Tuesday, August 1, 2017

REVIEW - MONOWOLF/VITRIOL GAUGE - SPLIT - CASSETTE

MONOWOLF/VITRIOL GAUGE - SPLIT - CASSETTE
BLACK RING RITUALS RECORDS/BRRR001
POWER ELECTRONICS/HARSH NOISE/HARSH AMBIENT
GREEN CASSETTE WITH STICKER LABELS IN PLASTIC
CASE WITH FOLD-OUT J-CARD INSERT.
LIMITED TO 100 HAND-NUMBERED COPIES.


Here are two Power Electronics projects that deserve some more attention.
Especially if you are a fan of P.E. with more of a late 80's - late 90's 
type of sound/style. MONOWOLF has a pretty killer back catalog filled with
themes of revolution, Conspiracy theories, Social critique, Etc Etc. VITRIOL 
GAUGE is perhaps even more in-tune with the early artists and channels an old-
school sound quite well. Grim industrial soundscapes for a grim industrial world. 
Both artists are a great pairing here...Let's discuss the results.

SIDE A.)
MONOWOLF:
I. DEATH WORSHIP / II. THE LAND / III.YOU THINK RESISTANCE
IS A FUCKING GAME? IV. A LIST OF INFORMANTS AGAINST THE
REVOLUTION:

By the sketch of a stone hammer and a metal wrench on the album cover, The bold militant font, 
And cold gun-metal grey of the layout, I had a pretty good idea of what I'd be in for. Couple 
that with what I know and have heard from the project...And I was ready for war. MONOWOLF leads the assault with "Death Worship." Slowed-down spoken samples provide a look into harsh reality while offering a call to fight back. The brief intro ends as blurred humming drones, Harsh Noise, Caustic metallic scrapes and shouted vocals meet. A sudden drop into MONOWOLF Country. The vocals are clear bitter shouts rather than distorted screams, But come in a dripping cloud of bubbling wet effects. Rhythmic pummeling underneath carry things along as MONOWOLF calls it as he sees it. After a while the aggression and tension in the track have nearly doubled. Feedback whines at the end and we fade out. "The Land" bleeds in as a smothered drone that begins to build into a wavering pulse as harsh sheet metal scraping repeats through pools of delay. Power emits and recoils into feedback and junk percussive abuse before heading deeper down. Like spiraling down the center of a tower of sharp rusted death. Whatever land this is...It's a bleak fucking place. Abrasive and forceful sounds are heard, Like that of something trying to scratch it's way through metal. Following are quieter movements with unsettling shifting and a constant feedback ring. Metal pipes, Wires, Junk, Etc are a constant, But eventually join in an awesome rhythmic part that soon becomes an all out hissing Harsh Noise attack. Following are samples concerning fighting against oppressive Government via an interview with a very upset and passionate individual who's had enough of other people's shit and plans on doing something about it. Excellent experimental noise elements come into play. Dense blasts in rhythmic motions along with emergency alarm synths. Filter and oscillators are expertly controlled as the mission is executed. Varying tempos and wispy resonances guide us into another vocal barrage. The vocals have a similar quality throughout the release, But seem to have an added menace here. Persistent signals ring over slow, bass tones with a muted quality as if coming from underwater. The lyrics are blunt and to the fucking point. High confidence and heavy delivery all the way...."A List Of Informants Against The Revolution" is just that, A Power Electronics track 
that backs MONOWOLF reading off a list of names. Idk who these people are or what they've been 
informants on...But now we have their names if we wish to look into that. The track takes a slightly 
more minimal approach and reminds me of the sort of vibes GENOCIDE ORGAN or THE GREY WOLVES had back in the day (And still have today.) The names are read off with little emotion other than a hidden disgust. The whole piece has a strange and eerie quality to it. But shady shit and P.E. go hand in hand. Someones gotta call em out right??? Pedals pulse and fire off as drones come in slow sawing currents. Each name read is followed by a date and that's all. Electronic counter-attack complete.

SIDE B.)
VITRIOL GAUGE:
V. GROWING PAINS / VI. MEAT WAGON / VII. RE-LAPSE /
VIII. RE-SET:

VITRIOL GAUGE is a project I've been listening to a lot lately. This guy does some good work.
He's also now a member of UNITED-FRONT, So that should give you some indication that the dude
can deliver. "Growing Pains" starts on dense gusts quickly followed by high end noise fuckery
that vanishes into heavy P.E. droning. Sub-bass rumble grows as scathing textures slide in and
out. Sudden blasts and melancholic ambiance rise and fall into the almighty drone. Buzzing energy
is conducted and guided as further low-end shrapnel blasts detonate. Murky atmospheres here. Like
dark clouds over the aftermath of a great battle with the promise of bloodshed to come. Vocals are
inhuman and buried. They seem to voice a concept of atmosphere rather than deliver a clear or precise message. It's clear enough that VITRIOL GAUGE means business though, And that's what really matters here. I'd compare the vocals to DEATHSTENCH if I had to pick something with a similar approach. Death-Industrial soundscapes with a heavy P.E. influence. A winning combination. Hissing steam bursts announce the arrival of the final drone. A wavy outro with an odd foreboding quality. Intense. Not in a Harsh Noise sort of way, But ominous stuff that sounds like it conceals dangers in each shadowy pulse and motion. "Meat Wagon" follows with factory floor ambiance. Not really Dark Ambient, Although many elements are there...But this is more like serial killer music. Bodies on meat-hooks and untold atrocities in a small, Sleepy town music. Track lives up to it's name. Spoken samples are thrown in adding to the unsettling vibes. Shrieking feedback persists in the background as swinging chains and old machines do their thing. It sounds like you are in an abandoned warehouse or some sort of factory where a horrible night awaits. The samples are disturbing and work great here. VITRIOL GAUGE obviously knows darkness  and has no issue translating that into a sonic environment. "Re-Lapse/Re-Set" hit a little harder and begin on rickety machine sounds along a deep drone. Vocals are distorted screams somewhat deep in the mix that illuminate darker sides of human experience. This dude sounds like one miserable wretch here and it's perfect. Fairly minimal and definitely to the point without having to shout it in your face. Don't get me wrong, That obviously works out great as MONOWOLF has demonstrated, But it's interesting to hear various approaches to sonic depravity...In this case the "subdued" thing is really a good way to go. Rage, Spite, Electricity and suffering. All staples of the genre and all present here. There is a sound that continues here that is like being wheeled on a very old (And at least half broken,) hospital cart that really plays on the unsettling side of noise music. Things shift into heavy synth rhythms and subterranean windswept textures. When the vocals re-appear they seem to have a bit more delay/reverb and an increase of darkness. Repetition is often key in P.E. and V.G. has crafted some excellent sonic areas to brood in...And that is what this sounds like at this point. Brooding in filthy electronic revelry. Negative meditations to keep you up at night. Strange manipulations come into play at the end until they are abruptly cut off. Good night.

TWO ARTISTS WHO ARE KEEPING THE OLDSCHOOL IDEAS ALIVE AND WELL.
THIS RELEASE IS A DOUBLE EDGED SWORD. GO TO ONE OF THE SITES
BELOW AND CHECK THESE TWO DUDES OUT:

7/10
-ABATTOIR-

facebook.com/vitriolgauge
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