onsdag den 31. oktober 2018

Kleistwahr - Acceptance Is Not Respect written by Kristian Robert Carter

" We had to draw a line " Kleistwahr is Gary Mundy and Gary has been extremely busy as of late. What began as a side project to Ramleh in the mid-eighties has assumed a fully fledged existence of its own. There has been a slew of Kleistwahr albums over the last few years all released by Fourth Dimension records. Every album lovingly reproducing the aesthetically striking imagery that Broken Flag records were renowned for. Musically Kleistwahr explores differing territory than Gary Mundy does in Ramleh. Kleistwahr feels a lot more personal than Ramleh. A focused introspection rather than the explosive reaction of Ramleh. 

Acceptance is not respect is an album cloaked in regret, of disillusionment, sadness, and shattered dreams. There is a sense of melancholy and despair that hangs over the whole album. However, there is also a glimmer of redemption, rebirth, and beauty that flickers across the darkness like light cascading across the surface of a vast subterranean lake. 

The album is split into two parts, the first entitled " Revolution of defiance ". It's a lengthy piece of work that builds up slowly utilizing guitar and processed sounds swollen by a huge organ that sounds as if it's chords are emanating from a desolate cavernous church. The vocals are a disembodied howl of anguish that echoes through the rising crescendo of sound before the whole edifice begins to fall In upon itself. 

The second part Three Martyrs again uses the same organ sound as the bedrock but this time rather than pure melancholic introspection there is a multitude of emotional and sonic expression. Ranging from transcendence, brutality, and resurrection. The Stoning section is a frenzied assault of feedback and jarring audio overload. Perhaps the closest the album comes to the genre of power electronics. In fact, this album is very difficult to pigeonhole as it sounds as if Gary Mundy has taken both the rock and noise sides of Ramleh and taken a massive sidestep into unknown waters.

There comes a point in all our lives. A point of utter clarity. Where our past finally catches up with us and we can feel it's tangible form towering behind our shoulders. A huge tidal wave of regret, sadness, and realization that what we have done in our past is what shaped us and guided us to the precipice we are now balanced upon. It's at this moment that you have two choices. Turn to face your past and hope it doesn't crush you beneath its weight or to take a step into the void. Let go and fall from that precipice that you were balanced precariously upon. This album is the sound of that step into the void and the inevitable descent downwards.

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mandag den 29. oktober 2018

Fåntratt  Kommer Upp I Tö

Springtime is over and winter is almost here, for those who dare not to go outside I can reveal to you that it is autumn. Leaves are falling down from skeletal trees, cold rain, freezing windy, moldy and carved-out pumpkin heads and people... inside their cosey houses searching endlessly for decent horror flicks on Netflix... This review for one of my favorite acts within the dungeon-synth realm just popped up in my mailbox the other day, and it was released back last spring (22´st of May 2018). The release itself acts out as being a tribute for the season... flowers blooming, the sound of humming bees, birds returning etc (you know the drill!). The album contains 2 tracks, each being an over 17 minutes long. So let´s get to it!.

The first sound of springtime you´ll probably notice (In Scandinavia that is) would be the sound of dripping water from melting ice/snow. The other sensation would be that certain feeling that the very air has changed... the humidity, smell... even the sound! All this is happening at the same time/day, is a very spiritual (and nostalgic) positive feeling/sensation to the human mind and body. Still not sure what I am talking about, then I would suggest giving this first track a listen. We´re are talking about springtime in a Scandinavian forest. The sensual smell of pine-trees... love it. Anyways, the whole track is a very typical (and good) folksy improvised Fåntratt piece except for certain elements on it which almost has a Jarre´ish Oxygen´ish feel to it with extra drone layers. That kind of universal, epic but gentle feel. Great!. Let me just quote one of my very  favorite author (Kenneth Grahame) to put this piece in a nutshell : 

´Spring was moving in the air above and in the earth below and around him, penetrating even his dark and lowly little house with its spirit of divine discontent and longing´

