Tag Archives: Cyclic Law

Black Earth – Gnarled Ritual Of Self Annihilation (2019)

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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

Trepaneringsritualen & Nordvargr (2019)

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The collaborations and remixes continue. Where these two artists created music together on Nordvargr’s “Metempsychosis“, this time they reworked each other’s tracks, just as other artists reworked Nordvargr tracks on “Tantum Melior“.

The two tracks, “Konung Krönt i Blod” and “Salve Teragmon” are quite alike. Distorted uptempo industrial with the brutal vocals from Hendrik and Thomas that we are familiar with. Two descent tracks, available digitally and on 7” from May 1st.

Links: TxRxP, Nordvargr, Cyclic Law

Nordvargr – Tantum Melior (2019)

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A follow-up of the excellent album “Metempsychosis” (hence the dead cat again). Where Nordvargr cooperated with mostly TxRxP on the previous album, the list is a lot longer this time, even projects that I never heard of: MZ. 412, Ordo Rosarius Equilibrio, Vassafor, Visions, Kristoffer Oustand, Spetsnaz, Michael Idehall, Thorofon and The Benjamin Codex.

Ah wait, it is another of these ‘remix albums’, tracks of “Metempsychosis” have been worked over by the named artists rather than created in cooperation with Nordvargr. I see that frequently recently, too frequently actually. I seldom like such a remix over the original track and the versions of “Tantum Melior” make no exception. Okay, it has been a while since I heard the vocals of Tomas Pettersson and Michael Idehall usually creates moody tracks, but bringing different artists brings different styles of music and less consistency throughout the album.

Perhaps a way to get (re)acquainted with the named artists, but personally I prefer “Metempsychosis” over the ‘remix album’.

Links: Nordvargr, Cyclic Law

Sutekh Hexen – s/t (2019)

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I do not listen to metal a whole lot. There are a few styles that I (sometimes) enjoy, such as old-school thrash, but for a while I have been sifting through doom metal a bit. I am no fond of the depressive type, but the (often even slower) “funeral” genre (and related) have some bands that I enjoy every once in a while.

There are also bands that blur the lines between electronic music and doom metal which sometimes results in interesting music. Khost, The Body, Author & Punisher, these type of bands.

Of course the name Sutekh Hexen came along in these searches. I never really listened to them though. I remember hearing tracks that are ‘too metal’ for my liking and more interesting tracks with electronics, or at least a noise-type approach. And then Cyclic Law sends a promo of a forthcoming album (end March 2019). A good excuses to listen to this American outfit a bit more attentively.

There are black metal like vocals, high-pitched guitars, but then to make ‘noisescapes’, “ambient metal” so to say, but dark and oppressive. When compared to industrial or noise music, the sound is pretty ‘wall-of-noise’.

There are several such bands whose vocals I do not like (those of The Body are downright annoying), but in Sutekh Hexen they fade a bit into the guitar noise most of the time. In doom metal I best like instrumental tracks still, but this new album of Sutekh Hexen is a good one in the style. I need to listen to some more material of this band. I now see that they even have a split with Trepaneringsritualen.

Even though there are over a dozen of previous releases, this latest album is “self titled”. It will come on CD and 2LP and batter your ears for almost 55 minutes.

Links: Sutekh Hexen, Cyclic Law

O Saala Sakraal – Etmaal (cd 2018)

Only out on December 21th, but the good thing about running a website is that sometimes I get promo material. Here we have a collaboration between five Dutchmen including two from Hadewych (and hence, including Distel).  Indeed, O Saala Sakraal reminds of Hadewych here and there.

Hadewych has a ‘soundscapish’ sound, but with guitar and more energy here and there, a quite unique sound that is hard to describe. That soundscape side is more prominent in O Saala Sakraal, but also here and there the sound becomes more ‘lively’. The music is fairly dark, nicely weird (but not as weird as Hadewych), contains several vocalists who recite poems, scream or sing. Overall this album is more tranquil from what we know from Hadewych and (of course) somewhat different in sound, but I think that band gives the best idea of what to expect from the album that has a Dutch title which cannot be immediately translated to English (perhaps being the reason for being chosen?). The word “etmaal” refers to a day of 24 hours. There are two tracks of about 20 minutes by the way.

