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Ex.Order – The Place Of Dead Roads (cd 2017)

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)

v/a * ZugZwang-Festival (cd 2010)

Dammit! Just as with the DruckEmpfindeN-Festival I missed ZugZwang. This time I did not even hear about it and Ex.Order played… Just as of the previous festival a beautiful compilation was released, Chambermusic made a wonderfull compilation for the last festival. In a metal box with a punched-out banderole come a card and a sticker together with a cd with two tracks of Gerechtigkeits Liga, two of Ex.Order and one of Minamata. GL is a project that I only knew by name. I doubt I had any of their material, even though they have been around since 1981. It is a strange project. The first track is a noisy industrial one with vocals, the second one reminds a bit of Deutsch Nepal with drunkenman’s vocals over repetitive sounds. Nice! Ex.Order submitted two typical wall-of-sound type noise tracks which are pretty good. Not their best material, but very nice for sure. I have seen the French Minamata at a rememberable show in Antwerpen in 2007. Later I bought the cd/dvd of that show. Minamata does not make my kind of noise. Too much noise, too little structure. The one track here is in that very style. All in all a nice compilation of a festival I would have liked to attend. I will have to pay more attention this year. This release is limited to 300 copies by the way.
Link: Chamber Music

Ex.Order * Shuchu Ryoku (cd 2010)

Yesterday at the second Phobos Festival I bought this brandnew Ex.Order and two oldies (see below) at the Loki-stand. Ex.Order continues with making a dark wall of noise with samples and highly distorted vocals. Like we got used to from Ex.Order “Shuchu Ryoku” (apparently a sort of execution) contains rather extreme and very dark noise tracks and more ‘ambient’ (relatively of course) tracks. The pulsating industrial sounds are fortunately present. Perhaps this new album is not really surprising, but again very good.
Link: Power and Steel

Ex.Order * The Infernal Age (cd 1998/2004)

However the box does not say so, I suppose I got the 2004 rerelease of this 1998 album of Ex.Order, which was their first cd. The material spans the period of 1995 to 1998. The first tracks are best described as ‘noisescapes’, a continuous pulsating (soft) noise with a lot of samples and some rhythm. These tracks are quite interesting, but lateron comes the more typical Ex.Order kind of noise: a very dark wall of sound with many samples and some rhythm. Ex.Order manages to make quite extreme electronics, but not of the unstructured, chaotic style that I do not like, with a very dark atmosphere. The rhythms give the sound a very nice, and dirty industrial feel, a sound that was perfected on the 2007 album “Corporate Control“. “The Infernal Age” makes a good step in the direction, there are a couple of brilliant tracks here. Now I need to lay my hand on some more older material of this great project.
Link: Power and Steel

Ex.Order * The Law Of Heresy (1997/2010)

This 1997 tape has been rereleased on cd twice by the label Industrial Recollections. It was the first full-length of Ex.Order (on tape) after two split 7″s. “The Law Of Heresy” contains what I call “ambient noise”, long stretched noise-sounds and not as extreme as projects such as Genocide Organ. The early release is not as dark as the later material that I love Ex.Order for, but the samples and distorted vocals are already present. As the labelname suggests Industrial Recollections (a sublabel of Freak Animal) rereleases industrial and noise classics and this Ex.Order release definately deserves a place among these classics. Some ten years ago when I reviewed “War Within Breath” which contains material of “The Law Of Heresy”, I did not like the ‘wall of sound’ kind of noise too much, nowadays I love Ex.Order for their structured and atmospheric extremism and I am glad to have this early material in my collection.
Link: Industrial Recollections

Ex.Order * Corporate Control (cd 2007 power and steel)

Long ago when I was still a newbee in the industrial world, I got most of my stuff from Loki. In that time they also had the ‘sublabels’ (?) Nature and Organisation and Power and Steel. Apparently at least the latter still exists. For a very long time I couldn’t listen to noise, but the darker sounds of Söldnergeist or Ex.Order appealled to me. Yet I haven’t really followed these projects. I do have some releases of both and now with this new Ex.Order album (the first real album since 1999) I decided to get myself a copy. “Corporate Control” opens with impressive and very dark low-frequency noise tracks, the way I like it! This dark tone remains present, but not all the tracks are as noisy as the first. There are also more ambient-like tracks, but also they are nice. Slow, low frequencies, distorted voices and samples and here and there a noisy outburst. I think the lovers of power electronics need nothing more to be said, get this great new album! For those who are not too familiar with this kind of music, Ex.Order is a noise act that you may start with listening to noise. It is extreme in style, but not too extreme in sound, so your ears may get used to this kind of tonal anarchism.

Ex.Order * War Within Breath (cd 2001 malignant records)

Several years ago I got to know Ex.Order from vinyls on the German State-Art label. Later they appeared on the festival compilation cd “Collapse” (2000) and as far as I know this is the first full-length. Unfortunately this is not a cd with new material. It contains material from the 1997 tape “Law Of Heresy”, two live tracks and then 5 tracks that were previously not available, but that were recorded between 1997 and 2000.
Most of “War Within Breath” is quite typical noise with massive walls of sound. Some tracks have deep drones and heavy beats and these are mostly the tracks that I like. The largest part of this cd is not really my kind of noise.