Last/second track on the album called Tjoflöjt Pollenstolle has a darker theme to it. Compared to the first track, this track starts with a kind of... warning for something which is going to happen. I am not sure what the title means (tried Google translate), but I have a feeling that it might have psychedelic themes attached to it?. The consumption of certain mushrooms which only grows in the springtime. That kind of ... ´Oh no, I have just eaten the wrong mushroom feeling... maybe it would just be best if I laid down a bit´. Tiny elements of paranoia creep in, and the comfort from the warm springtime sun isn´t helping much. A slow and crawling sleepy melancholic piece, which might have been an autumn-themed track (if you ask me), fits the scenery perfect if I take a look out of my window right now. Interesting live and instrumental recorded laid-back drums waltzes in... sounds like someone being a creepy crawler. A sound of a vibrating haunted-house synth goes along with the drums. Psychedelic guitars also kick in, almost a 60s vibe/feel to this. Think a slower 13th Floor Elevators doing a soundtrack for an Astrid Lindgren movie. VERY unique stuff here, nice to hear that dungeon synth can evolve into different styles and make it work!

A fantastic and unique treat for the senses, which can be enjoyed in all the seasons!. Headhunt the sold-out tape or get the digital version on Fåntratt´s Bandcamp site!.

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onsdag den 24. oktober 2018

Zoloft Evra - Wounds of No Return

Back again with suicidal drones and moaning misery, the third full-length album by Zoloft Evra is out now on Liquid Death Records. A cool and blackened glossy digipack (Ltd 300 copies), showing the autopsy room. An autopsy table, two windows, two walls, floor and ceiling with the band logo right above the cold windows. Almost looks like a creepy face... if you look at it with the "right" kind of eyes. The albums contain 6 tracks with a collab with another (and well-known) death-industrial act called Kadaver, also featuring vocal parts done by a Samantha Viola (also done vocals for Funeralis and Black Scorpio Underground). The album has been masterfully been mastered by John Stillings! (Steel Hook Prosthesis). Seems promising right?.

First track called Hooks Through Your Flesh (Hellraiser?) opens the album with a sense coldness, which only can be experienced inside a huge meat-locker. The sensation of feeling how hooks have strung you up, and how the icy and cold air caresses the first layer of your almost numb skin. Under such conditions, sounds are getting... stranger. The machinery running the meat-locker sounds like flesh-grinding guitar drones, rumblings sound from outside sounds like thumbing ritual drums, and the sensation of pain turns into it into a monotone and distorted echoed guitar-tune?... It REALLY doesn't sound nice, does it?! But the thing here is, that it actually sounds very beautiful. It has been made in a very decent and professional way while maintaining that... human-like edge. A LOVELY way to start the album without a doubt!

Second track Last Injection Kiss feat the vocals done by Samantha Viola. Breathtaking and melancholic ice-synth repeats a human-voice-like melody, fantastic realistic sounding metallic and ritualistic percussions, haunting spoken/whispering/moaning vocals parts. Could you ever imagine how Norwegian Aghast wound sound if they did a live-session inside Twin Peak´s Black Lodge?. This track could give you a clue or two. Third offering Wrapped and Killed clearly illustrates that this ticket ... is a one-way ticket with no going back. A lovely retrospective Cold Meat Industry kind of track. Megaptera and Archon Satani fans anyone??. Creepy sampled spoken-words/interview with some not so pleasant fellow. The fourth piece called Wounds of No Return (Like the album title) feels like being alive on the operating table, just waiting for that final incision to deliberate you from your tormented body. A slow and crawling heavy-ambiance treat to the senses. Life Ending Razor (being the fifth installment on the disc) lets the ambient-submerged listener fall into a deep-void... that goes on and on. Something floating away, the very life-essence floating away. Multi-layered and grinding guitar-drones, infernal MZ 412´ish ritual drummings, whispering creepy spoken-word parts. A very epic (in a minimal way) and heavenly blackened atmosphere piece, VERY good! Last track Death Trance Ritual almost has a melancholic and foggy funeral feel to it. Shimmering ice-like bells, mystical synth-tunes, heavily distorted and demonic spoken-vocals and those warped post-rock´ish guitar drones. A great way to end a great album!

