Sunday, August 2, 2015

REVIEW - STEEL HOOK PROSTHESES/WHITE WALLS - AKTION MEDICAL III - SPLIT 3 INCH PRO CDR

STEEL HOOK PROSTHESES/WHITE WALLS - AKTION MEDICAL III - SPLIT 3 INCH PRO CDR
REVERSE RECORDS UK/RRUK026
DEATH INDUSTRIAL/POWER ELECTRONICS/HARSH AMBIENT
COMES IN A PLASTIC ENVELOPE STYLE CASE WITH INSERTS.
ON A LABELED 3 INCH CDR WITH JEWEL CASE AND SMALL INSERT.
SHP IS:
J. STILLINGS
L. KERR
WHITE WALLS IS:
K. MITCHELL




STEEL HOOK PROSTHESES:

I.) DEATH NURSE:
SHP have been one of the projects on top of the food chain in the Death Industrial genre
for many years now.Here they seem to have ressurected elements of their earlier sound and
conjured it with a revised or well experienced attitude."Death Nurse" drags us into over six
and a half minutes of blurred atmospherics, down-tuned vocals that come in murky phrases as
if heard while under heavy anasthetics and sparse scrap metal experimentation blended into a
dreary haze of pulsing electronic drones and static like a flickering monitor on the fritz.
Inhuman vocals come through like self-aware machines with a diabolical plot to terminate any
lifeform they encounter.Burried Death-Ambient textures add to the overall sense of impending
doom that spills out like thick ashen clouds.The electronics are as thick as tar and build upon
themselves like frantic captives trapped in a gas chamber.Feedback comes in minimal bursts and
vanishes like a shadowy figure viewed from the corner of the eye.Everything about this track is
hostile and uneasy.Glad to see that after a decade of activity, SHP still sound as fierce as ever.

II.) GAUZE SHROUD:
"Gauze Shroud" is really unique for STEEL HOOK PROSTHESIS and although it's built around their
traditional structures, the tones and atmospheres incorperated here are really different for 
them.Fragile ambient chorusus float like air through glass tubes and give everything a surreal
and haunting vibe.Undercurrents of buzzing drones ebb and flow as light winds caress all else
in the piece like phantom fingers.At times there is an almost shoegaze like quality here.
Similarities can be drawn to artists like SKY BURIAL or BLOOD FOUNTAINS although there is still
that element of heavy darkness that SHP is known for.This definately captures what's grown to be
known as the "Malignant Records Sound" but feels like a collaboration between SHP and someone else
even thought it's not.It's this kind of experimentation that keeps a project interesting even after
this many years of activity.Looks like you most certainly can teach an old dog new tricks."Gauze
Shroud" feels like a lucid dream.Fluid drones that move like a slow stream but still filled with 
the same old poison SHP inject their albums with.Hints of YEN POX and similar acts seem to have
find their way into this one.I hope to hear more in this direction from Stilings and Kerr in the
future.

WHITE WALLS:

III.) ECT - PART I (IL COLPO DI GRAZIA):
Although I am not as familiar with WHITE WALLS as I am with SHP, I have heard some of their work
and was pretty impressed at times.Their side opens with "ECT Part I" where it begins with spoken
medical samples that sound like they are from an old instructional video on Electro Convulsive 
Therapy." So right from the start they feel like a good match for SHP.Brittle piano melodies
lead us into bass heavy drones and endless synth strings that add an element of building suspense.
Distant piano recitals play in an ignorant bliss as wretched samples of female screams and samples
of medical procedures fill the air with high levels of stress and anxiety.At times this reminds me
of a 70's era horror soundtrack.Like something you'd hear on a film like House By The Cemetery.We
are also treated to the use of minimal percussive elements that almost have a free jazz quality to
them.WHITE WALLS have an ability to create soundscapes that feel both calm and relaxing as well as
tense and chaotic at the same time.Almost like you are trying your hardest to ignore a horrible 
situation and think of something else with little success.Low humming drones and spoken samples
ran through the perfect amount of reverb bring this to a close and prepare us for part two.

IV.) ECT - PART II (CONVULSIONE): 
Again echoing samples give lectures in the fields of science and medicine.Treatment seems to 
have come with some horrible side effects.Heavy rhythmic synths roll in.Heavy on the bass and
thick as a brick.Stirring string ambiance makes it's way in as machines bleep and bloop like
the monitors you'd hear in a low-budget care facility.Pianos come and go like fleeting memories
of better days as a growing sense that something drastic is about to happen grows stronger and
stronger.Though this is the shortest track on the album (Which isn't very long to begin with 
being that it's a 3-inch CDr) it is definately one of my favorites.An excellent closing piece
for a great split release.I am very excited to hear where both projects go from here.

BE SURE TO CHECK OUT THE OTHER TWO INSTALMENTS OF THE AKTION MEDICAL SERIES AND ADD
ALL THREE VOLUMES TO YOUR COLLECTION IF YOU CAN.BOTH PROJECTS DELIVER THE GOODS ON
THIS ONE:

8/10
-ABATTOIR-

steelhookprostheses@hotmail.com
http://steelhookprostheses.blogspot.co.uk
recordsreverse@gmail.com
http://recordsreverse.wordpress.com

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