Lines In Wax

THIRTEEN YEARS OF UNWANTED OPINION

noise & power electronics

Jarboe – Mahakali (2008)

I first bought the Mahakali album in 2010 or 2011 and despite being massively into Swans and even some of the guest players here (Atilla for example), the album didn’t really resonate with me. I found it slow, frustrating and directionless. I’m not sure what has changed, but coming back to it thirteen years later and I am immediately blown away by this thing. I listened to the whole thing through for the first time in one sitting and I loved every second of it; in fact I didn’t want it to end. Mahakali is a dark record, and whilst it is – for the most part anyway – devoid of structured songs with involved lyrics, it is full of incredible passages of sinister atmosphere and creeping danger. It feels like a soundtrack to the end of the world, and Jarboe feels like the voice that mocks us for our poor life choices as we descend to what could be described as hell. Tribal drums and deep, droning electric guitar are used frequently, as are of course synthesisers and other unusual instruments. There are some songs where a bass guitar tuned to some unfathomable low rumble and it’s left to just ring out and create an earth shattering racket. Beautiful.

Hex Minora – Ai (1995)

Pretty incredible that this came out in 1995, when you think about it. Not that it was particularly far ahead of its time or anything like that, I’m just a simpleton and I’m easily amazed by the crushing certainty of the passing of time. Anyway, Ai is a busy slice of noise, with all sorts of punishing sounds going on (and some great cover photography to boot). If you like your noise more involved rather than ominous / atmospheric then this is well worth your time.

Urine Festival / Congenital Interior Defects – Split 7” (2010)

Urine Festival bring that bubbling vats of boiling piss vibe to the party that girls really like. If you wanna holler at a shawty and you want to show her that you’re freaky, play her this 7”. Guaranteed success! CIT bring that same piss vats vibe to extra-tone / splittercore drum speeds mixed with oddly coherent riffs. Legit though, when I first heard this 7” back in I wanna say 2010 (I bought it from I think Bones Brigade’s stall at Hellfest of all places) I just could not fucking understand what the actual fuck was going on. I was like “these fucking bands just sound like running water like what the fuck?” – good times!

Merzbow – Hybrid Noisebloom (1997)

In all seriousness, Hybrid Nosebloom is one of the more listenable slices of electronic tomfoolery from everyone’s favourite bird-loving noise maniac, Merzbow. To say that this is not as “harsh” as other releases of his is perhaps incorrect, as if you turn this thing up loud enough it’s gonna excoriate the inside of your skull and it’s gonna do a damn fine job at exactly just that LOL – but Hybrid Noisebloom is perhaps not as unforgiving as some of the other more well-known Merzbow albums (I’m looking at you, Pulse Demon), which makes it a perfect entry point into the man’s intimidating discography. It’s also pretty fucking relaxing, I’ll be honest with you.

V/A – Callow God – L.O.D. Compilation Tape (2007)

I’m a simple man: I see nylons on a harsh noise record, I press play. I’m not really sure why but the two things just seem to go hand-in-hand aesthetically. I’m not about to deep dive into the pleasing subconscious link between the two things, but I will say that this randomly-found compilation is a highly enjoyable listen, combing efforts from more well-known names of the scene with more obscure artists. At around 80 minutes in length it is a mammoth undertaking, but there is actually a surprising amount of variation for something with such a limited scope. I did not bother to match what I was listening to up with each artist, as this became increasingly difficult, but nothing stood out to me as particularily out of place or “bad” noise. It has an unique sonic atmosphere as a whole, and it is a noise release that I would recommend, even to those who are new to the world of noise and power electronics.

Internally Mutilated / Anal Birth / Biocyst / Vomitoma – Split Tape (2008)

Internally Mutilated play mama’s gooooood ol’ analogue gorenoise, drowned in a sea of tape hiss and bad samples from some Faces Of Death-sounding clips. The samples are like ligaments between muscle and bone (is that right? I’m not a medical expert lol) and make the bazillion songs on offer here flow together in one giant session, which is just lovely. Anal Birth being the same but more of the blown out speaker style variety, where all I can hear is one smeared blur of aural Holocaust. It sounds like drums and high speed wind, if wind was made of viscera and lethally sharp bits of bone. Biocyst, another project of gorenoise legend Marc Palmen, has a warmer sound here but a more relentless attack, especially regarding percussion, with the drum machine just fucking hammering you over the head. Cool vocals that sound like they might not have FX on them but I’m sure they do. Really cool session. Vomitoma play a particularly gooey, disgusting form of gorenoise. Sounds like chunks of shit flying around in a life-size blender or some such ridiculous comparison. Either way, the project’s session for this split is a great way to round out the near hour of aural carnage that I have just submitted myself to. Class.

The Death’s Head Quartet – The Death’s Head Quartet (2001)

The Death’s Head Quartet – The Death’s Head Quartet (2001)

You can take one look at the staffing for this record and know immediately what kind of aural carnage you can expect. That being said, DHQ does have some sense of experimental maturity to it that I would not expect from something involving Seth Putnam. Anyway, if low, rumbling, post-apocalyptic sounds are your thing, then check out this improvised record.