Not really something bad about this album, it´s good in every way. A perfect chilling treat for those who need a good Halloween scare over black candles with the cold wind blowing outside. I will recommend headphone listening while taking a walk in the nighttime, a very serious good album from Zoloft Evra... might be their best!


tirsdag den 16. oktober 2018

Beyond the Black Rainbow (2010

Written by Mads Heilskov

Beyond the Black Rainbow is the debut of director and writer Panos Cosmatos, and what a strange one it is: think the cosmic, psychedelic parts of Twin Peaks, but colder and darker. The loose, almost inexistent storyline is set at a psychiatric research facility called The Arboria Institute during the 1960s and 1980s. 

Here you follow a young heavily medicated girl, Elena, trying to escape the strange and somewhat menacing Dr Barry Nyle. From that base, the movie descends into a realm of madness, delusion and paranoia. The Arborea Institute is a cold and dark place where everything is kind of off. Throughout the movie, we are met with scrambled timelines and weird stuff happening. Everything is set in hazy red and black colours make it hard to follow what is actually happening on-screen. In that sense, we see things from the perspective of the captive girl, whose sense of reality is blurred due to her treatment and general mental state as well as that of Dr Nyle, who seems to be completely out of touch with any conventional reality throughout the entire movie. 

Beyond the Black rainbow only features sparse dialogue and most of the time strange things are taking place in front of your eyes to a dark whooshing ambient score. When words are incidentally spoken, they barely make any sense, just emphasising that what goes on at the Arborea Institute has a deep impact on the sense of the reality of all who participate. As the plot unravels, it opens up a little bit and you get little snippets of the institute’s history and hints as to what kind of research is going on. Without revealing too much, the research at the Arborea Institute is linked with the psychedelic experimentation and interest in the cosmic and the occult in the 1960s. We are never really sure if the whole thing is simply a lasting bad trip instigated by heavy drug use or if the doctors and patients really have had their third eye opened and are able to experience a fearful reality beyond the ordinary. What remains is that Beyond the Black Rainbow is a paranoia-inducing and disturbing psychedelic trip into the dark side of the human mind, hinting at something larger and more frightening. It is not for everyone, but if you enjoy watching beautiful images of deep paranoia happening inside hyper-modernist rooms shot in hazy colours or if you simply find the entanglement of psychedelic drugs, science and the occult interesting, you should give this a shot and enter a strange dimension beyond the black rainbow.



søndag den 14. oktober 2018

Kraaiengebroed - S/T

The physical cassette already being sold out from his highly obscure and experimental dark-ambient / noise-drone act called Kraaiengebroed. An act having one sole member, who is also known and work as Gnaw Their Tounges, Aderlating, Mowlawner, and Slavenij. This one is the fourth album and it had been released on Ominous Recordings, as of now the digital album version being the only version available... maybe we can hope for a cassette re-release? While we all are having our fingers crossed, let us all then dive into this mouldy thing of utter darkness and see (and hear) what it is all about. 

The first thing you´ll notice would be the GREAT (and scary) cover-art. A kind of hooded figure with a bird´s skeletal visage, looking straight at you. Surroundings being a dense and dark forest. You press play on your cassette deck and the first track The Sound of Moss begins, actually surrounding your very senses in a thick and syrup-like ghost-fog. You might as well just... give in because you are not going to get out of this. Blackened and angelic heavy ambience glues the listener to the very ground, frost-cold your limps. We are actually talking about a VERY spiritual experience here, almost religiously (like inside a huge cathedral). The sounds of eerie vocals of the dead...almost trying to break into the recordings. Mysterious telephone-like tone-drones (and string-like), rattling ghost-cains stirring things up while heavenly voices from deep below (and above) floating through your body. The Sound Of Moss? A scary and interesting sound indeed! 

Next piece called Brought Down Haunted (love the title!), brings you straight to a bottomless pit of sound. Crackling cellar/tomb-noises, terrifying and subversive evocative demonic-voices, echoed and haunting sounds from below rushes up to torment the listener. There is also raw metallic bangings going on a percussive ritualistic string being tapped in a very mesmerizing and minimalistic way. Kind of sounds like a dark-ambient version of early In Slaughter Natives! (not bad eh?). A VERY haunting piece.

Third offering Night Whispers continues into the night with ritualistic and tribal-like drums, infernal radio-chatter voices moaning, disturbing strings and spine-tickling sounds playing backwards. Really otherworldly and supernatural material going on in here... could convince the sceptics regarding the existence of a parallel universe filled with spirits with only ill intent! 

