I have known Dødsmaskin for a while, but apparently I have never reviewed an album of theirs. I remember liking the first album that I heard in a style that I call “ambient noise” with here and there some dark ambient.
Later albums that I heard seemed to focus more on the dark ambient, with only here and there a noisy tone. Also more and more atmospheric elements seemed to find its way to the music. Thus came that I only liked some of the tracks.
After releases on Malignant and Cyclic Law, the project has been picked up by Tesco. “Verdenssmerte” opens with a soft piano and slowly but surely the track goes over into a noisy texture.
The second track sounds a lot more interesting to me. A somewhat industrial dark ambient soundscape gets some noisy tones after a while. This track is nicely dark and in the style of Dødsmaskin that I like best, especially when things get even more noisy.
After a more experimental ambient track comes another nice noisy industrial track, an alright industrial track and an ambient closing track.
Tesco rereleased the 1996 debut album “Powerhungry” with an extra track.
“Powerhungry” is a classic in death industrial, a great album with brutal, industrial rhythms, violent vocals, but on ‘the noise scale’ closer to industrial than to noise.
The tracks have been reworked, some even stretched up and a 12 minute track has been added. It is called “Blood Is Tripping From Our Hands” (seriously) and it is a great Cleansweep track.
I have never been able to lay my hands on “Powerhungry”, so now I can get the nice looking digipack. Playing it was no problem, since it is the only Cleansweep album available on Spotify. Perhaps the other albums should be rereleased too!
Linekraft, a familiar name, but I have not reviewed anything of theirs yet, so I guess I did not have anything. There are many releases on a variety of labels though.
Linekraft is from Japan, but the sound is more ‘Western’. The album opens with excellent dark noise or perhaps even death industrial tracks. Industrial rhythms, walls of noise, samples, distorted vocals, it is all there.
From then on, the style shifts away from my preference. The sound becomes more chaotic. Some sort of industrial undertone remains, but there are more high frequencies and less structure. Some tracks even lean towards total (Japanese?) noise chaos.
Two great tracks, a few good moments, but overall this is not my kind of noise.
In the early 2000’s I bought cds from the American Somanbulant Corpse (later: Somnambulant) label. Usually in the DVD A5 type package. The had some projects that became legendary, such as Murderous Vision (also still alive) and Post Scriptvm.
Post Scriptvm later released an excellent album on Propergol’s Hermetique label (“Marginal Existence” 2005). This was a weird, dark, noisy ambient kind of thing. The sound shifted more towards soundscapes which appeal to me less.
Putting on “Variola Vera” I thought that this would be another such soundscape-album, but I am happy to say that the second track (“Born Into Trauma”) is an excellent piece of “ambient noise”. Not too extreme, a pulsating rhythms, highly distorted vocals, but with that weird Post Scriptvm Sound.
The rest of the album is mostly the strange ambient soundscape type of sound with only here and there the vocals and a more industrial approach. Interesting, different, but not too much to my liking.
Tesco has found another wonderful noise project. “Freedom Locked” contains a nice bunch of industrial noise tracks. Droning sounds, raw rhythms, brutal vocals. Dark and moody. It is a sound that we hear more often lately. Think Ausströmen or the recent Tesco release of Deathpanel. This is not too bad, since I love the style, but it is starting to get hard to keep projects apart.
“Freedom Locked” is not too long (about 40 minutes, 12″ length) and it is certainly good. I do not have a whole lot more to say about it. When you like the other projects that I mentioned, you can safely buy Moral Order’s debut. There seems to be another album, “Wrath Of God” which comes in a wooden box, limited to 45 copies and released by Gradual Hate. I hope a better accessible version of it will be made available too.
Tesco comes with a loud debut album of this new German outfit. “Age Of Insignificance” mostly contains violent noise and death industrial, with here and there a little gas off.
After a great death industrial opening follow a couple of noise tracks (less rhythm). These styles alternate until my favorite track of album, the title track, a wall-of-sound type track with brutal vocals in the middle. The vocals are varied from undistorted screaming to talking to a sound that is almost unrecognisable as a voice. There is not much focus on vocals. Where some music in the style has screaming lads from the beginning until the end, Deathpanel usually only has vocals in a part of the track. A couple of tracks contains good sample-work giving these track extra atmosphere.
