Music Reviews



DEVILLOCK: These Graves

 Posted by Eugenio Maggi (@)   Industrial Noise / Power Noise / Harsh Noise
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Nov 22 2005
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Artist: DEVILLOCK
Title: These Graves
Format: MCD (Mini CD)
Label: PACrec/SNSE
Rated: *****
Devillock is the one-man project of Justin Chris Meyers', also know for his other alias Panther Skull (see the next review) and his label Tone Filth. The press sheet says "the sound is driven by what has been described as gunked-up tape; the sputter and hiss wooze that only analogue tape reels provide". Indeed, "The Blood From" (also featuring Matthew St. Germain of Freedom From label on bass drones) and the very short title-track feature this great churning tape sound, which makes for an engaging listen. However, right from the development of track 1 and in the rest of the cd, Devillock's sound unfortunately flattens on high end feedback, without much variation or layering. The recording quality is powerful and crisp (by the way, the work was mastered by Pete Swanson of D Yellow Swans), but given the excellent beginning I just wished the cd was more structured. As it is, it sounds like a very good live performance, but with some ups and downs throughout.

MAEROR TRI: Peak Experience

 Posted by Eugenio Maggi (@)   Industrial Noise / Power Noise / Harsh Noise
Ambient / Electronica / Ethereal / Dub / Soundscapes / Abstract
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Nov 20 2005
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Artist: MAEROR TRI
Title: Peak Experience
Format: CD
Label: AFE Records/Blade
Rated: *****
This is a luxurious, and quite limited (150 copies only) re-release of this cult post-industrial band's 1989 tape, to be exact of its German edition on Bestattungsinstitut. As with all their recent and much demanded reprints, a lot of care has been given to the packaging: the cdr is housed between two black wooden plates, closed by a Chinese paper band with the MT logo stamped in black ink. One of the early tapes of the trio (that, as you all probably know, has later given birth to Troum), "Peak Experience" is also one of its harshest and most industrial sounding works - most of the original A side is indeed dominated by screeching feedback, pedals abuse and mangled vocals, right from the surprisingly fierce "My Electrocution". But besides full-on noise, the disc is a sort of sum of all the different influences of Maeror Tri's: from cosmic music ("Talita Kum!", the beginning of "Boundary to Insanity 5") to darker drones ("Translucent Vault", "The Threat", "Endless Space"), from rhythmic pieces ("Wovoka") to a final quasi-wave song ("The Last Perception"). The material has undoubtly aged, but it has aged well - though I honestly find Troum's music much more mature and captivating, this is a nice trip into old school industrial music.

DEADWOOD: 8 19

 Posted by Eugenio Maggi (@)   Industrial Noise / Power Noise / Harsh Noise
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Nov 18 2005
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Artist: DEADWOOD
Title: 8 19
Format: CD
Label: Cold Spring
Rated: *****
Almost out of the blue comes this shockingly good Swedish one-man project - so good that an authoritative label like Cold Spring is here re-releasing his DIY promo cdr. Deadwood perfectly alternates, or mixes, the sheer, relentless aggression of power electronics and the morbid catatony of death industrial. He obviously doesn't invent anything new within those established genres, but his use of the tools of the trade and, especially, his care for arrangements and details are remarkable. Beginning with the subhuman yells of "Antabus", which in the vocal department clearly betrays Deadwood's involvement in black metal as well, the disc soon swamps in the muddy ambiences of "Crushing on", more subdued but not less menacing. The vehemence of the title track, where he screams his lungs off against a heavy rhythmic hammering, gives way to "Bitch on the...", which could be the companion to "Crushing on" - monotonous synth sweeps, controlled distortion and disturbing whispered/pitch shifted rants. But the most surprising track is probably "Wither Sith", with strange looped cracklings, funeral bells and more synth waves hosting the usual brutal vocal work. As I mentioned above, Deadwood is especially great at layering and structuring, so that even a minimal set of sounds never becomes stale (take synth sounds, for example - I'm definitely NOT a fan of synths, but I really have no complaints here). This care doesn't make the result less aggressive, but rather potentiates that. Truly brilliant stuff, which will surely please even jaded industrial listeners.
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Artist: THE NEW BLOCKADERS/GOSPLAN TRIO
Title: Sound Sketch for Raging Flames
Format: CD
Label: Klanggalerie
Rated: *****
Free jazz and electronic noise have a lot in common, but oddly enough I don't think there have been that many attempts to really mix the two (I'm obviously not talking of borderline improv-electroacoustics à la Creative Sources). Here the notorious English nihilists R. and P. D. Rupenus team up with a Russian trio formed by Alexei Borisov (voice, guitar, electronics; also known for his solo recordings and collaborations), Sergey Letov (saxophones, bass-clarinet, flute, whistles) and the late Ivan Sokolovsky (electronics), and the result sounds like a more electric Free Music Productions record fed through some circuit bent mechanism. When Borisov talks over the chaotic mess, it's like tuning your FM radio to an unknown Russian channel, statics and disturbances included. My guess is that the Blockaders added their sputtering noise over the trio's improvised sessions, but I might well be wrong. The two tracks are incendiary indeed, and my only quibble is that the collaboration is based on the same tecnique throughout (electronic debris over jazz), without much room to experiment different mixes or ways of interaction; but what's there is surely worth a few listens. Limited to 350, so hurry up before this sells out.
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Artist: VV.AA.
Title: Coup De Grace
Format: CD
Label: Invasion Wreck Chords (@)
Rated: *****
COUP DE GRACE is a new Invasion Wreck Chords compilation which include bands linked to Ambassador 21 (friends or collaborators). The twenty bands / tracks deal with power noise / techno grindcore / industrial bringing rhythm and noise to a new level. Try to imagine twenty years of industrial music all blended and brought to its extremes and you'll have someway how COUP DE GRACE is sounding like. There's also space for some hip-hop / grime mixed with techno industrial thanks to Deathsit.com, to Boot-Sector-viruz and to Maladroit, for the industrial e.b.m. of CTRLer, the updated 80's industrial electronica of Rasputin and On/Off or the ambient industrial of Flint Grass, just to name few. When you review compilations like these it is difficult to give a general judgement, because there are always some tracks you love, some others that you liked and others that doesn't sound that new but COUP DE GRACE is a good way to know new names and to find old friends of the noise scene.


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