torsdag den 21. februar 2019

Shelter Ov Shadows - The Serpent and the Circle of Perpetual Choirs



Something really dark and mysterious has evoked in the cold landscapes of Canada Gatineau, Québec. Since 2017 this project has been churning out 6 cassettes so far, and this one which I am going to review (with the very esoteric themed title) is the debut for this isolated project. This is one of the many acts by J. Browne who also was reviewed last year on Kalteldur with his project Widersinnen. Whereas Widersinnen moved into more winter-synth aesthetics, this project leans more into esoteric drones and ritualistic ambience. 

We are dealing with a single-sided cassette containing only one track that goes by the same name as the release itself,  29 minutes and 26 seconds long in total.

Something subterranean, high to the ceilings and with deep, cold and mysterious tunnels (which might lead to places only read about in Jules Verne´s Journey to the Center of the Earth). That exact feeling engulfs the listener the very first second you have pressed the play button. And by the looks of it, you are probably not going to escape these vast caverns. It is not all devoid of life, hints of melodic synth work hide behind raw ambient drone-textures, which gives the listener (maybe) an idea of locating crumpling ruins within these subterranean spaces. 


Excellent deep and heavy multilayered nonhuman-like voice drones are also present, which gives the overall recording a "nice" and "firm" bass-foundation. Everything on this recording sounds like a stream of pure and raw ambience streaming from an empty void, a void with no end that is!

A fantastic dark-ambient treat for everyone who is into primitive and raw soundtrack moods. Not polished with too much fluffiness, it just feels like a heavy carpet wearing you down to the very ground. You are bound to succumb to it, so you might as well just give in. Highly recommended for anyone who needs a slice of Canadian isolation! Out on cassette on french black-metal and ambient label Wulfrune Worxxx. 


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mandag den 18. februar 2019

Kadaver - Ain´t Love Grand?



Another review from our favorite Israel-based death/noise-industrial act, this one came out on CD in 2018 via L.White Records (Limited to 100 copies). A cool looking DVD-cased thing with a blackened forest on. And with the title ´Ain´t Love Grand?´ ?... 

I don´t know, is it?. Strongest emotion in mankind, one that destroys us and one that heals us in the everlasting circle of life. But I think that the kind of love which Kadaver will like to tell you a tale of would probably be the kind of love which destroys you... sort of.  

With such titles like A Gas Chamber With a View, Mouthwash, Answering the Dead and Death Opens No Doors we should be aware things might not be so grand anyway? Anyways.

This album is still locked into the noisier-era/sound of Brighter Death Now (Interwar-era). Classic harsh noise clashes with raw and heavy industrial-ambiance/drones. Screaming distortions from a warped vortex? Ritualistic harsh-noise? A nihilistic soundtrack to the perverse natures of humankind? One of my favorite tracks on here would be Answering the Dead. First I heard it, the next thing I read what the title was (and it was a perfect match!). Warped and multilayered human-voices, radio-like static tones with heavy wave-like distorted winds. Ever heard of those early recordings with people recorded which is supposed to be ghosts/voices of dead people on the radio?  Or maybe seen the flick with Michael Keaton ´Whitenoise´? The track gets that eerie and scary mood, not a radio-channel I wanna tune into!. 




Another interesting piece D.Flower works with a ritualistic beating and slightly psychedelic sound-workings. Second last track Cold Steel Table also gets around that Texas Chainsaw-sound via early Atrax Morque in a distorted and reverbed slow-motion. Last track Death Opens No Doors, which is probably the merriest piece on the album. There is nothing beyond the void, only peace and well... nothingness. Noise-Churning beast of sound crawling in and out of your soul. Very nice".

