Sunday, September 11, 2016

REVIEW - TVLPA - MOUNTAIN OF THE OPPOSER - CD

TVLPA - MOUNTAIN OF THE OPPOSER - CD
MALIGNANT RECORDS/TUMORCD95
EXPERIMENTAL ELECTRONICS/DRONE/RITUAL AMBIENT/
DEATH INDUSTRIAL/POWER ELECTRONICS
PRO CD IN A SIX PANEL DIGIPACK.


TVLPA is a shadowy collective that craft their own brand of 
occult themed blackened electronic noise unlike any of their 
contemporaries. Although all of the elements that go into 
successfully creating this type of sound are present, The
method and compositional qualities are all their own. 
Mountain Of The Opposer takes us into nine pitch black
dimensions beyond imagination. Strap in as we descend.

I.) DRAGON MOUND:
We begin our fall into spiritual darkness with "Dragon Mound."
Seething feedback drags us into an obscure recess of metaphysical
energy. Heavy throbbing bass lines rattle unnatural foundations
beneath us. Deep monotone chants devoid of empathy begin invoking
esoteric forces. Electronic energy fields are raised and serve as
shields blocking the influence of anything not devoted to the work
at hand. Industrial scrap metal percussion's shamble and echo in 
the distance as ceremonial chanting grows more intense, Grim and
deadly serious. You can feel the power surging through the track
like a river of occult energy free flowing, But somehow harnessed
and channeled at the same time. Dark Ambient atmospherics are heard
along with howling pedals that seem to emulate the mysterious 
nocturnal activities of wolves and other nightside creatures...
Inhabitants of the grand dragon mound perhaps?...Blackened whispers 
gather haunting on the horizon. Inhuman croaks and rasps soon joining 
as feedback rings, Piercing the air like the final chime of ceremonial 
bells.

II.) KHK-AMDJAR:
Dreary atmospheres filled with murky dirges of distortion. 
Rattling vibrations in heavy strands causing the very air 
to quake. Gongs and bells attempt to join in synchronicity 
but never quite meet one another causing a sort of dis-harmonized
chaotic clatter. These death drones are soon joined by what sounds 
like some mysterious wind instrument I am unable to identify. The 
experience is dense and smothering but one that eerily calls you 
in further until there is no chance of going back. Again we have 
strange whispers...More stretched here as if reciting incantations 
slowly with a master adepts patience. Loud crashes of noise escort 
louder drones into the frame and carefully lay them overhead as if 
in preparation for the climax of the ritual. Whispers become death 
rattles. Charred screams that sound like they fill the air with thick 
ashen clouds. Khk-Amdjar seems to be a place unfit for human habitation.

III.) MOUNTAIN SERMON:
The sermon begins slow. Low tides of cold ambiance. Next we are greeted 
by a warm, Semi-distorted electronic melody. The melodic quality catching 
you off guard. Spoken passages are recited in a solemn tone. This time 
sounding human but not like an ordinary man...Rather one who has spent 
countless years studying and mastering forbidden arts. Hand percussion's 
with similar sound to that of a tambourine add a bit of a tribal feel as 
well as a steady pace to the piece. Each recited word echos like the lingering 
ghost of the moment before. The electric melody is somewhat doomy and could be 
seen as a strange, Inverted take on the traditional church organ often present 
at a large tent revival. Only here salvation lies in decay rather than 
embracing some worm torn doctrine. Cool drafts of stirring ambiance 
gently push us further and forward.

