Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Ghoul Detail – Medicated : Noise/power noise/industrial/dark ambient

Reviewed by Gird_09

I admit both the name of the band and the cover of the album puts me off a great deal. It makes me think of an Insane Clown Posse clone, and considering how fucking awful the original is, well... Luckily my prejudice is just that, and nothing more. The music is a blend of noise, industrial and drone with deep and dark roots.

The machine like sonic landscapes on the album are easily hypnotic, and I find my thoughts drifting. In many ways the music reminds me of projects like Imminent (Imminent Starvation) and Converter but with a softer sensibility. That is the range of sounds is much the same, but the content and presentation is quite different, and much more ambient.

The result is a piece of atmospheric rust, and I like that. The crystal clear production values makes the music effective in conveying a feeling of scattered debris and battered junk, everything illuminated by an unhealthy glow. The music is certainly something you should listen to in a dark room, and alone. It's not an album you pop in the player during a date.

There are drawbacks too. As with many other albums in this landscape it's too bloody long. It gets boring after about fifty minutes, and very few albums have much staying power beyond that point. Music of this sort is solitary mood music, and staying focussed for that long is hard – unless you're distracted by other activities and just not doing the music proper justice.

My favorite track on the album is Pathfinder. It stands out against the backdrop and works really well as a slightly up tempo track. The beats are also a great contrast to the bubbly electronic bog of moist darkness in the track. A very good track, on a very good album.

2010, Dark Meadow Recordings, CD album,

1 Intro [1:18]
2 Black spoon rising [6:57]
3 Psittacosis [6:23]
4 Valium Sanctuary [8:37]
5 Pathfinder [8:21]
6 Scabies [7:37]
7 City of the Living Dead [8:54]
8 Interferon [7:08]
9 Sceptic Spectre [8:18]
10 Medicate my way to enlightenment [7:28]

Monday, May 9, 2011

Odpörovät 1968 : Elend – Doom metal

Reviewed by Gird_09

Evidently inspired by the edgier bits of bands like My Dying Bride Elend starts off surprisingly soft and subtle. Once the music gets going however any lingering hopes of a sleeping pillow rapidly dissipate.

Elends cover is toned down and hauntingly dark, with touches of gothic imagery as well as more overt metal elements. It's good craftsmanship and conveys the message of the music deftly. Luckily it doesn't end up anywhere near the facile campyness of Cradle of Filth - and it would be an oversight to call this music "gothic metal". (Frankly, the cover alone should perhaps be enough to buy the album. It's really well done.)

The vocals are fitting, and reminds me a bit of Funeral, something I appreciate as it gives Odpörovät 1968 their own musical space to develop in. The guitars are edgy and distorted to the point where the result is a great deal heavier than most doom I have heard. Granted, that's not very much compared to the true followers of the genre, but enough that I know that much of it can get quite mushy. Still, the soft synth piano that provides melody in the background for certain parts leaves a lot to be desired. I know I have high demands, but this particular piano sounds even more artificial than usual. The least you should do is throw a bit of reverb in the mix to soften the sound.

The music is mostly deftly executed and consistent, but at times the music sounds a bit thrown together. This is especially true for Abkehr, which sounds a bit randomly arranged at times. Considering the length of the album it wouldn't be a bad idea to cut a little closer to the bone. Contrast this with its follow up Mother of Negation, and you know what I mean.

All in all it's a good album, and it deserves more attention. Odpörovät is a project I'd like to follow for the next years, as I think it will develop into something really exciting. It has direction, intention and edge – and I appreciate that. It still lacks that little something to push it that last inch, but it's getting there. Elend is a bleak slab of sound, and I'm glad I got to review it.

Germany, 2010, Ominous Silence, CD album (limited to 250 copies)

1 Mournau [14:13]
2 Nothing but Death Remains [6:52]
3 Kremation [4:57]
4 Abkehr [6:45]
5 Mother of Negation [5:53]
6 Zeitgeist Nokturne [5:49]
7 Mortal [7:30]
8 The Lowest Day [15:59]