So, a nice album if you like something dark and original.

Link: Cyclic Law

Nordvargr – Metempsychosis (cd 2018)

This album sounds a bit like a companion to “Kainskult” of Trepaneringsritualen. Even though Spotify lists TxRxP’s cooperation for only one track, I have the idea that all vocals are done by Ekelund. Otherwise Nordvargr’s voice sounds very similar!

“Metempsychosis” in some tracks sounds like the more tranquil tracks of “Kainskult”, very dark, with similar sounds and especially with similar vocals. In other tracks there is more of the dark ambient sound of “The Secret Barbarous Names” and towards the end some more experimental (technoish) sounds that Nordvargr sometimes blends into his music. This does result in some nice sounds though.

I particularly like the TxRxP-like tracks, the others are nice to good. The album is fairly short: 37 minutes.

Links: Nordvargr, Cyclic Law

In Slaughter Natives * Ventre (cd 2016)

I get quite a few newsletters and I keep an eye on websites that review music, but it was Deezer that ‘told me’ about a new ISN. When I wanted to look it up on Discogs, I could not find it. It took a bit of searching, but “Ventre” is actually a book of the French artist Nihil and ISN made an accompanying 35 minute cd. The project is released by Cyclic Law.

“Ventre” starts of pretty tranquilly, not with the pompous ISN style, but more ambient, with slow beats. Less energetic as we are used to of ISN. Lateron the style becomes more typical.

I have not seen the book or the cd, but images can be found on the website of Nihil and that of Cyclic Law. The album is not the best ISN, but it certainly is not bad either.

Trying to find information about this release, I noticed that the ISN part of the 1994 split cd “Mort Aux Vaches” with Deutsch Nepal has been rereleased in a few versions. That is really old-style ISN.

Links: In Slaughter Natives, Cyclic Law

Sophia * Unclean (cd 2016)

Who would have thought there would be another Sophia album after 13 years? Of course Sophia did a few shows in the last years, so “Unclean” did not totally come as a surprise. Before I found a place to order the cd, the album could already be found on Deezer (and undoubtely Spotify) so I already had a listen to this 37 minute album.

Like we are used to from Sophia there are pompous, orchestral industrial tracks and more dark ambient tracks. The slow tracks with the big blasts and whispered vocals remind of In Slaughter Natives, perhaps even more than ever. The towards the end there are two superb tracks in which Bjargö uses his voice in a more interesting way and created more uptempo music.

“Unclean” is not a masterpiece, nor is it really innovating. It is another descent Sophia album though.

Links: Sophia, Cyclic Law

Karjalan Sissit * …Want You Dead (cd 2015)

When I write this, Discogs only has a tape version listed, released by a label called “Total Black”. There is also a cd version released by Cyclic Law though.

Six years after “Fucking Whore Society” Markus Pesonen did not find any inspiration to develop his sound. Putting on the latest attemp initially brought me the idea that I put on the wrong cd. There is the usual orchestrated bombast with manically screamed vocals as on previous albums. The only thing that catches my ears is that guitars are added, or mixed more towards the front.

Now however “…Want You Dead” is just another Karjalan Sissit album, the style is still amusing so the new album makes me think back of the days when Karjalan Sissit was the most aggressive exponent of the ‘martial industrial’ sound that has mostly passed away. For old times sake!

Links: Karjalan Sissit, Cyclic Law

Tehôm ‎* Lacrimae Mundi (cd 2014)

15 Years ago Douglas P. posthumously released Siniša Očuršćaks second album. Now the project is revived (or continued) by Miljenko Rajaković, who produced the previous album.

“Lacrimae Mundi” sounds pretty much like “Theriomorphic Spirits”. The music is really slow, minimalistic and very dark ambient. There are deep drones, slow and heavy beats (sometimes becoming rhythmic), a little bit of melody and here and there a voice. Some tracks the music are more ‘trance-like’ and lighter of tone with drumming and slow melodies.

For the lovers of dark ambient.

Links: Tehôm, Cyclic Law