The fourth track on this challenging smörgasbord-of-horror gives you a track called Lost, being ONLY 27 minutes and 24 seconds. A primal and lo-fi ambient-treat for people who are trying to record the dead through esoteric radio-equipment. The entire track contains worlds... and other dimensions. Try reading British horror-author Ramsey Campbells The Plain of Sound. and you´ll know what I mean!.

Last track on the album called Machine leaves you alone... with the Machine. What kind of machine? An abandoned and rusty thing in a closed-up factory? A subterranean and haunted machine in the cellar of some ancient hospital?. We really don't know. The noisiest and harsh piece on the album, which I am sure must have been recorded in complete darkness. With microphones, amplifiers, metal-junk. A punishing and doomy piece to end your miserable night! I can almost imagine killer-Bob from Twin Peaks moving at you, in complete slow-motion while listening to this. 

And now for a break... Have to catch my breath here! A truly wonderous journey into pure human fear, the sort of fear that basically can (and will) manifest into a thousand forms. The fear of the unknown being the strongest of these, as our beloved Lovecraft once said. Yup, this is my favorite Halloween treat for the year 2018. Give it a listen in the late hours after you´ve tried contacting the dead?. Great one I say, a really great release!

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torsdag den 11. oktober 2018

Turgor - Imferrum

Italian label Industrial Ölocaust Recordings is back with a new project while hails from the capital of Russia, Moscow. Called Turgor, which means:

"the state of turgidity and resulting rigidity of cells or tissues, typically due to the absorption of fluid."

In other words, absorbing fluid at the point where you´ll crack from the pressure. I am not sure what the album title means, maybe being something being... infernal perhaps?. Nevertheless, it has been released by physical means via Industrial Ölocaust Recordings on a pro-CD-R encased in a jewel-case. How limited it is, I am not sure (no info). If you should have the interest in only having the album by digital means, that I can reveal to you that the album is available though UK-based dark-ambient label called Kalpamantra plus US-based label called Studio 4632 (see Bandcamp links below). 

So what is Turgor about it?. According to a small piece of paper which was with the promo CD-R (which I received through the post) the info is as following:

"TURGOR is a process of sound research of the material from which the world around us is built"

"TURGOR method: work with ancient ritual musical formulas in the space of individual experience of project participants; conjugation of the sound of natural materials and possibilities of synthesis of sound. Objects and tools used to build sound spaces are created uniquely for each particular process."

In other words, we are dealing with an esoteric industrial and experimental-ambient project which uses found material as it is. The first track You´ll Never See (In) gets you right into the very foundation of which industrial-ritual music is about. Mass-like and esoteric ritual rhythms, spine-tingling metallic sounds, evocative chantings and something... just something sounding like that Tibetian thighbone trumpet (Do a Google search!), in other words: A GREAT INTRO! Something in between Lustmord´s Heresy and Endvra´s Black Eden. Next track Outer Space Transmission lets the listener leave the earth for a while in search for angels or aliens, the Tibetian vocal-themes roams in the background while harsh and cold ambient atmosphere caresses the ear. While you are wondering what the journey to deep space was for, you´ll subconsciously flow through the next track called Invitation To War. In the Warhammer 40K universe, you have probably entered a universe where the everchanging forces of Chaos roam. Which could mean an Invitation To War? Martial metallic percussions (Heavily distorted), eerie and warped dark ambiance (and vocals), TG´ish proto-industrial guitar-work. Not bad, fans of In Slaughter Natives and MZ.412 might wanna check it out. 

Next track Anomalyra slows time down to a pleasant halt, a deep and heavy paul-stretched industrial-ambiance treat for modern dark-ambient stoners. Hauntology is the fourth track on the album offers new completely new sides to the album. Cool sounding and mysterious percussions and doom´ish soundtrack synth-works, the saddest thing is that it is the shortest track on the album!. Second, last track offers menacing post-apocalyptic rhythms, looped distorted guitars and evil-sounding gasmask vocals... sounds a bit like early Scorn?!. Last track Nessus ends the album ends the album beautifully in the deep and dark cellar, with a movie-sampled whispering voice and blackened atmospheres. 

