Saturday, May 14, 2016

REVIEW - FEMEHEIM - DOMINIUM TERRAE - CD

FEMEHEIM - DOMINIUM TERRAE - CD
DEATH CONTINUES RECORDS/DCRCD006
POWER ELECTRONICS/DEATH INDUSTRIAL/HARSH NOISE
PRO CD IN A JEWEL CASE WITH 4 PANEL INSERT.
FEMEHEIM IS:
JULIUS SCHNEIDER


I.) CAMERA SILENS:
With "Dominium Terrae" the second release on Death Contiunes Records
from Germany based project FEMEHEIM, We see the project shifting into
a more Power Electronics style. Previous album‎ Grenzniederkunft is said
to be more of a Death Industrial/Death Ambient style album, So it looks
like this is a new direction for FEMEHEIM. This is my introduction to 
the project and while I hadn't heard it before, I had a pretty good idea
that it would be dark and intense judging from the releases I've heard and
own from the label. "Camera Silens" serves as a brief introductory piece
that greets us with caustic, Lo-fi static textures and a snapping Industrial
drum loop. Rhythmic, Yet minimal with resonant dense ambiance and distant
thundering sounds that come as muffled booms. Cacophanous and "busy" voices
call out in a language I don't speak. This is looped and layered over itself
until it sounds like several men speaking the same command in the same tone.

II.) EWIGER SUHNETOD:
Heavy Power Electronics drones come in wavering waves like a slow oceanic
tide licking the shore in endless repetition. Slightly distorted tones create
a corrosive and claustrophobic atmosphere. Combined it serves as a platform for
Schneider to deliver his speech. Treated vocals come through wet effects cloaked
in delay/reverb. Clean and/or shouted throughout the track in a style very similar
to GENOCIDE ORGAN or THE GREY WOLVES. The atmosphere is intense and utterly grim.
Sparse metallic percussions and dissonant synths are utilized to full effect. This
is composed, arranged and structured on a throuroughly professional level. Cold
European Power Electronics at it's finest. The throbbing drone that serves as
a main current throughout the piece is excellent and a fine example of the Power
Electronics style. The whole piece weighs heavy with an inescapable feeling of
dread and ends with heavy accelerating synths that lead into an interesting 
Medieval/Dungeon Ambient style segment that comes as an unexpected surprise. 
Fantastic stuff.

III.) VOLUNTAS...INFAMIA:
The third chapter opens with immense sub-bass drones under electronic buzzing.
This is soon engulfed by a chopping wave of electric power. Again the classic
Power Electronics style is on full display. Hazy synth strands hang overhead
as the vocals begin. There is more fury as well as an urgency in Schneider's
voice that wasn't present on the previous peice. Rougher and in a demmanding
tone as if Schneider was barking commands to a row of soldiers before storming
onto the front lines. FEMEHEIM takes a fairly minimal approach, But one that is
so well done that repeated listens are often craved. A break in the choppy pulse
takes us into a meditative outro that slowly winds down into the next track.

IV.) ABSOLUTE UMKEHRUNG:
Martial Industrial marching drums thunder with a metallic stomp like a war
machine churning through an infinite field of corpses. Immense and dangerous.
Feedback and low vaccuous windswept textures aid the pace and flow as secondary
rhythms and other tricks of the trade display FEMEHEIM's skill and caring when
it comes to attention to detail. This track sort of feels like an interlud or
a bridge connecting tracks three and five. However you wish to look at it, It's
an excellent work that has an amazing atmosphere. Inhuman and emotionless, Yet
awe inspiring and rallying at the same time. An aural call to arms.

V.) AM BIRKENSTREIFEN:
Feedback expands to reveal well placed sub-harmonic melodies that inject the
atmosphere with an uneasy and anxious vibe. A cold, Hallow resonance eventually
accompanies this. One that behaves as morning fog on a cold winter day dawning.
Heavy sub-bass currents carry us downstream as the resonating murk grows thicker
and the sense of impending danger increases. This track conjurs the type of feeling
you get from the slowest and most disorienting scene of a horror movie right before
something jumps out to startle you. A "Quiet, all too quiet." sort of feeling. Spoken
vocals through crisp distortion applied lightly bring in a foreign narrative. I don't
know what Schneider is saying and I probably don't want to. There is a strong sense of
malevolence that clings on and stays with this one.

VI.) ENTFLAMMTE HERDE (EPILOG):
Track six offers up thick electronic pulses that sound like some sort of emergency
alarm. A red alert type of sound like something you'd hear in an underground bunker
during a serious problem. Invading feedback squeals and shrieks (although not overly
loud or overbearing.) Electronic experimentation comes as a distant barrage of signals
and warped psychedelic sounds. An obscurred mantra is recited from multiple voices in
unison. It sounds like it's coming from a small horde of brainwashed zombies a few
rooms away. Brief but well done. 

VII.) ADVENIAT REGNUM TUUM:
Ultra dense sub-bass comes with crushing weight and wrapped in a nice amount of
distortion. Sparse Death Industrial percussive elements are heard as echoing
metallic clangs. The vocals are similar to the ones heard on track two although
here they are very burried in the mix and warped in hazy effects and filters.
Definitely an interesting approach to the vocal treatment. Ringing feedback
hangs in the air and also comes from some distant area. Towards the end the
vocal really shine. Bubbling through wet effects and phased out. Another short
but worthwhile track.

VIII.) OPPORTUNISTISCHE INFEKTION:
This is one of my favorite songs on the album. I just wish it was a little longer 
as this and the previous two tracks are all less than three minutes long. Unsettling
atmospheres are created via clanging metallic clatter that echos through a void space.
Synth saws buzz and vibrate in strong tones. The vocals are bitter with anger, but some-
how still subdued and controlled. There is a very Death Industrial feel to this one even
though it is technically probably closer to Power Electronics. Again FEMEHEIM demonstrate
just how effective a minimal approach can be. Sometimes it is what you don't hear that is
the most disturbing. This track feels like it conceals something malignant lurking within
it. What that is remains unknown.

IX.) DOMINIUM TERRAE:
The finale comes with the title track "Dominium Terrae" which takes us into just under 
five minutes of fury that begins by building on oscillating synth drones wrapped in a 
pretty generous amount of distortion in comparison to many of the other tracks on the
album. Surreal and anxiety inducing atmospheres are weaved by strange clean ambiance
that sounds something like the voices of miserable wraiths singing a melancholic and
mournful lament of woe. This ceases to give Schneider room to unleash a wrathful spoken 
narrative full of scorn upon us. Powerful electronics create a see-saw pattern...Tilting
as if in the struggle of maintaining balance and self control before rage and bitter hatred
get the best of you and take over. There is a lot of tension to this piece that is quite
unlike much I've heard before. A perfect ending to a flawless album.

THE CLASSIC ANGRY EUROPEAN POWER ELECTRONICS SOUND IS VERY MUCH ALIVE AND WELL.
A STUNNING DEMONSTRATION OF HOW IT SHOULD BE DONE:

10/10
-ABATTOIR-

femeheim@yahoo.com

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