A thorough death-industrial album with a lot of grinds, ambient-fuzz and less rhythmic monotony which some death-industrial artists sometimes works with. Fans of harsh-noise who needs an introduction into death-industrial... could work!. Despite all the death and misery which the album deals with, I would nonetheless recommend this album! And yes, the guy behind this project is a true gentleman who gives hugs over messenger! I love him. He couldn't provide me with a promo from the label, and so he just made one himself which he sent me instead!... Love him!. Well?... Ain´t Love Grand?!...



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søndag den 17. februar 2019

Sutcliffe Jugend (1982-2019)

R.I.P 

By Robert Kristian Carter



Sutcliffe Jugend the legendary practitioners of extreme electronic music have ceased operations. Formed by Kevin Tomkins in 1982, SJ was one of the major innovators in the then-burgeoning Power Electronics movement. Kevin was joined by Paul Taylor in the early '80s and the pair went on to create some of the most brutal recordings of the Power Electronics genre including " When Pornography Is No Longer Enough " and " Victim As Beauty ". After a lengthy hiatus in the late nineties. Sutcliffe Jugend returned with the caustically abrasive album " This Is The Truth ". They also played their first public live concerts to promote the album. 


Numerous albums followed over the subsequent years. Each one expanding their sound and aesthetics far beyond their initial forays in the Power Electronics underground. Tours of the Far East and concerts all over the world cemented their reputation as one of the most intense live acts on the extreme music underground. 

In a short statement, Kevin Tomkins stated that: " I have said everything I need to say with Sutcliffe Jugend. We have never played to the gallery and we see no point in continuing just for the sake of it. With SJ we always agreed that it had to be all or nothing. Therefore Sutcliffe Jugend has run its course. Thank you to everybody for their support and friendship. It has been a blast."


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tirsdag den 12. februar 2019

Skullflower. Some thoughts.

written by Kristian Robert Carter



This is going to hopefully be my final post on the whole Skullflower episode after I and a few other friends were pulled into its orbit.

I personally think that the dropping of Bowers project Skullflower was the result of what can only be seen as the continuing gentrification of the capital and it's rapidly shrinking music venues. There are very few venues left as many have closed down. The remaining venues are the domain of a small number of promoters and license holders. 

With the current climate of 'moral and political' safety, diversity and safe spaces any art or music that has difficult and troubling themes, art or aesthetics are increasingly finding itself subject to a hysterical moral McCarthyism. If you are unwilling, unable or unknowingly able to put whatever art form you use for self-expression into some kind of context; you will be seen as potentially problematic and a threat to the new era of ' tolerance at any price '. 

It will not matter if you are guilty of any indiscretion you will be judged on how you are perceived by the moral arbiters of decency. There is also a massive culture of morality point scoring if you are seen to be acting in the will of the common good and the vast majority of individuals who want to sleepwalk through life shepherded like sheep by those who know better. 

Skullflower had to go. Not because of any Nazism or white power reality but because members of the audience and the Twitterati 'felt uncomfortable' by aspects of their aesthetics. Bower refused to contextualize his art or provide reasons as to why he uses certain images and symbols.


There was no smoking gun of proof, the so-called evidence was spurious and lacked any credibility. 

The refusal to play the game and provide a sheep-like an audience with the information they desired so as to not feel threatened was the key factor in all this. 

I imagine The Quietus and Raw Power were expecting a capitulation to this hysterical mob along the lines of Mark Solotroff or William Bennett, both of whom were forced to issue statements in defence of their art in order to appease the mob baying for their blood. 

Bower remained silent. Bower had to go. 

There is still no irrefutable proof that Skullflower is a white power band. There is simply half-truths and trawling through years of internet posts trying to find that silver bullet. 

The Quietus is expanding its witch hunt and by all accounts seems to be labouring under the apprehension that they are the new cultural guardians. They will decide who and what should be acceptable in this hyper-liberal age of enforced conformity to the new artistic morality. 



What the Quietus and others don't realise is that they are the mirror image of the hard conservative censorship lobby that was so prevalent in the final two decades of the last century. That this morality police approach the censorship of art from the Liberal left does not make them any different from the censorship of Mary Whitehouse or Tipper Gore. 