IV.) THE BECOMING I:
With our new found enlightenment, We head into transformation. Otherworldly 
atmospheres rise, Soon punctuated and occupied by TVLPA's signature drones 
that have a sound truly their own. Sliding glass textures and icy gusts fill 
in the empty spaces. Spacey electronics ran through effects create a cosmic, 
Expansive feel. Low words are spoken among phased out whispers. The voice 
repeats a mantra in a tone very similar to Attila's works with SUNN (O))).
We begin to fall. Spiraling down into a cavernous region who's depths are 
immense and lightless. Down here...The mantra continues alongside an 
orchestration of low moaning and wavering electronics. Funeral dirges 
played in windswept chambers far below the earth's surface. A place of 
stillness and pulsing. Worship and reverence. Death and decomposition. 
The energys present here seem to be of a power most couldn't hope to contain. 
Although subdued it is still very evident that TVLPA are experienced when it 
comes to knowing when and where to hone their skills. Here they let it drift 
until it naturally fades out into silence. A heavy hand is not always required. 
A real artist knows the when and where when it comes to texture and atmosphere 
and TVLPA have obviously reached the level of an expert.

V.) KO-PHU:
"Ko-Phu" is driven in by a winding synth arpeggio that twists and 
turns with a serpentine quality. Heavy, But somewhat muffled and 
obscured. Death ambient elements are at play like mischievous spirits 
neath a blood red moon. Deep chants, Whispers, Wraiths and specters are 
also active as ringing feedback, Dense hums and whining electronics 
reaching a miserable demise are heard surging alongside. A short piece 
in comparison to most others but a great addition to the album nonetheless.

VI.) BAUKHA:
With "Baukha" we enter into a sprawling ten minute work of darkness. 
Sea sick rhythms rise and fall, Tendrils of corrosive noise lashing 
out at seemingly random intervals like the tentacles of an agitated
kracken suddenly appearing from swampy depths. From somewhere else
in those murky pools we begin to hear quiet ghostly ambient drifts.
Repetition seems to be key here more so than in previous tracks...
Or at least built upon on a different way. Slower and somehow more
ominous. Highly filtered vocals come through like alien transmissions
from a plane far beyond our own. Spoken in a deep, Wet tongue that you
can almost hear slithering between the speakers teeth. In other words,
It's an approach that keeps in tradition with early Death Industrial
injected into a new creation. Cryptic phrases are recited and repeated
as if attempting to brain wash the listener or perhaps convince them 
of some ancient esoteric truth. Strange electronic signals surge and
scuttle as monolithic mouths moan and exhale miserably in the near
distance. Although I am vaguely reminded of BRIGHTER DEATH NOW,
TREPANERINGSRITUALEN and STEEL HOOK PROSTHESIS with certain 
elements of the track, It really has it's own sound. A very 
unique compilation of sounds. What sort of sounds like the 
cries of a new born child can be heard just as the track ends 
as if signifying some type of metaphysical rebirth.

VII.) DAKA YANTRA:
As "Daka Yantra" opens I am once again somewhat reminded of 
BRIGHTER DEATH NOW but not enough to make this feel like an
unoriginal piece of work. Low moaning distortion, Haunting
wails, Deep toned vocal chants. Sub-melodic textures, Swirling
and echoing whispered passages revealing fragments of arcane
knowledge. A very cryptic and brooding song. One that feels
like energy being cooked or boiled and transferred into some
other, Possibly more powerful form that one could utilize 
towards a darker shade of sorcery. Voices transmitted from
a channel broadcast from the center of a void in time and
space, Beyond life and death or possibly somewhere past or
inbetween. An eerie stillness lays over the entire track
despite obvious movements. A song seemingly crafted from
within the infinite reaches of oblivion.

VIII.) VOID SHAPED MUDRA:
This is another somewhat short one. Here we have synth arpeggios,
Infinite ringing feedback and a room full of whispers and roughly
spoken words similar to what we've heard on previous tracks. The
warm underlying hum has a clinical vibe to it and sounds like the
vacuous motor of some machine you'd find in an outdated hospital,
Sketchy hospice care home or possibly an asylum. This could and
probably is a continuation of a previous track in some way. It
certainly carries similar themes and helps to bridge the album
together before the end. 

