Music Reviews

Artist: NDE
Title: Kampfbereit
Format: CD
Label: Cold Spring (@)
Rated: *****
I'll be frank: I sometimes experienced some problems of comprehension of the literal meaning of this new act by this (really) mysterious Belgian act - it often happens that many projects with the intent of staying hidden gain more visibility than the one many exhibitionists manage to reach, but many clues such as the lack of a proper website and song titles as well as somewhat occult discretion on names and surnames behind it let think NDE (acronym of Near Death Experience?) have mainly chosen darkness for artistic purposes - due to the use of voice, which sounds close to the one of many black metal bands, and the huge load of distorted piercing noises which sometimes overwhelm it, so that it seems the voice must contend for the microphone against swarms of noisy insects and an assortment of obstreperous creatures of the afterworld, but it seems that such a stylistical choice has been pursued on "Kampfbereit". In spite of its title - some Front 242 fans could have been attracted by it -, NDE's style has nothing to share with EBM or electro: their style, which has been cleansed by the martial elements of their previous chapter "Krieg Blut Ehre Asche", focused on a crossbreed between so-called "death industrial" and stifling brutal electronics (you could imagine a beatless version of stuff from artistic identities such as 2nd Gen or Black Lung, revisioned and restyled by some devilish creatures) is so ferocious, extreme and virulent that most of black metal bands, which could come to mind while listening to the above-mentioned corrosive treatment of the voice many kvltists adore, could appear like a group of neatly combed altar boys. The initial track sounds tricky as it's quite similar to the experiments many tape-artists enjoyed with, based on slowdowns during dubbing, but the following tracks are full of very immersive ultra-low frequencies, which sound like grabbed from amplified recordings of explosions, drilling noises and obscure female choirs which are going to chill listener's blood. As you could imagine, the emotional set cannot but focus on misantrophy and the conceptual framework, evoked by some words on the inner side of artwork, where the idea of justice has been linked to the annihilation of mankind as its deserved punishment according to long-lasting and well-known religious beliefs as well as to a plenty of coming-of-age stories, which can easily belong to the collection of most erudite misanthropes, lends itself to the shadowy evoked images.

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