Malignant

IRM * Closure (cd 2014)

The new IRM on Malignant seems to have more of the ‘eerie’ sound rather than the wall-of-sound type noise. Not a style we have never heard from IRM by the way. What you can expect are the highly distorted (‘underwater’) vocals (so not the screamed and screamed-with-effect kind) with the minimalistic squeaky noisy sounds. There are also some softer, even more minimalistic tracks on “Closure”. What I miss on this new album are the low frequencies, the emotive violence. “Closure” nowhere really gets to me, while other IRM material does.
Links: IRM, Malignant Records

Trepaneringsritualen ‎* The Totality Of Death (cd 2013)

You have got to love a project with such a name, right? So why did it take until I heard that Peter Johan Nijland (Distel, Hadewych) cooperated to this release before I actually listened to them? The release is somewhat confusing. There is a tape, apparently released by the band themselves and there are two cd versions, one from a label that was unknown to me (Silken Tofu) and another from Malignant. These are not two versions though, but two parts of the same compilation. Roughly said, the first part (Silken Tofu) contains more industrial sounds, the second more ambient. Industrialwise the project goes from somewhat chaotic industrial, reminding a bit of Objekt/Urian, to darker, but also to more noisy sounds. The second cd is pretty dark with, like I said, more ambient sounds but also with industrial and noise influences.

Trepaneringsritualen may not be brilliant, but they certainly released some interesting material, especially for people who enjoy the good old industrial sound.

Links: Trepaneringsritualen, Silken Tofu, Malignant Records

Funerary Call ‎* Nightside Emanations (cd 2012)

The hottest days of the year are no good time to review the dark and bleak sounds of Funerary Call. “Nightside Emanations” opens with a very dark piece of ritualistic ambient, the style of Funerary Call, strange soundscapes, deep beats and an unsettling atmosphere. The album continues with dark sounds, but lateron the tracks get more minimalistic and soundscapish, a ritualistic sound reminding of current releases of the Polish Zoharum label. Funerary Call is a lot darker though. I have mixed feelings about the more minimalistic tracks. Sometimes they are too minimalistic for my liking, but at other moments the screams and weird sounds in the background raise an impressive atmosphere. Like I said, this music may be better on cold winter nights and not so much on sunny days with 35ºC / 95F. For people living in another climate than the Dutch or simply those who like the really dark stuff all year long, you want to get your hands on this album that comes in a nice DVD-size digipack.
Links: Funerary Call, Malignant

Kristoffer Nyströms Orkester * Overlook Hotel (cd 2011)

Malignant asked me a couple of weeks ago if I was interested in promos. Sure I am. Their package made me both happy and sad. Sad, because even in a time when music is all over the internet, I probably would not have heard any of the three albums that they sent, simply because prejudiced me thought they would be just noise. Happily enough Malignant sent me the albums and I can conclude that three great and original noise albums can be added to my collection. This project with a very interesting name makes very interesting music. Very well-structured industrial, sometimes soft, sometimes more noisy; sometimes soundscapes, sometimes rhythmical; sometimes with samples, often not; noise eruptions and stretched sounds, this is an album to experience.
Links: Kristoffer Nyströms Orkester, Malignant Records

Skin Area * Rothko Field (2012)

“Rothko Field” does not exactly look like a noise-cd, does it? Yet the opening track is an old-fashioned noise track with distorted vocals screaming random texts. After this the album becomes more of a noisescapes album with long-stretched noisy sounds and samples and here and there the guitar-kind of drone. The album sounds quite unlike most of the things that I heard so far. Not immediately brilliant, but interesting for sure. I think this is one of those albums that I have to listen to several times more before I can give my definate opinion. I do not think that I ever heard their debut album on CMI, but perhaps I should.
Links: Skin Area, Malignant Records

Sektor 304 * Subliminal Actions (cd 2011)

The project name and the artwork suggest (to me at least) this to be a noise cd, but the digipack speaks about percussion, bass and trombone? Putting the cd in my player there can be no mistake: this is a noise cd. The opening track is harsch and chaotic noise. After this things suddenly get much more interesting with an industrial track with a kind of drumming and vocals that give this track a rock-feeling. “Subliminal Actions” is a very interesting album. Some tracks sound what a Con-Dom/Militia cd would sound like when they joined forces to make music, other songs have some sort of rock-approach with a guitar, other are very experimental industrial. It is not all very extreme, at least, not compared to the opening track, but with Sanctum-like vocals (with no effects it seems) and the original way of making industrial music, this is a highly recommended album.
Links: Sektor 304, Malignant Records