IX.) DESCENT AND REBIRTH:
Speaking of continuing themes, The title here says it all.
Total death ambiance. Resonating chimes ring and clang in
a metallic matter. Thick gusts roll in and hang like a heavy
blanket of fog. Shamanistic chants are spoken as unknown ceremonies
are heard taking place from somewhere withing the haze. There is a
very sacred and spiritual essence to this track, More so than on the
others...As if the aural fog itself is containing or concealing the 
answers this has all been leading up to. There are hints of sorrow
and melody present in the vocal chants that are mirrored by fragile
chimes heard. It feels like we've left a pitch black schism in the
earth only to find ourselves just as blind, Lost and disoriented
upon entering the outside world. Like the feeling one gets after
experiencing a very surreal and lucid daydream that lingers with
them long after awakening. Lost while looking in all the wrong
places. The rebirth must come from withing. And TVLPA just took
us into the darkest corners of our own minds. True torchbearers
bringing fourth a new age of spiritual enlightenment.

UNIQUE, STUNNING AND SOMETIMES FRIGHTENING. TVLPA'S TRANSCENDANT 
BODY OF WORK AKA MOUNTAIN OF THE OPPOSER IS ONE OF THOSE RARE 
ALBUMS THAT TRULY TRANSPORTS THE LISTENER INTO ANOTHER WORLD. 

8/10
-ABATTOIR-

www.malignantrecords.com

Thursday, September 8, 2016

REVIEW - STRESS ORPHAN - CADAVER POLITIK - CASSETTE - C31

STRESS ORPHAN - CADAVER POLITIK - CASSETTE - C31
DANVERS STATE RECORDINGS/DSR71
POWER ELECTRONICS/HARSH AMBIENT/EXPERIMENTAL ELECTRONICS
GOLD CASSETTE WITH A/B INDICATED BY SCRATCHES ON
THE TAPE. COMES IN A PLASTIC CASE WITH J-CARD INSERT.
LIMITED TO 50 COPIES.
STRESS ORPHAN IS:
ERIC TRUDE


SIDE A.)
I.) CADAVER POLITIK:
Formed in 2011, Baltimore, MD's STRESS ORPHAN has released over a dozen albums. Tapes, CD's, Digital downloads, Etc. Although I've only heard a few of these releases I'd like to say I am pretty familiar with the project's sound. That being said, I must say that this newest effort available via Danvers State Recordings managed to catch me by surprise. Much of what I've heard previously was lo-fi Harsh Noise with no vocals. Here Eric Trude shows that he has more to offer  his listeners than just that. I'd also like to mention that STRESS ORPHAN is often a politically based project. Themes of  Anti-Fascism, Anti-Nationalism, Etc are often prevalent so if you're not into that this may not be for you. Personally I  can give two a fuck less where an artist identifies politically, If anywhere at all or how controversial, Extreme or  offensive their subject matter may or may not be viewed. If it sounds badass it sounds badass. I prefer to enjoy it for what it is rather than bitch and complain about whether or not I myself agree with it. So anyways, We open with a title track, "Cadaver Politik," One of two songs here (Both close to fifteen and a half minutes in total length.) Low drones slowly creep in forming wave-like patterns. Deep, Dark, Brooding and cinematic. Tides of slow churning electronic doom in seething strands that have an almost 1980's movie score quality to them. Stark and serious stuff that oozes intensity and a sense that some great event is approaching quickly. Rhythmic drones soon accompany adding a pulsing pace. Phased/Wet electric currents surge with a powerful energy that ignites the air in the room. It feels like there is a ticking bomb somewhere out of sight steadily reaching combustion. Groaning layers and crackling static are added to the mix creating an even greater feeling that some climatic happening is on it's way. When the vocals come 
in things really take off. Immense roars that have a very distinct Power Violence styled sound to them. I'm talking MAN IS THE BASTARD style shit. Grinding mechanical rhythms like that of the pistons/gears of some massive piece of Industrial Machinery begin to crank underneath. At times they almost sound like an old engine painfully firing back to life. The vocal tone is rough and full of rage and angst. They catch you off guard when they come in and definitely keep your attention. Experimental rhythms come in nauseating barrages. Uneasy movements like being swept into the maw of some mechanization flexing it's might in a repeating cycle of torture and laceration. Things wind down into a quieter movement but keep the same pattern as sounds of gasping, Gurgling and strangulation are heard. The fresh gash of a slit throat taking things down an even grimmer path. It sounds pretty fucking gnarly and a little gross. This is where we end the A side.

