Chthonic Force is the joint project of Vadge Moore (ex-Dwarves / Phoenix Thunderstone) and Wendy Van Dusen (Neither/Neither World). Venturing deep into the realms of Industrial, Power Electronics, Experimental, Noise and Ambient, their work has traversed not only the boundaries of musical genre, but conventional songwriting as well. Since the band's inception in 1999, Chthonic Force has released two full-length albums (1999's 'Chthonic Force' and 2003's 'Agathodaemon'), a split single ('Mouth Pigs'), and appeared on several compilations. Their collaborations have included work with luminaries such as Boyd Rice (NON), Peter Sotos (Whitehouse), Monte Cazazza (TG / Industrial Records), Cole Palme (Faktrix) and Thomas Thorn (Electric Hellfire Club).
This compilation CD was originally released in 2007 in a limited edition of 100 (obviously sold out for some time), but now enjoys a remaster and a wider release. If you are not familiar with Chthonic Force, what you may be expecting won't necessarily be what you get. More psychodrama than strictly musical experience, recitations over electronic hellscapes dominate the tracks, listed below for your convenience.
1. Stele Of The Vultures
2. White Logic
4. Mouth Pigs (Featuring Peter Sotos)
5. King Of The World
7. Assume The Position (Featuring Boyd Rice)
10. Primate God (Featuring Thomas Thorn)
13. Thirteen (Featuring Monte Cazazza)
The power electronics/experimental noise aspect of what Chthonic Force does is not nearly as off-putting as many of the artists in those genres (works) are, and not every track has a recitation either. But some of those recitations might be a little more disturbing than the musical backgrounds. "Stele Of The Vultures" goes "My heart is promised by a dream that the heaps of my enemies corpses will be so vast, as to reach to heaven..." In "White Light," the recitation on John Barleycorn serves as a metaphor for the ruination of alcoholism, over a martial beat and a Gollumish whisper chanting "Let's drink to death." "Mouth Pigs" addresses the sexual objectification of women in a very visceral way. In "Assume The Position" Boyd Rice equates the social order with sado-masochism, exempt of the roleplaying/fetishistic aspects of those practices. The nihilism of "Primate God" is a bit overwrought, and not much more than preaching to the already perverted. "Nihil" is far more frightening in its impressionistic creepiness. "Thirteen" refers to the 13 victims of the Columbine High School shooting, where Monte Cazazza recites brief sketches of each victim over squalling electronics and drones. "Catastrophism" may be the most musical track on the album, but more living up to its name in the chaos it evokes.
This isn't a pleasant album by any means. Then again, Chthonic Force's aim is to make you think and feel in the real, not be submerged in the fantastic. Overall, these tracks likely carried more impact at the time they were originally released than now, as we’re living now in the dystopian future that was heralded in music, literature and art decades ago. Still, there is a relevancy here that cannot be denied.