To compound matters, certain individuals and groups have moved in unison during this Skullflower censorship bloodletting. Various people with personal scores to settle have been given an opportunity to settle scores, mischief makes and causes problems to those they regard as foes. 

The so-called anti-Nazi triumvirate of Blake, Home and Ayers have obviously used this explosion of public wrath to steer trouble onto those they have personal vendettas against. This cabal has attempted to cast the net thrown over Skullflower to ensnare and bring down others. The ludicrous Who Makes The Nazis witch-hunting mob are also involved in trying to gain as much momentum against those they have targeted before whilst the Skullflower backlash Applecart is rolling. 

These attacks have not just been the domain of the Liberal Left but a swathe of so-called Right Wingers have also used the above to get involved and sow some discord against their foes they share in common with the Liberal left. 

To make things even more convoluted many opportunists have jumped on the bandwagon and tried to embroil people in the mess in order to settle scores, not at all linked to the whole Quietus/Skullflower issue. 

This is especially true of myself who was drawn into it all not because of Skullflower but for other reasons such as I once had a dalliance with a woman they liked or I publically criticised their favourite band. 

This whole episode will be looked back upon I hope with embarrassment, however, I do also fear that it will embolden those who seek to destroy art forms that they do not understand and believe are dangerous to their political and ideological positions.

Article on Quietus:

mandag den 11. februar 2019


GIGS. FOUR.
Godflesh, Skullflower & 
Terminal Power Company.
Marquee. London. 1st November 1992.
Written by Kristian Robert Carper

If I can trace back to the start when my exploration of leftfield music began it would be this night, this concert. If I hadn't have been at this gig then it's highly likely that I would not have discovered many of the genres of music that I have obsessed over for almost three decades.

The year was 1992 and I had found myself gravitating towards the more electronic sonic terrorists that populated the American Wax Trax Records and Canada's Nettwerk. For the last eighteen months, I had been up to my neck in the electronic industrial sludge of Canada's Skinny Puppy. Revelling in the utter bleakness of their tormented beat driven schlock and dirge. Too Dark Park and Last Rights had literally been on constant rotation, the tormented anguished growl of Ogre and his drug haze malevolent worldview had begun to seep into my unconsciousness. Clouding and polluting my mind. The constant amphetamine use also was taking its toll and no doubt I wasn't much fun to be around.

It is hard to believe now but in 1992 with Ministry flavour of the month, there was a very short period of time when there suddenly appeared a gap in the sleek consumerist dream, a gap where if you looked hard enough the bands and artists normally hidden in the underground were visible. Godflesh was one of these bands who briefly emerged from the inky darkness of the underground. A blackened steel leviathan that burst into the wider musical arena like a huge chrome sea beast, emitting a huge roar of sound before disappearing again into the depths.




Terminal Power Company were also feted for great things and there was a burgeoning sense of excitement about this duo from Birmingham. I and some old school friends had been interested in the Company since they put out their first single. We'd already seen them play with Bomb Everything ( Bomb Disneyland ) earlier in the year and had found the live sound to be meatier than the minimalist style of the recorded material.

One of my mates had a great Godflesh shirt that had the immortal backprint of -

" Death to false metal "

Godflesh had just put out Pure. We all had it. We all loved it and therefore this show couldn't be missed.

No one knew what Skullflower was. For sure they had a great name but nobody had a clue about them. These days the internet has made searching for bands simple and easy. Even the most obscure artists are just a few searches away on a smartphone. However back in 1992 the way to discover music was to graft and find it. Either through painstaking fanzine searching or taking pot luck on bands discovered by word of mouth or because they shared the same label etc.

So we took the train from Bedford to London and hit the legendary Marquee club for a highly anticipated night of sonic battering.