SIDE B.) 
II.) RAPID DECAY IN OPEN AIR:
From a cut-throat murder we head into rapid decay. Grinding textures come in short intervals paused by silence. Experimental signals and transmissions attempt to reach out over frustrating moaning currents. A steady beep is heard pulsating as miserable ambient waves roll in and out. Moody Power Electronics that sounds like it's stewing in it's own misery. A much harsher and more abrasive piece compared to the A side. The vocals are distant and somewhat buried in the mix but possibly less subdued and a little more pissed off than the ones on the previous track. They are not lost or too obscured but they're definitely surrounded by a lot more chaos (Controlled as it may be.) The track has a slow but punishing force like being mowed down by a steam roller in slow motion. There
are a lot of sounds present that I'm more accustomed to hearing on really early Industrial records so that's pretty damn cool to me. Caustic static noise begins to form a thick haze as other sounds phase and fade out. The vocals are now clear, Crisp shouts in rough and bitter tones that remind me of certain ABJECTION RITUAL songs. It really does begin to feel like the track is in the process of decay as rotting bits and pieces fracture and fall off in chunks and fragments. A pile of debris and wreckage beneath to slowly shamble through in a laborous effort. Even at such a slow tempo this is still some of the most aggressive shit I've heard in a while. Thudding/Crunching rhythms force things along as the vocals continue to strike out in sever doses of anger (In other words this dude sounds absolutely pissed the fuck off.) Wouldn't want to get on Eric Trude's bad side. They have counseling
for shit like this. The rhythmic parts here are pretty fucking fantastic. Not a dull moment throughout the entire tape. This is one that pulls you in and beats your fucking ass leaving you with the taste of your own blood and the dust your teeth have become in your mouth. Definitely one of my favorite releases of the year so far. Noise freaks need to order a copy asap. Sadly only 50 of these bad mother fuckers were pressed. Here's hoping for a re-issue sometime so more people can get their hands on this one. Towards the end we have some painful Harsh Noise moments with deep, Echoing death grunts booming in the distance. Pretty solid way to end things.

THIS IS CERTAINLY A PROJECT TO KEEP AN EYE (AND EAR) ON.
QUITE POSSIBLY THE BEST STRESS ORPHAN RELEASE TO DATE:

10/10
-ABATTOIR-

https://stressorphan.bandcamp.com/
http://danversstaterecordings.blogspot.com/

Monday, September 5, 2016

REVIEW - STRAIGHT PANIC - FOR MAGNE ANDREASSEN (1953-1992) - CASSETTE - C26

STRAIGHT PANIC - FOR MAGNE ANDREASSEN (1953-1992) - CASSETTE - C26
FUCK MOUNTAIN LIMITED RELEASES
HARSH NOISE/EXPERIMENTAL ELECTRONICS
WHITE CASSETTE WITH STICKER LABELS
COMES IN A RESEALABLE BLACK VINYL
BAG WITH STICKERS AND MINI 16 PAGE 
ART ZINE PRINTED ON VELLUM PAPER.
"DEDICATED TO THE MEMORY OF MAGNE
ANDREASSEN (1953-1992), MURDERED
BY BARD "FAUST" EITHUN (EMPEROR)
IN LILLEHAMMER NORWAY. DEDICATED
TO THE MEMORY OF ALL QUEER VICTIMS
OF HETEROSUPREMACY."


