Iron Fist Of The Sun ‎* We Can Yield Our Own Footsteps (cd 2015)

Recently I bought the “Embers” 7″, but it proved to be from 2011, so I did not review it. I have known Iron Fist Of The Sun (or IFOTS on the latest releases) by name for quite a while, but I never really got to listen to this project from the UK until recently.

Deezer has the 2009 album “Behavioural Decline”. It is comparable to the “Embers” 7″, the “We Can Yield…” album currently under review and the “Live At The Garage” live mcd that I got with the album, but perhaps the last one is more intense. The music is roughly comparable to IRM or Skin Area. Pretty extreme noise, but not as extreme as Whitehouse or Merzbow. Here and there the sound leans toward ‘ambient noise’ and one track can even be described as a ‘soundscape’ (or a ‘noisescape’).

Some tracks are certainly dark and moody, but I do not like every track as much as the next. I do like the very extreme vocals, which is also one of the reasons I have to think of IRM.

Overall “We Can Yield Our Own Footsteps” is a fair album with a couple of very good tracks.

Links: Iron Fist Of The Sun, Cold Spring

The Soft Moon * Deeper (cd 2015)

A couple of years ago I discovered The Soft Moon when I was looking for A Place To Bury Strangers-like shoegaze-rock style bands. The Soft Moon is a descent band in that ‘genre’, but when I saw them at the 2013 Summer Darkness festival, they proved to be much more energetic on stage than on their albums which made their show more interesting than their albums.

While at the gothic Summer Darkness festival the band probably did not have their usual audience, yesterday the band played at the Psych Lab Eindhoven festival with a whole range of different-style psychedelic bands; more their scene I think. Their show was with quite a distance the most interesting of the evening. Whereas many band were slow and… psychedelic, The Soft Moon were noisy, uptempo and very energetic. Judging my review of the “Zeros” album, that also was true for the Utrecht show. The band played quite a few tracks that I did not know, so I figured they might have a new album out and indeed, their merchandise stand had “Deeper”.

The cd opens in a promising way with the uptempo “Inward”. Just as in my previous review, I can say that “Deeper” is not as continuously energetic as the live performance. There are also slower and even soft songs to be found on the album. Like in my previous review I can say that there are great and alright tracks on the cd and again I prefer the faster tracks. There seems to be more focus on electronics this time with some beat-driven tracks, but in basis the sound of The Soft Moon is shoegazish, slightly psychedelic rock, somewhat reminding of the sound of A Place To Bury Strangers; so: noisy with high-pitched guitars.

A nice album, but perhaps a live album would be even nicer.

Links: The Soft Moon, Captured Tracks

Duchess Says & Le Prince Harry * Split LP (12″ 2015)

New material of my favourite electropunkers, the weird and wonderfull Duchess Says from Canada. This split vinyl opens with some typical uptempo rock sounds, but soon goes over in Duchess’ frenzy. Then follows a more electropoppy song, nice and weird. The third track is also great, not too typical for Duchess Says, but what is typical for a band that goes from electropop to grindcore on a single album? Anyways, the Duchess Says side definately excuses buying this lp.

The name Le Prince Harry rings a bell, but apparently I have never (really) listened to them. Their four tracks go perfectly with those of Duchess Says. The music of Le Prince Harry is also weird, uptempo and punky, but with even more electronics than in Duchess Says. Their 2012 lp “It’s Getting Worse” also proves to be a wonderfull album with pulsating synth rhythms and simple but effective guitar-work and vocals. The music reminds a bit of my countrymates zZz, but Le Prince Harry is faster and the tracks on the split lp are even more uptempo.

Certainly a very good pop-album, though a weird one, as it should be. The label also has a couple of interesting names in their roster by the way.

Links: Duchess Says, Le Prince Harry, Teenage Menopause Records

v/a * Martyred Heretics (cd 2014)

I got this compilation with a Beläten order. It is limited to 200 copies and so far the only release on the Mustard Relics Recordings label.

After an introduction follows a nice track of what we would call “minimal wave” nowadays, but according to Discogs the project called Prayers only released two 7″s on WEA and EMI in 1990 and 1992, filed “eurohouse”!
Continuing with Angels Dust, a new project that creates strange ‘beat-scapes’ with female vocals. Perhaps best described as IDM. Not really my cup of tea. The other track of Angels Dust does not sound entirely alike, but the description again fits.
Pornostroika Dadaifi also contributed two tracks. Discogs lists them as a “Cyber Punk band formed in 1999 in Lesvos, Greece”. This may go for the weird and nice second track, the first is a less interesting experimental, atmospheric thing; perhaps old-style-industrial is a decription.
Another project with no releases on Discogs: Mach Baron. Their only track starts as dark ambient, but quickly goes over in quite typical “gabber”, hardcore techno.
Then we have a project that does have two releases on Discogs, recent even, 2014. Street Sects makes noisy industrial rock. Not of the typical Ministry style, but do think in that direction.
After this follows the only project that I knew: Blitzkrieg Baby. Kim Sølve contributed a nice, strange and slow industrial track.
The next project I have not mentioned until here presents an interesting track. Pyrotoxxxn starts with a dark sound over rattling beats and after a more quiet middle part continues with more ‘hiphopish’ rhythms. The end becomes more energetic and interesting again.
So how do I describe the track of Peopling? A steady, noisy pulse functions as rhythm. A (digitalised?) bass guitar makes the only thing that can be called a melody and then there are strange vocals. A noisy interlude slides into a more quiet end. A very interesting track! Peopling has another interesting track. “Groundloss” I think is more in the nowave tradition with noise created with guitars and effects.
A long track is Scab Queen‘s “White Forest” of almost 10 minutes. This is a (to me) uninteresting unstructured ‘scape of sounds’.
The longest track lasts almost 15 minutes. Glanko‘s “Terr” (live!) starts as dark ambient, takes over a third of the track to go over in a more guitar-trance like middle part with a piano-synth and ends more spacey again. A track much different from what came before, but interesting when you enjoy experimental spacerock kind of music.