To be honest, I don't really remember that much of Terminal Power Company performance, I know that we enjoyed it and it reinforced our belief that they needed to flesh out the sound in the studio for the next album ( which they did ). My friend bought a cool shirt from them that seemed to last decades. A sleek design that looked like it had fallen straight out of the Blade Runner film.



Next up was Skullflower and at the time I was disappointed to see a full band emerge. I was under the impression we were in for a heavy metal/thrash metal work out.

Well. I didn't get that at all.

What I got was a huge behemoth of noise. A massive lumbering beast of a sound. It was heavy. However, if this was metal it was no metal I had ever heard before. The whole thing seemed to be driven by a sluggish rhythm section that almost sounded as if it was about to collapse in on itself. It was a huge beast but it sounded if it was unsteady on its feet. Almost as if it was about to keel over and expire. The guitars were a chaotic mess. A squalling buzzsaw cacophony. It was a mess but it was a glorious mess. Heavy, shuffling, lumbering and caustic. Despite the bleakness and the mind-crushing heaviness, there was a gleam of prismatic colour emanating from the morass. Under all the layers of brutality was a kind of sinister psychedelia, a sense of kaleidoscopic hugeness. Almost as if they were producing a soundtrack to the universe folding in on itself. I was mesmerized. Held in a trance. This was music that operated on so many multifaceted levels. Levels up until then I had not known existed. I had always wanted my music, noisy and nasty. However, there was something that seemed to offer so much more. There was a whole universe of possibilities beneath the initial screen.



Shellshocked by Skullflower I was jolted back into reality by the surge of flailing bodies that greeted Godflesh. The heavy electronic drum beat was like your head being put inside a steel pail and someone using a jackhammer upon it. Justin Broadrick was like a man possessed. A wiry thin paroxysm of bile and rage. Attacking his guitar with a fury and intensity I don't think I've ever seen matched. I believe there was a third member onstage who I guess was Robert Hampson of the seminal band Loop.

Then it was over. The lights came on. The crowd seemed mute. As if the life had been sucked out of us.

Two days later I managed to find a Skullflower vinyl. IIIrd Gatekeeper. It was on Justin Broadrick of Godflesh own label; Head dirt.

So getting back to what I mentioned above about this concert opening up avenues to what I have obsessed over for years...........

Through Skullflower I discovered Ramleh and then Broken Flag. Whilst investigating Ramleh I discovered Whitehouse and so on.

So here I am twenty-six years later. Surrounded by music that I wouldn't have discovered if it wasn't for attending this gig and being mesmerized by that band I assumed were going to be a dodgy metal band albeit one with a great name.

Godflesh (official site):

Skullflower (official site):

Terminal Power Company (Discogs):


onsdag den 6. februar 2019

Apoptose - Die Zukunft



First Kalteldur review from a Tesco Organisation release (Legendary German cult label). First time around for this will be with another German thing called Apoptose. Which means ´the process of highly regulated and controlled programmed cell death that may occur in multicellular organisms´. This act has been in existence since 2000, and this is the sixth album ready for anyone with curious ears.

Apoptose being a dark-ambient orientated act which has its focus on ´folk-tales and ritual of Nordic origin, childhood trauma, and megacity nightmares´. Which means that Apoptose works around various themes and ideas, a kind of soundtrack unit I guess (Mostly being dark-themed material of course!). This (newest) album called Die Zukunft (The Future) was released back in October 2018, 8 tracks about 40 minutes in total.

First track called Two Hours opens up with the sound of a school playground (I think) with brooding low-key moody synths. Spoken words from an innocent girl voice talk about surviving these two hours through medication. Otherwise, she cannot calm down. Dark-wave´ish synth-work with minimal ambient-mood rhythms, fans of UK-based Attrition take notice. Rich-sound and a very decent melancholic intro for the album. 

