Thursday, July 25, 2013

Crucial Blast on The Fortieth Day + Sshe Retina Stimulants + Terence Hannum "Advent" CD

The Fortieth Day + Sshe Retina Stimulants + Terence Hannum "Advent" CD
This collaboration between Locrian's Terence Hannum, Italian noise outfit and Sigillum S offshoot Sshe Sshe Retina Stimulants and Chicago industrial duo / Bloodyminded spinoff The Fortieth Day was a one-off live performance that took place on a college radio show late on night in 2009. The recording first appeared as a limited edition cassette release on Hannum's Land of Decay imprint and ended up going out of print fairly quickly, but now this Cd reissue resurrects this dark industrial document for wider consumption, and it's definitely something that both fans of The Fortieth Day's brand of grim industrial music and Hannum's various projects will want to hear, a relentlessly ominous collection of rumbling layered noise, death industrial-style atmospherics, and sinister drones that spreads out for nearly an hour. The tracks range from minimal murky drones and distorted low-end throb to grinding slabs of blackened synthesizer and malevolent feedback manipulations as the musicians layer their various sounds to create these abstract noisescapes, and at times this performance starts to take on the form of a kind of pitch-black space music, a rush of utterly lightless kosmische drift billowing out of some gaping wound in the fabric of space. Clustered electronic notes howl beneath strange metallic noises and blasts of shrieking high end feedback, and waves of heavily phased synth shoot across the soundspace, turning this into something harshly psychedelic and threatening. Other tracks shift into eerily minimal sequences of demonic quasar pulses and peals of harsh droning feedback, as if you are hearing a Klaus Schulze recording after it has been exposed to aeons of corrosion and degradation, reduced to a charred and withered electronic soundscape deeply stained in dread and rust and rot. On the sprawling thirteen minute "Intermodal", the group ascends into the harshest realms of electronic overdrive on the album, whipping up furious gales of distorted synth and spectral effects and vicious granular noise. Drum machines lazily pound beneath layers of murk, resembling the vaguely rhythmic banging of debris against the hull of a derelict oil tanker. Sinister discordant guitar noise wails in the distance, and massively distorted voices drift through the shadows. Advent fits right in alongside the rest of The Fortieth Day catalog with its grim, crumbling industrial sludge.

Crucial Blast on BLOODYMINDED "Gift Givers"

One of the premier American power electronics outfits, Chicago's Bloodyminded continues to crank out their series of reissued albums through member Mark Solotroff's Bloodlust! label, here resurrecting the band's third album from 2005 Gift Givers in a new re-designed eight panel digipack package. Featuring guest appearances from the likes of Eyehategod frontman Mike Williams and Mauthausen Orchestra's Pierpaolo Zoppo, Gift Givers is a cruel assault of rumbling, nightmarish industrial noise and chaotic power electronics, opening with the sound of pounding processed drum sounds throbbing beneath waves of undulating synthesizer drone, while ominous voices are looped over top of the heavy malfunctioning rhythms and blasts of distorted noise.

The extreme screeching feedback abuse that has always been a focal point of Bloodyminded's assaultive sound is all over Gift Givers, but it's layered beneath the heavy, churning noise-loops that dominate much of these seventeen tracks, with lots of layered voices (speaking in a mix of French, English and Spanish) and demonic shrieking and buried percussion creating an intense state of sonic delirium; when that squealing feedback is dragged into the forefront of Bloodyminded's sonic assault, the band utilizes it to form eerie half-formed melodies, as heard on the haunting "Pro-Ana". On other tracks, the synthesizers sputter and shriek, vomiting up streams of garbled fluttering effects and buzzing black drones, waves of harsh granular whoosh and oppressive jet-engine roar. 

The guest contributions stand out among the rest of the album; "Private Thoughts" features synthesizer noise and vocals from Italian industrial legend Pierpaolo Zoppo, producing an eerie, abrasive electronic soundscape, while Mike Williams brings his wretched screaming to the track "Ten Suicides", a standout track that had previously appeared in a slightly different version as the b-side on Williams's That's What The Obituary Said 7" from a few years ago.

Gift Givers also stands out from the rest of the Bloodyminded catalog with it's strange imagery. The free-associative lyrics read like a surrealist cut-up of self-help literature and a coroner's autopsy report, and are laced with a variety of creepy visuals of extreme eating disorders, obsessive self-destructive behavior and scenes of self-mutilation, while the layering of different languages in the vocals give several of the tracks a deranged, Babel-like feel of intense disorientation, especially on the monstrous "Blood Customs", which takes on the aspect of a Catholic exorcism ritual. With these explorations of extreme psychological and physical duress, Gift Givers turns out to be one of the more unsettling listening experiences that Bloodyminded has brought us so far, and fans of the recent Sutcliffe Jugend output in particular will want to check this out...