Not only uncommon names, but also uncommon sounds. Some of it is quite nice, so “Martyred Heretics” makes a good surprice. Buy as cd or Bandcamp release. Click on the link below.

Link: Mustard Relics Records

ARM * Enheartened (mc 2014)

ARM is a project of Dan Serbanescu of Tanz Ohne Musik, Divine Muzak, Alone In The Hollow Garden and Archaos. The music reminds a bit of the early sideprojects from the black metal scene of a few decades ago. Simple electronic music, melancholic with harsch (here: distorted) vocals. Beläten describes the tape as “a collection of deceptively simple dungeon synth lullabies” which says about the same. I used the ‘tag’ that I used to ‘tag’ these early electronic black metal side projects, but I release that “ritual” does not really describe the sound of ARM. I have no proper alternative at hand though.

I like the opening track of side B best. This track is a bit more uptempo (relative to the rest of the material) with a bit of a ‘minimal wave’ feel. Also on side B is a more noisy “Unhappening”. The rest of the material is a bit dull to my ears.

Link: Beläten

Karjalan Sissit * …Want You Dead (cd 2015)

When I write this, Discogs only has a tape version listed, released by a label called “Total Black”. There is also a cd version released by Cyclic Law though.

Six years after “Fucking Whore Society” Markus Pesonen did not find any inspiration to develop his sound. Putting on the latest attemp initially brought me the idea that I put on the wrong cd. There is the usual orchestrated bombast with manically screamed vocals as on previous albums. The only thing that catches my ears is that guitars are added, or mixed more towards the front.

Now however “…Want You Dead” is just another Karjalan Sissit album, the style is still amusing so the new album makes me think back of the days when Karjalan Sissit was the most aggressive exponent of the ‘martial industrial’ sound that has mostly passed away. For old times sake!

Links: Karjalan Sissit, Cyclic Law

Ebola Disco / Rope Society * Flies For Friends (12″ 2015)

Tesco ‘went Bandcamp‘ so there is now a whole range of releases that you can buy cheaply to download or play through the Bandcamp app. But not only old releases are available, also new ones.

Ebola Disco and Rope Society are two projects I was curious about and now they released a split 12″ that I can conveniently buy the Bandcamp version of. Both projects are from Australia and Tesco describes them as “two of Australia’s hardest industrial acts”. Indeed, the music is not exactly popmusic, but none of the tracks is so unstructured and harsch that I do not like it.

Ebola Disco contributed one 17 minute track that starts as if the artist’s equipment malfunctions, goes over in dark death industrial with extremely distorted vocals and then continues with the more chaotic not-my-kind-of-noise. Fortunately the end is death industrial again so I can say that this track is quite alright.
Rope Society, then, made slow and minimalistic noise which halfway the first track has fits of power electronic mayhem. The other track is very noisy, but not too extreme and also pretty nice.

So indeed I quite enjoy this release. Now I have to think if I like it enough to get me a copy of the vinyl as well.

Links: Ebola Disco, Rope Society, Tesco

Distel * Nord (7″ 2015)

The newest Distel is fittingly released on the Swedish Beläten label like the previous “Ultra2012″ tape. This means that you do not have to buy the physical 7″, but you can buy a download from the Beläten Bandcamp. Beläten made a good-looking 7″ though, so when you are not in just for the music…

“Nord” contains three tracks which have Dutch/German (I am not sure about the title track, it could come from several languages, not including Dutch) and Japanese (? again not sure) titles. The sound is lighter than previous Distel releases, but still recognisable. Slow, danceable music, instrumental this time. The total running time is about 13 minutes.

Distel will play on the Wave Gotik Treffen in a few weeks. I guess I will see them with a somewhat larger audience than previously.

Links: Distel, Beläten

Resgestae ‎* État D’Urgence (cd 2015)

A release on a sublabel of the not too active Nuit et Brouillard label of Jérôme “Propergol” Nougaillon. The Cold Spring newsletter compares this release to the sound of the label owner and indeed the album contains dark, “filmographic” ambient noise. Sometimes the atmosphere comes close to Hermétique projects with many film samples and well placed drones. Other tracks are less strong and more ‘general dark ambient’. Overall the album is very enjoyable and since there have not been too many releases in this ‘style’, “État d’Urgence” is a welcome release.

Should you want to know, Resgestae is the continuation of the Greek project [distopia], but to me, this name does not ring a bell. There have been several releases under this name though.

Links: Resgestae, Force Majeure

Anenzephalia * Instrumentalities (Singles Collection 1991-2008) (cd 2014)

I guess the title is a pun to best-of popgroup-compilations. The current cd is not (I think) as much a collection of singles, but rather a rerelease of old and not-too-easy-to-find old material. This concerns the four tracks of the 1991 7″ “Lyse”, all four tracks of the 1998 12″ “New World Disorder”, all four tracks of the 2002 10″ “Die Sender Müssen Schweigen!” and both tracks of the 2008 7″ “Projected Void”.

The older tracks are clearly somewhat primitive and less worked-out than later material, but from the 12″ (which I bought at Staalplaat a long time ago when they still had a shop in Amsterdam) the sound of Anenzephalia becomes recognisable.

So if you are looking for older Anenzephalia material or you simply like to get the music from the vinyls on cd, here is your chance.

Links: Anenzephalia, Tesco

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