Next track What Power Art Thou has been based on a piece by Henry Purcell (Classic English composer 1659 - 1695), the lyrics by John Dryden (Poet and arch-neoclassicist 1631  - 1700) which have been sung by a classically trained vocalist named Daniel Sans. A nice melodramatic down-tempo ambient piece with classical elements, very dramatic.

Third piece Time-Lapse City moves mores into a synth-pop´ish territory. The intriguing male spoken-words in the front and with theatrical female voices in the background. Blade-runner, cyberpunk big city moods here. 


The fourth track delivers the apparently (much needed) Medizin. Not that far away from what the first track delivered. Melancholic and subtle dramatic synth-keys and low-tempo ambient drums.

Daniel Sans returns with the fifth track, Dornen. Almost on the edge of having retro-synth/synth-wave elements here, again with the classical vocals being delivered. Still in the brooding melancholic state of mind here. 

The last 3 tracks also deliver the same brooding melancholic synth ambient themes. Being also well worth the exploring for the listeners who seek themes regarding nightmare city and childhood trauma.

The entire album works as a soundtrack, and I could have been fooled if someone did tell me that it was a soundtrack for a movie. The entire material has been well made, the sound is crisp and recorded/produced well. I have one problem with the album though, whatever state of mind/theme you met with the first track is more or less being repeated with each track. I do not think that it was intentional though, but it does feel that the same dynamics, melodies, and effects are being over-used. More variety in dynamics and style would have helped greatly in this. I also do think that it is entirely a matter of taste. I love dynamics and tension in this kind of dark-themed electronic-made music, while some will enjoy the simple but beautiful and moody synth-melodies within. I still think that fans of Attrition and maybe Atrium Canceri should check this one out! Out on CD via Tesco!


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mandag den 4. februar 2019

Wyernsnout - Wyern



A French-based dungeon-synth/music act which already has added several (21 to be exact) only-digital releases out. No physical releases yet! From a Halloween tribute release, black-metal covers release and several other dungeon-synth related ones. I really didn´t know which release I should have a look on, but I knew that I have always had a certain fetish with the mythical dragon-like creature known as the Wyern. Where I have this fetish from... I do not know. Maybe it has something to do with the logo for that Roleplaying Game company called Chaosium?. They released roleplaying games like like Call of Cthulhu, Runequest and Elric (in case you were wondering!). But anyways!

What we have here is a small mini-album containing 4 tracks. From Caverns, Reflections, Flight and Journey.

First track Caverns starts off with a lovely labyrinthian and subterranean synth tune. Twisted, sinister with tiny streaks of madness here and there. Resamples somehow some of the first Raison D´être recordings, very primitive in an honest way BUT effective. The tune gives the listener a sense of being at lost in a huge cave-like labyrinth, the kind of caves with toxic mushrooms - troglodytes and a man-eating wyvern of course! 

Second track Reflections being more of a hypnotizing piece. Starts off with a static drone-synth and later on gets into good company with a crystal-like ghost-like tune. A streak of a silent madness lurks within the monotonic pleasant melodies!

Third track Flight lets the listener take a deep breath from caverns and strange reflections within. Epic melancholia on frosty wings could be a nice way to describe this track. Almost winter-synth here without the ambient/drone-elements. Great track!

Fourth and last piece simply called Journey, being a more down-to-earth kind of a piece. Landing down on snow-covered soil (from the epic flight!). A journey awaits through frosty and ice-peaked landscapes. The madness of the two first tracks are not there, and the melancholia of the third track has been replaced by a sense of hope?. Still, murky and moody bass-synths are in the background, but the icy front-melody almost gives the track a merry element to it. A really beautiful ending for this album!

A great mini-album (not a groundbreaker) but works fine it is simplicity. I really like the way how the synth-tunes are, very epic and beautiful winter-landscape sort of. Is it too short?. No, it isn´t!. It works perfectly as a mini-album (You´ll understand when you hear it). Pleasant listening, and don´t let the wyvern catch you!  


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