Of the eight tracks presented, half I like a lot and the other four are still good. Indeed a promising debut.
Late 2013 I heard of Trepaneringsritualen because Distel cooperated to an album. The styles of these projects have little alike. Where Distel is more of an “angstpop” type of project (especially in the earlier days), Trepaneringsritualen makes very dark “death industrial”. I did (nor do) like all material, but some albums are great and live performances are too.
I got quite some material of this “Götisk dödsindustri” project, but it often sounds quite alike. Therefor the project dropped on my priority list.
I am very glad that I gave “Kainskult” a try though! This album sounds as exciting as when I first encountered this project. All known elements are still there, but as Tesco’s selling text says: “somehow it reaches a new level of intensity”. Among earlier material there already were tracks with less distortion, but on “Kainskult” Thomas Ekelund experimented with his common elements again together with a whole host of fellow conspirators. One of them is Michael Idehall who I think sings on the great and moody opening track. Also there is Kim Larsen who I think sings on the magnificent closing track. Between these two tracks there are Trepaneringsritualen tracks that are somewhat more uptempo than the usual material, Ekelund’s vocals moved more towards a kind of rhythmic growling with more text than just a few lines. Walls of dark noise, hammering on metal and well-placed drumming, “Kainskult” without a doubt contains Trepaneringsritualen’s best material so far. Distel returned as conspirator as the mixer of this album
So does my taste shift towards power electronics legends, or does their sound shift towards my taste? For decades I have known, but never liked, the noise outfits that started in the 1980’ies, but only recently projects such as Consumer Electronics and Sutcliffe Jugend released material that I do like (but I still do not like their entire back catalogues, so perhaps their music is shifting towards my taste). Now The Grey Wolves comes with a great album too. What is too bad is that this is their last album.
“Exit Strategy” does not have the typical TGW sound. There is no earcracking, unstructured noise with brutal vocals. Rather, there is an ‘ambient noise’ type of sound with distorted film samples and here and there a noisy outburst. Some tracks reminded me of Propergol and then I saw that Jérôme Nougaillon indeed produced the album.
Should I make a comparison to Propergol, mostly think of his “United States” (2000) / “Regegade” (2001) period to get an idea of the sound of “Exit Strategy”.
Not all tracks are great, but most of them are. Available from Tesco on vinyl or cd.
In 2015 Unrest Productions release the superb Am Not album “Unpunished”. There appeared to be an earlier album (“First Morbid Vibrations” 2012 Unrest) which is descent, but not as good as “Unpunished”. Now Tesco picked up Am Not to release the third full-length.
I do not remember how I learned of this project, but with the previous and the latest album, this project rapidly rises to being one of my favorite projects. Tamon Miyakita combines elements that I enjoy in music. It is dark, structured, emotional, but most of all, he seems to have something to say. Just music for the sake of music (or anti-music in the case of noise) can be entertaining, but I like it a lot when the artist seems to be concerned with more than just music. Am Not actually has lyrics, lengthy ones too sometimes. Not just the shouted one-liners of many similar artists, but lyrics that make me wonder what the artist means with them. A track opening with a sample of a man telling about him torturing black people, ending with “Leopold reigns today” (on the previous album), a stance against racism, as Leopold was a Belgian king who had a terrible regime in the then-colony Congo?
The new album seems to have more “1984” type lyrics, complaining about the almighty bureaucratic system that is more powerful than politics and a “child” that is summoned to “come home” with what appears to be a dangerous regime.
I do not mind that the lyrics are not ‘clear’ or even if there appears to be something there that I agree with or not, but this underused element of extreme electronic music definitely adds something for me.
The music then. Just as the previous album the music is pretty dense and noisy. The vocals are more often heavily distorted compared the previous album. Some tracks are more power electronics in sound, others somewhat less extreme, but “The Developing World” is certainly no easy-listening. It is abrasively dark though and, I said it before, I have a thing with extreme music with vocals. The new Am Not is, once again, pretty damn good!