Music Reviews

Artist: Heldentod (@)
Title: The Ghost Machine
Format: CD
Label: Cold Spring (@)
Rated: *****
Stylistical roots of Heldentod can be traced back to the so-called death-industrial, a sub-genre which has never pierced mainstream in spite of many sarcastic observers could recognize that contemporary cultural debates often turn into a focus on macabre and grisly themes or funeral commemorations. Those listeners who have a certain familiarity with early expressions of this branch are going to notice the fact Heldentod mantains continuity with some past acts such as Brighter Death Now, Atrax Morgue, The Grey Wolves or Anenzphalia from the conceptual viewpoint at least but at the same time, their sound morph sounds original enough. The initial title-track of "The Ghost Machine" immediately sets the scene with the frightened description by a female voice of the emotional dynamics in detail during a scary appearance, emphasized by spooky sounds and an appropriate vocal treatment (...and manipulation of vocals is one of the strongest point of this project..), before the sinister thunder announcing the materialising of this ghost while the lady keeps on repeating that "his touch annihilates". Then many phantoms could come one after the other while listening through stifling atmospheres, grim sonic clashes, heavy treads - such as in the gloomy marches of "Kindermoerderin" (a reference to the so-called phenomenon of radiant boys, ghots of naked or white-dressed little boys, whose appearance foreshadows forthcoming bereavements according to related legends) or "The Sentient Darkness" -, bloodcurdling inhuman yelling and screams - some of them suddenly shatter in a so unexpected manner that they could make your flesh creep such as in "Encystment Process" or "Revenant" -, ectoplasmic drones and clips from Geiger counters while detecting strange anomalies. The style is quite homogenous with the only exception of "Betrayal", whoch sounds more power-electronics oriented. If you're not too suggestible and daredevil enough, try this record while sleeping in a dark room...better if alone or your chattering teeth could wake up your partner if overpowered by some funk!

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