SIDE A.)
I.) NO GLORY FOR THE COWARD BARD:
This is an interesting release conceptually speaking. It's not
often that we see an extreme electronics or extreme underground
album based around sympathy for the victim rather than praising
some murderer or criminal. It's especially taboo considering the
crime being one infamous in the Black Metal scene. Although STRAIGHT
PANIC is known for Queer themed works and when it comes to noise music,
Anything goes, It still takes some balls to put out a release like this
when so many black clad, Greasy haired individuals will be waiting with
maces at the ready and torches burning...I can just imagine a horde of
Corpse Painted "Kvlt Warriors" ready to "defend" their brethren over
this one. But in reality...We all know that apart from a few internet
tough guys and perhaps a death threat email or two, Not much is going
to happen. Regardless this is a really interesting perspective on the
event and slightly refreshing somehow. Track one, Blatantly titled "No
Glory For The Coward Bard" begins things by easing us into what sounds
like a fresh grave being dug in order to hide one's crime. The act grows
hastily more frantic and nervous with time and then we switch into sampled
interviews containing blackened guitar riffs. A Harsh assault follows as if
a howling void has opened and began spewing all things vile and abrasive into
the still night air.. Moaning resonance and sub bass drones create an airy 
layer like hushed voices of witnesses in shock attempting to keep quiet.
Feedback writhes as things rise in volume to become a smothering mass.
Blurred vocals form a hazy wall that erects and crumbles in the distance.
Mortar fire impacts hit hard and take us into looped samples concerning
sin and good old fashion religious scare tactics. Distorted fragments
rise and waver as a static slowly falls like a corrosive rain. Sub-melodic
textures come in obscured waves as tides of aural filth churn in tantrums
beneath. Nordic winds come as howling wolves keeping with the concept as
experimental "Space Noise" elements come and go serving as lead notes.
Swept into silence we move on to the closer.

SIDE B.)
II.) IT'S BETTER TO HAVE A KNIFE YOU DON'T NEED 
THAN TO NOT HAVE ONE WHEN YOU NEED IT:
Named after a quote from Bard Faust himself. Not sure how he expected 
such a weak defense to hold up in court...Or perhaps he was just looking
to gain some "Kvlt Points" among his fellow panda painted brothers. Either
way, STRAIGHT PANIC is obviously using his own words against him as a "Knife"
of their own. A sarcastic stab in the intellect and a pretty solid track as
well...Oh, How the mighty have fallen...Caustic Harsh Noise barrages rock
the room right from the start. Hints of rhythms are present but seem to
be ground to thin, Jagged edges before they become too memorable. Again
we have heavily oppressive sub-bass dirges coursing underneath. Like the
fall of great stone monoliths as the foundation quakes, Rumbles, Breaks
apart and is torn asunder. The piece feels like it's falling in on itself
by the time the greatly buried and un-discernible vocals arrive. These come
as strong shouts through sharp distortion in repetitious arrays. Heard but 
never really understood. Things take a slightly more rhythmic turn and lock
in to a solid groove (I use this description in the loosest of ways.) The
feeling of building frustration and a need to say something of importance
to a writhing sea of idiots is greatly implied. In other words this one
is dripping with desperation and futility. Honorable to hold ones ground
nonetheless. The repeating vocal lines have now weaved together. Where one 
is starting before the last has ceased to create a continuous cyclic pattern.
There is a good amount of power and fury to this approach. It definitely packs
a punch. (Or are we using knives?) Either way we have an excellent Harsh Noise
release with more to offer than many others in the scene these days. One that
stands out in a crowd...And that's an accomplishment when it's as crowded as
it is these days. The track begins to break apart, Like a machine who's parts
are falling off leaving rumbling fragments to take on more labor in a pointless
trek of resistance towards utter demise. A blur of violence...Much like the chosen
subject of focus. Repeated screams and minimal noise kill this one off. 

A GREAT RELEASE ROUNDED OUT WITH KILLER PACKAGING AND AN AWESOME ART BOOK CONTAINING QUOTES, XEROXED PHOTOGRAPHS, ARTWORK FEATURING FLORA AND FAUNA NATIVE TO THE AREA OF THE MURDER AND OTHER NEAT LITTLE THINGS FOR YOUR EYES TO ABSORB WHILE LISTENING. I'VE YET TO SEE/HEAR A BAD RELEASE FROM BOTH THIS PROJECT AND THIS LABEL. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED:

8/10
-ABATTOIR-

https://straightpanic.bandcamp.com/