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Theologian ‎* Pain Of The Saints (2cd 2015)

The productive Lee Bartow recorded 2,5 hours of music that Malignant released on a double cd. Whereas I mostly like Theologian for its oppressive and dark type of noise, this double cd contains a range of styles of industrial music. The noise forms part of the tracks on the first cd, but there is also more rhythmic noise type of music, dark ambient, ambient noise, softer rhythmical material or ‘general industrial’.

Much of the material is not as extreme as I am used to of this American project, but that is does not mean that the material is less interesting. It sounds like Lee Bartow is trying out different approaches and not without merit. “Pain Of The Saints” is an interesting release for when you are in the mood of 2,5 of extreme music.

Link: Malignant Records

Theologian * The Transfigurations (cdr 2011)

I have ordered this album three years ago, but Fate has kept it from me. It is worth the wait though! There are so many Theologian releases available that I had a problem choosing when I ordered this one. The main reason to choose “The Transfigurations” is that Propergol is on it. Well, there is something strange about this cd.
The album contains eight tracks, all cooperations, respectivelly with Aderlating, Aun, Four Pi Movement, Inswarm, No Festival Of Light, Propergol, Strom,ec and The Vomit Arsonist. Somehow this is all crammed into one long track! In the words of the label: “this cd-r collects recent collaboration tracks from 2010-2011 — some completed, some still in-progress — into a single long track that runs the gamut from ambient drone to harsh noise walls.” It is hard to tell which part is recorded with which artist, but like the description says, the sound goes from ambient to noise and is overall really not bad. Not expensive either, so surf to the Annihilvs website and get this cdr along with some other stuff.
Link: Theologian / Annihilvs

Theologian & Bain Wolfkind * Noir (cd 2013)

Not the most obvious combination, do you think? When I noticed this release I got very curious what this would be like. Theologian’s wall-of-sound type noise with Wolfkind’s vocals or bluesy guitar perhaps, or more Wolfkind’s Novo Homo sound? Well, none of these actually. “Noir” is a four track, 37 minutes, album with soundscapes; stretched sounds, samples, soft rhythm, that sort of stuff. Not really recognisable as Theologian, however there are softer sides to this project too, not as Bain Wolfkind. The sound is fairly dark and ‘cinematographic’. Perhaps a bit like the softer side of Propergol with a little bit of noise towards the end.
A nice piece of background music.
Links: Theologian / Annihilvs, Bain Wolfkind

Theologian ‎* The Chasms Of My Heart (cd 2012)

DiscogsThis American project releases a lot on his own label, but fortunately also sometimes on a bigger label so the releases actually see the light of day and are available a bit more easily in Europe. According to Discogs this is not even the latest release of Theologian. I have not heard all that much of Theologian, but “The Chasms Of My Heart” sounds different from how I remember this project. The wall-of-sound type of noise is still there, but less apparent and there is more rhythm (industrial or drumming) and some tracks have vocals. The description that I invented “ambient noise” fits the music perfectly. It will certainly scare away the listeners of ‘normal music’, but it is not of the chaotic noise-for-the-sake-of-noise type of sonic extremism. Still there are some pretty rough tracks with loud industrial beats of earcracking noise, so do not worry if you are a musical masochist, you still might want to listen to Leech’s latest effort.
Link: Crucial Blast, all websites of Leech’s project and label seem defunkt…

Theologian * Maximum Bitterness Has Been Achieved (cdr 2009)

In only a few years this American project has released an impressive amount of material. Most of the releases have been made available on Annihilvs in limited cdr format. Lee(ch) is behind Theologian, Navicon Torture Technologies and the label. The releases are not that easy to get, but of course you can get those available directly from the source. I ordered a couple of releases (the other have yet to arrive) to find out what Theologian is all about. Well… dense wall of sound type noise, minimalistic, soundscapish, somewhat dark, sometimes with distorted vocals and quite enjoyable. “Maximum Bitterness…” is a 68 minute, 4 track release that comes in a minimalistic package in a style that is recognisably Theologian once you looked around a bit. Not as good as Ex.Order for example, but better than much of the other noise that I hear and especially the low frequency last track is very good.
Links: Theologian, Annihilvs