Still Single on Sun Splitter "III" LP

July 23, 2013

Sun Splitter – III LP (BloodLust!)


Rather bizarre homegrown industrial noise-churn of an anomalous sound and feel, Sun Splitter’s scary pummel is interesting, intense and worth attention, as opposed to a band satisfied with their unique or original gimmick, therefore failing to add any of that crucial stuff that justifies any act of giving-a-shit on the part of the outside world. This Chi-town gem released III a year ago, making this review late enough to get a “fuck off!” rather than inclusion on the band’s blog, where an array on and off-the-mark (and places in between) reviews are already on display. Preceding this unclassifiable treasure was the impossibly-rare/obscure II (pressed on vinyl in an edition of 25, then “reissued” on cassette in an edition of 100 that were only available from the band at shows – that’ll show ‘em), and before that a 7” split with Bridesmaid. There could have been a full-length debut titled I, but it was probably done in an edition of 15 and exclusively-distributed to the interior of a vacant/condemned warehouse located somewhere outside of Wichita. Ahem.

I’m incredibly picky about drum machines and usually get all Carducci about their inclusion, save predictable exceptions in Jesu/Godflesh, about half of the Big Black discography, Nailbomb, and … well, you get it. Sun Splitter’s replacement for human-manned kit sounds as if it might be an old box of minimal flexibility, and would never be mistaken for its organic alternative, but the goal here is clearly to use the understated rapid-BPMs for texture instead of propulsive dynamics. The uncomplicated bomp-bomp races along underneath what Sun Splitter has awarded a far more prominent position in the assault: Guitars, guitars and behind even more guitars is an ominous vocal wail that transcends anger, not unlike the fatalistic “I’m-all-outta-hate” threatened-seagull shriek of Unsane’s Chris Spencer or a low-in-the-mix interpretation of Mascis’ terrifying scream on Bug’s “Don’t”, though it’s been almost 20 years since I’ve heard the latter – while peaking on some beyond-my-personal-threshold acid near the end of my senior year in high school, I slapped on some sizable studio-grade cans, plugged them into the integrated amp that powered my better-than-average used Pioneer component-system, programmed said Dinosaur Jr’s track on infinite repeat, and blasted that shit into my fragile brain for over two hours. The song title says it all.

As stated earlier in this review, my pickiness can usually be counted on to negate an entire album with this kind of drum machine misuse, but Sun Splitter have enough intensity, newness and earnest creepiness to overshadow, then justify, what would otherwise be a deal-breaking flaw. Not to accidentally come off like a lazy contrarian, but Sun Splitter (or more specifically, III) is less metal or metal-related, fundamentally/stylistically, than one might think, if approaching the band sound-unheard and going on just the collective words of other writers and band-boosters. This isn’t a bad thing. The band is unbelievably heavy and miraculously free of any derivative elements to the point that even subtle influences are few and far between, maybe positioning the band as a plaything for only the deepest and most doomed of heads with a vast frames of reference. Maybe not. Those people scare the shit out of me. I can’t overstate how badly this record needs to be heard by so many more folks operating under the banner of metal or heavy-music…fans, voices of influence, contemporaries, and all of the rest … do yourself a favor. White vinyl.


(Andrew Earles)

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Martial Canterel - Chicago - August 25

Just confirmed:

Sunday August 25

[Special early show]
Doors: 5:30 PM
Show: 6:00 PM Sharp!

Martial Canterel
Anal Hearse
Neil Jendon

Hayden (Dream Affair) and Beau Wanzer DJ before, during and after

The Burlington
3425 W. Fullerton Ave.
Chicago, IL 60647

Monday, July 22, 2013

Anatomy of Habit in Pitchfork Scene Report

Thanks to David Castillo at Saint Vitus for the excellent mention in the new Show No Mercy scene report on Pitchfork!

"A lesser known moment was when Anatomy of Habit played there for the first time, it was so bizarre in the way that they ended their set with just this crazy pounding doom metal riff and this dude with this thick chain just slamming against this metal in unison with it. It was the weirdest, heaviest, fucked-up, awesome thing. That was early on, and I was like, "OK, this is some shit you should see in New York City."