STROM.ec * Divine Legions Beyond Psyche (cd 2008)

I find this Finnish project a difficult one. STROM.ec can make a sublime ‘wall of sound’ kind of noise and they have great parts of very dark ambient, but also parts of noise that are too extreme for me. On “Divine Legions Beyond Psyche” the music itself sounds good to great, but there are tracks with almost constantly extremely brutal vocals in a way that apparently do not appeal to me. More interesting use of a vocal effects is in tracks with some kind of ‘doubled voice’ and a dramatic sounding effect. STROM.ec makes an industrial kind of noise with continuing walls of sound on the background which can be nicely dark. The vocals make the sound quite extreme and there are also moments in which the noise goes in directions that I am not very fond of. Like with other releases that I heard of this project “Divine Legions Beyond Psyche” contains great moments and parts that I would rather ‘fast forward through’. They have the potential to become a second Ex.Order in my opinion, but a few rough edges have to be polished. Yes, I am a noise-wimp!
Link: Malignant

Oblivion Ensemble * Seraphim Hallucino (cd 2006 malignant records)

“WARNING ! Sublime ! We recommend this CD !”, thus says the Hermetique mailorder. The further description of the album made me curious enough to buy it. I don’t think that I knew this American act, but they have already 9 releases, since 1989! They describe their music as “abstract electroacoustic sound sculpture” and that sounds like a good description to me. Oblivion Ensemble has the weirdest style with soundscapes made with electronic and acoustic instruments, voices and a lot of effects. The sound goes from plodding ambient to more noisy parts. There are 23 tracks varying in length from 7 seconds to just under 5 minutes. Titles such as “r (embr)yo u” or “kis.s in (open) s k in” and the Dada-like lyrics are sufficient to give you an idea of the strangeness of the project. The experimentations sure have their charm and the more dark ambient parts sound good, but there also are tracks that are simply too weird to me.

Links: Oblivion Ensemble, Malignant Records
-2.5-

Propergol * Program Vengeance (cd 2005 malignant)

It was a long wait before I finally got the this new Propergol, but it is worth it! I didn’t know that this cd contains old material (recorded in 1999, remastered in 2003) but that doesn’t matter a bit. Propergol seems to be moving rapidly, because hermetique.net already has another new album called “Redemption” and two other titles are anounced, well well! Those who know Propergol will know what to expect: extreme experimental noise. Not just monotous earcracking noise, but dark soundscapes working towards complete overdrive and with a lot of samples and low frequencies. Propergol has a varried style, from dark ambient to high-pitched noise to rhytmical power electronics and more industrial sounds. Like with the other Propergol albums that I have some tracks of “Program Vengeance” are brilliant, while others are just good or alright. What I particularly like about Propergol is that the albums tend to be ‘concept albums’ of some kind. They seem to tell a story and the tracks build up an atmosphere and go over in eachother. “Program Vengeance” starts with a pit-dark soundscapes with a few noise eruptions, but it takes almost all the way to the end before the sound becomes really extreme. Especially because of the atmosphere that this French act creates with this extreme kind of sound, makes Propergol my most favorite noise act.

Militia * Black Flag Hoisted, Live In Lille (cd 2003 malignant/tactical)

This cd accompanies the book “Eco-Anarchic Manifesto” (reviewed in the book review section) in which the members of the Belgian Militia ventilate their ideas of the ideal world order based on anarchic ideas and “ecocentrism”. When I noticed the text on the cd, I was a bit disappointed. I have got nothing of Militia except their “Black Flag Hoisted” 2cd box (2000) and a split live-cd with Con-Dom. No new music of this wonderful band for me… This live cd is recorded at 3/11/2000 at the “Deadly Actions IV” festival in France. It slavely follows the cd resulting in nothing more (or nothing less) than a live version of the “Black Flag Hoisted” cds with tracks even in the same order. The music remains good though. Fairly simple and not very loud industrial with a lot of drumming. Live (also see my Stigma report) the band uses a lot of old iron to drum on, from oil-barrels to washing-machine-barrels and wheelcovers.
People who haven’t been able to lay their hands on Militia material, here have a new chance. Also nice to see that there are bands with ‘unconventional ideas’ (also for the scene). Read the book review to find out more.