Everything works on this album, both the ideas and how it all has been created. Only one minor issue with the album, at times it sounds like the recorded sounds having been recorded.. too loud? It creates minor clicks and glitches. BUT, I do think that the quality (and the uniqueness) of the album can make the listener look-away from these sound-issues. Have a go on it!

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fredag den 5. oktober 2018

Megaptera - Disease (Rerelease)

One of the most anticipated death-industrial releases of 2018, a cult item worth anyone (who is into dark-ambient, death-industrial and dungeon synth)´s attention! One of the grand and classic death-industrial pioneers, besides other pioneering acts like Brighter Death Now and Archon Satani. The release Disease being the 7th album by Megaptera and it was originally released on Art Konkret back in 1996, in a limited stock of 1000 copies. Since then it has been a collectible cult item for death-industrial fanatics, the price tag on Discogs would explain that. Nevertheless, it was decided to re-release in a stock of 300 copies via Ur Muzik, remastered the damn bugger but none other than Henrik Nordvargr Björkk (MZ.412, Folkstorm etc). And of course, re-creating the cover art to fit the modern age. You can notice in the cover-art that someone in Megaptera being a huge Cabaret Voltaire fan, even had it made to be a tribute to the dear old band and their classic cover designs, enough of that. The album works like a mini-album/EP with only 4 tracks BUT... it almost runs 60 minutes!. 

The first 2 minutes of the first track, gives the listener that certain (and GREAT!) Megaptera sound. BAM! Dialogue samples from classic 80s horror flicks, heavy and evocative looped industrial drones, sacred religious synths and slowly ritualistic metallic rhythms. Soo damn convincing, the sound and the re-mastering sound truly fantastic! I am (almost) getting a religious experience out of this. This track called The Passage To Your Evil Dreams also one of my favorite Megaptera tracks. And yes, the Gemini is still dead! 

Next track Disorientated leaves you all alone in a huge abandoned warehouse in the middle of nowhere (in the night), how the wind rushes through the building while it creates strange noises through small crevices and metal-junk, paranoid voices surrounds you, and sounds of great wind-mills outside starts raising the hair on your neck while a cold... and  metallic thumping rhythm keeps pounding in your head!. Fantastic eerie piece. Third track Haunted By Demons continues with circling machine-like mood-drones and offers sound-visions from demon tortured souls. Post-apocalyptic metallic and tribal rhythms and the sound of tortured and worshipping humans. Last track The Squire Goes Insane, is a track with 4 tracks inside! A heavy meditative intro welcomes the listener, feels (and sounds) like being invited into an apocalyptic Christian cult while you can hear the cars outside... Just driving by.  

A strange and insect-like chirping sound being also at present. The religious and trance-like state overtakes you, and it drowns you into a repetitive state of being. Fluidlike noises, heavy alien-like/non-human breaths, evocative (and metallic) drums, mesmerizing (and heavy) monk-like choirs, church bells... The sound again of Megaptera (and the remastering) is beyond perfection. All of this (almost relaxing) heavy ambiance gets replaced by an infernal and eerie sound, which afterward gets combined with an even strange looped rhythmic sound-element. You have to hear it to experience it!. Whoever started the rite in the cult, someone (or something) unnatural is being summoned for sure!. Could it be... Hastur (He who should not be spoken), Azathoth (Idiot Demon Sultan), Asmodeus?... You decide! The drama ends when the portal has been opened... and it throbs like a huge heart with icy winds from foreign dimensions surrounding it, hypnotic ritualistic beats marks their present... silence once again, only the sound of the huge heart being present. Ritualistic chantings and tribal beatings start, to bind the summoned (NON-Christian) elder god at its place within the sacred circle. If it got loose, it would probably devour the entire world!. The drama rises with heavy winds and jackhammering insect sounds, while the tribal beatings are relentlessly going on in the background. This mood continues, ends and intensifies with a haunting drone-ish synth... Makes it all sound very uncomfortable, in a good way that is. Heavy good shit, that is all I have to say!

So there you have it. A death-industrial/dark-ambient bible for every freak who hates pure drone music for hipsters. Obey my command, DO GET IT!!!!!


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