Here comes the Hurdy Gurdy Man man again and he's not singing songs of love...the industrial noise hurdy gurdy man that is, Valentin Laborde under his project name Camecrude. 'Enclave II-II' could be construed as a continuation of his previous 'Enclave I' (2018) which I reviewed positively back then, and though there are some similarities, 'Enclave II-II' takes things to another level entirely. First, this is a double album (2 CD) and the intensity has been cranked up a few notches, not that 'Enclave I' was lacking much in the brutal noise department. It also does not have as much spoken word (dialogue) as the first, but still retains a lot of vocal chant, but a bit different this time around. Camecrude's modus operandi is largely the same; voices, hurdy gurdy, Lyra-8, industrial and nature recordings. Some additional percussion on a couple of tracks is by Clément Joseph-Alexandre & Laurent Hayet (Ginkgotuk), as well as additional voices and lyrics by Malou Rivoallan, and Stase:Orgone. Inspired by books like "La Luxure et la Mort" from Albert Caraco, "Précis de Décomposition" by Emil Cioran or "Le Monde comme conscience et comme rien" by Ladislav Klima, this pessimistic double album is divided into two sides, one first part with extended tracks for the fall and the drama of conscience— another side with dark old sorcery meditations around insomnias and negative utilitarianism.
It all begins on Disc 1 with "Les Maux : Minja Los Que Non Te Mingen," which takes a couple of minute to rev up, but when it does. It’s like some infernal washing machine filled with cement blocks while some Outer Gods cultist high priest chants over it. That chant must get answered because it isn't long before the mad pipes of Azathoth play an insane tune. Yep, this is the heralding of ultimate chaos, and Lovecraftian devotees should love it, although there is nary a mention of good old Howard Phillips or the Cthulhu Mythos here. If this track isn't enough to scarce the absolute shit out of you, perhaps "Les Sorts : A La Tèrra Volatz" might do the trick. This is intense black ritual with menacing sub-bass and an assortment of sonic effluvia that definitely gives the impression of being led toward your doom...in chains! When the additional percussion kicks in, you can just picture the dancing writhing cultists with knives out...it stops...then begins again with renewed fervor. Of course, you can't make out the chanted words (likely in French, but who knows what blasphemous language it might be), but there is no doubt of malevolent intent. From this point (9 minutes in) it only get more frenzied and intense, ferociously building to an outrageously wild climax, descending into chittering madness. Following that, a much needed respite titled "Interlude," but at 3:48 it doesn't last long. Before you know it you're in "La Mort : Précis de Décomposition" which starts off sounding like a John Cale experimental viola drone piece, but you know that it's the hurdy gurdy. There's a strong low rumbling undercurrent to support it as it drones on for a good long time while wordless voices urge it along. This is quite a noisy piece that only gets noisier for a spell. At about 11:27 it changes into something less brutal and a little more musical, yet still dronish. Still, there is a sense of unholy anguish here.
Disc 2 - "Anathème" begins with the incessant buzzing of bees (the hive mind?), a tone as annoying as an unattended teakettle whistle, an ominous bass and obscured and processed low voices before launching into the fearfully chilling musical meat of the track which blossoms into a full-fledged bouquet of the flowers of evil, infernal voices and other musical maladies to boot. I should point out that that there are more tracks (9) on this disc than the first, and most are of shorter duration than most of the tracks on disc 1. Harrowing voices are at the forefront of "Rituel d'Avortement" with numerous gyrations and acrobatics over a rich industrial background. "La Jambe Crue" has the sound of a scratchy old vinyl record and something like a slow moving freight train before the real percussion picks up the rhythm, eventually turning a bit militant. I realize now that I'm spending much too much time trying to describe the sound as opposed to interpreting it. Suffice to say the rest of the album is chock full of fire and brimstone malevolent rancor exhibited in a variety of different dark ambient and brutal noise schemes, as well as some unexpected surprises (such as Malou Rivoallan's vocals on "Sauge Lente") and strange musicality. 'Enclave II-II' stuns and engages on every level, pushing the boundaries of the artistic possibilities in the power noise genre merged with ritualistic dark ambient. Epic - A masterwork; something that will set the standard for years to come.
With packaging similar to 'Enclave I,' this limited edition (199 copies only) is a double CD that comes in a handmade black woodbox, hand polished and hand design, Including 2 art prints, a ritual booklet of 8 pages and antinatalist & sorcery artefacts. 26 Euros or so, but worth it, or you can go cheap with digital download for 12.