great, but certainly not bad.
Then we go to “Howl” which turns out to be an impressive and truely brilliant track! The vocals are very atypical. They are a bit TV-preacher like, but also with the more typical screams. There is a slow, industrial rhythm and an increasing wall of sound. Oh how do I like noise with vocals sometimes! This is the type of noise that gets the hair on my arms straight up.
Another great track is “Slice”. A track with a faster rhythm and a bit of ‘orchestral squak’ or how should I describe the sound? After a while the vocals set in. This tracks is good and dirty.
The last track has again a faster rhythm. It start with a monotous kind of talking, but after a while they are again more like the American TV-preacher who after a while starts to swear and scream. The music is simple but effective, rhythmical, noisy and a little bit odd and also this track is great.
Four, long tracks. Two of which are great, one is very good and another is just good. Perhaps I have to dive into the fairly large discography of Sutcliffe Jugend afterall.
Cold Spring Industries, Sutcliffe Jugend
In 1994/5 I was happy to be able to leave behind the black metal scene and role into something more interesting. Cold Meat Industry was one of the labels that I discovered and from which I bought dark ambient and strange industrial. Then there was this act with corpsepaint and whatnot even making a style of music that I -at the time- did not like: noise. Well actually, they called it “black industrial”, setting it aside Brighter Death Now’s “death industrial” as Satanic black metal stood aside death metal.
I never really took a descent listen at MZ.412. I have (heard) some of their albums, but I never tried the entire discography. The more death and dark industrial albums sound better to me than some others. After almost 10 years after the last ‘real’ album, Maschinenzimmer moved to Cold Spring and brings a brand new album. Well, “brand-new”… there are some tracks that sound very familiar even to me.
MZ starts with a little surprise, almost martial industrial tones. Soon we are thrown into the deep and dark pits of rhythmic industrial and low-frequency noise. Some tracks are very good, others are less interesting, but certainly not bad. “Hekatomb” became a reasonable ‘comeback’ for our Scandinavian terror korps.
Links: Nordvargr, Cold Spring
Recently I bought the “Embers” 7″, but it proved to be from 2011, so I did not review it. I have known Iron Fist Of The Sun (or IFOTS on the latest releases) by name for quite a while, but I never really got to listen to this project from the UK until recently.
Deezer has the 2009 album “Behavioural Decline”. It is comparable to the “Embers” 7″, the “We Can Yield…” album currently under review and the “Live At The Garage” live mcd that I got with the album, but perhaps the last one is more intense. The music is roughly comparable to IRM or Skin Area. Pretty extreme noise, but not as extreme as Whitehouse or Merzbow. Here and there the sound leans toward ‘ambient noise’ and one track can even be described as a ‘soundscape’ (or a ‘noisescape’).
Some tracks are certainly dark and moody, but I do not like every track as much as the next. I do like the very extreme vocals, which is also one of the reasons I have to think of IRM.
Overall “We Can Yield Our Own Footsteps” is a fair album with a couple of very good tracks.
Links: Iron Fist Of The Sun, Cold Spring
Cold Spring recently rereleased this early Trepaneringsritualen tape. (The very first release (“Ritualer, Blot & Botgöring“) has been rereleased on cd by the Rusian label Infinite Fog Productions.) “Veil The World” contains the typical Trepaneringsritualen death industrial sound, but what makes these ‘early’ recordings interesting are the times that the distortion is limited and the sound goes into a more ‘minimal wave’ direction. These less typical elements make “Veil The World” not only interesting for archival reasons, but also shows that Cold Spring made a good choice to rerelease this particular tape.
Links: Trepaneringsritualen, Cold Spring Records
The latest Cold Spring sampler is a very very noisy one. The most eye-catching track is one by “Coil / Nine Inch Nails”, but the most ear-cathing is the track of Trepaneringsritualen. For the rest there are project that I already knew (Merzbow, Troum, Burial Hex, Skullflower, Iron Fist Of The Sun and Z’ev) and projects that I did not know, or only heard of (Sol, Tunnels of Ah, Shift, Mesektet, Khost and Sutekh Hexen).
Like I said, the compilation is pretty noisy, also with ear-piercing high frequencies and little structure. Not all my taste, but it is always nice to hear new projects.
Link: Cold Spring Records
Trepaneringsritualen released material on a whole range of small labels. This is the third release on a relative major (after an lp and cd on Malignant). This will certainly be good for the spread of the wonderfull name. Cold Spring made a very nice digipack and what is more, this album might very well contain the best Trepaneringsritualen material so far. It reminds a lot of the WGT show in Leipzig. It is very industrial, with a lot of beats, rhythm and screamed vocals. Several earlier releases have less energy, are more ‘ambient noise’ so to way. “Perfection & Permanence” lives up more to the often used description “death industrial” that people put on this Swedish project.
This new cd might not only be more easy to obtain than other releases of Trepaneringsritualen, but for all of you who have not yet hear this project, give a great idea of how dark and aggressive this project (and his live shows!) can get.
Links: Trepaneringsritualen, Cold Spring
I am unsure of the reason why I got this album! Perhaps the name of this project suggested this to be a martial industrial project and I was curious what the latest in martial industrial would sound like? Well, this is no martial industrial I tell you! Apparently, Heldentod also is not a new project. Three albums have been made available earlier by the project itself. Looking back it seems that these previous album do indeed contain neofolk and martial industrial. Aha, prejudice confirmed! Onto “The Ghost Machine” then. It opens noisy, a wall of sound type of noise, but not too extreme. The second track is more of a “noisescape” kind, a very nice track with pulsating noises and some echoing vocal sample. Only in the beginning of the fourth track Heldentod gets pretty extreme, but other tracks are really good noise tracks of lesser intensity. “Betrayal” is more old-styled industrial noise and also good. Some other tracks are almost ambient, but also good. Actually, this is a very good album! I love it when I run into something good by accident!
Links: Heldentod, Cold Spring
“Iron Avantgarde” 2000, “Edelrost” 2005 and now “Gott Mit Uns”. Kreuzweg Ost take their time to make their music. The previous two albums sound a bit like a parody on the martial industrial style with amusing experiments with samples, rhythms and song-structure. Both albums are quite good, but I rarely play them. So what would the third album in 12 years time sound like? First let me tell you that the comedy element is mostly left out. No silly samples of Dutchman trying to speak English or happily marching boots. Almost every track opens with a well-done rhythmic experiment and slowly builds up in melodies and samples. Also, as before, the tracks are stuffed with samples, this time with a (martial) Christian content. The tracks are seven to over nine minutes long with not a whole lot of variation. Again Kreuzweg Ost come with nice ideas and work them out meticulously resulting in very good tracks. The only thing is that they may be been a bit shorter here and there. A good album again, not with the typical martial industrial orchestral bombast, but the Kreuzweg Ost version of the genre.
Links: Kreuzweg Ost, Cold Spring
Another album with rare songs and alternative versions of Von Thronstahl. I feared I would have most of them, since I have most material of the band and quite a few compilations with Von Thronstahl on them. The nice thing about “Conscriptvm” is that there are songs that were recorded, but eventually did not make it to albums because they did not fit. Therefor there are not only different versions of tracks that I already had, but also new songs. Good news for the people who prefer the early style of the band is that most tracks of the first cd in the old style, there is even a version of “Sturmzeit”. Not that there is much of the dark orchestral industrial style, but the music for the larger part is not of the rocky kind of nowadays. The second cd has more ‘neofolky’ songs. All in all I can say that “Conscriptvm” might not contain the best material of the band, but as usual it is a very nice album to listen to.
Links: Von Thronstahl, Cold Spring