Vomir – Application à Aphistemi (2011)

Vomir – Application à Aphistemi (2011)

I decided to spice up my life and go for a bit of variety and therefore selected a Vomir live album instead of a studio album. Now, I don’t want to take the piss out of Vomir. It is the project that introduced me to the strange world of “HNW” after all. Vomir has had some real world application for me (it is perfect for meditation, for example), but I fear that despite all of this, with Application A Aphistemi being my third Vomir review, I can only sum this record up using the following sentence: Heh heh noise wall goes brrrrrrrrrrrr

Barn Owl – Lost In The Glare (2011)

Barn Owl – Lost In The Glare (2011)

I first heard Barn Owl when they were announced for (I think) Roadburn 2012. I’ve been in love with Lost In The Glare ever since. Combining smoky, laid back rock with soul-gazing atmospheric drones, the album is an instrumental journey that is at times low-key and at other times all-encompassing atmosphere. Comparisons to Earth are apt, but Barn Owl really are their own interesting beast and one that I would heavily recommend checking out.

Vond – Green Eyed Demon (1998)

Vond – Green Eyed Demon (1998)

What the actual fuck is this? Off the strength of basically every single Mortiis side project (including earlier Vond), I got myself a copy of this on cassette. It’s a recent re-issue, but still. I wish I hadn’t bothered. This is easily the shittiest thing I’ve come across that’s got Havard’s name on it. Totally fucking pointless sound collages and minimal synths. It sounds like there has been absolutely minimal effort put into making this. Whilst I appreciate that assembling such types of music was perhaps far more difficult in 1998 than it is now with an installation of Reaper and the infinite library of sound that is the internet, I can’t help but feel massively disappointed by this cassette. On top of that, the copy I have is excruciatingly quiet with a super high noise floor, which just adds insult to injury. This album sucks, and this pressing is fucking dogshit. Avoid.

DJ Speedsick – Nothing Lasts (2019)

DJ Speedsick – Nothing Lasts (2019)

Very nasty, which is just lovely. Definitely on the grimier end of industrial techno. Doesn’t hit as hard as say, gabber techno, but still pushes sound to a fairly dark and brutal level, I’m sure that much can be gleaned from the artwork and song titles before even pressing play. Speaking of which, that artwork is very cool. Is it Pinhead smoking some harsh substance out of a bottle bong? I’m not sure. Either way, it sets the tone perfectly.

The Body Lovers / The Body Haters – Compilation CD (1998/1999/2005)

The Body Lovers / The Body Haters – Compilation CD (1998/1999/2005)

I’ve had this CD for donkey’s years but broke it out recently after the annoucement of the track listing for the new 2022 Swans album, The Beggar. The CD version of this album contains the apparent third part of the Body Lovers’ trilogy (part 2 being the “Look At Me Go” suite on disc 2 of My Father… from 2010 – which I also need to revisit). I’ve never been that hot on The Body Haters disc, although there is nothing really at fault here, but it doesn’t jump out and grab me like The Body Lovers does. On the surface of it, The Body Lovers is more of the enormously moving and beautiful yet terrifying drones that we got a taste of on Swans’ Soundtracks For The Blind. As The Body Lovers doesn’t really break into “music” (except for a short refrain of the 1990s version of “I Crawled”), and it certainly doesn’t have any vocals or lyrics, the more visceral element of these droning beasts can be truly appreciated. As I’ve kind of already said, it is as touching as it is horrifying, and I would recommend this as listening to any Swans fan, particularily of the Soundtracks… era. Listening to this thing on full pelt again for the purposes of this review I am struck by how much of this sounds like a soundtrack to a film that never was. Anyone who follows Michael Gira will know of his deep love of film and literature, and it immediately struck me as odd that the man has never worked on some sort of soundtrack or score. Records like this or Soundtracks (or To Be Kind or Glowing Man haha) prove that he is more than capable to do so, so I have started to wonder why it hasn’t happened. Anyway – TLDR – if you’ve not heard this thing, please try it out. It will reward your attention enormously, like most Swans or Gira work.

Anal Bag – Deep (2012)

Anal Bag – Deep (2012)

Deep (I can’t help but think of The Boys’ character of the same name!) sounds more like a compilation than a unified full length, with a variety of sessions and sounds. Every time a new gorenoise blast comes in, it sounds like its a different recording from a different band or session – it’s all very disjointed. But this is gorenoise motherfuckers, so I doubt most if any people would be at all concerned with this. The 20-so minutes runtime of this skull excoriating gore headache feel like a thousand years of blasting gorenoise hell, like drowning in a vat of discarded intestines for all eternity, only to find out it was just for an afternoon. For true musical deviants only.

Lifelover – Promo 2005 (2005)

Lifelover – Promo 2005 (2005)

A bit of a non-starter, if I’m honest. The tracks take a very, very long time to get moving (I know this is the point), but when they do start doing something (the odd melodic riff echoing away in the background over the droning ambience), then it sounds pretty good. The only problem is that we have to listen to an absolute ton of go-nowhere ambience before reaching that point. I don’t dislike this because it is different from the rest of the discography, I dislike it because it’s not very good. It gets a 3 because it makes an awesome racket when it wants to, but the pauses in between are not worth it.

Anonymous Masturbaudioum – Nylon Obsession (2015)

Anonymous Masturbaudioum – Nylon Obsession (2015)

Enjoyable but somewhat predictable noise from this prolific project. I dig the aesthetic (this stuff just really works with noise music for some reason), but there’s not much in the way of variation here. And I don’t mean that in like, it’s just a slab of HNW – I mean that the record in general is a bit uninspiring for noise, unfortunately. There are loud bits, there are quiet bits, and there are some rumbly bits. Cool vibe, though.

Abruptum – Obscuritatem Advoco Amplectere Me (1993)

Abruptum – Obscuritatem Advoco Amplectere Me (1993)

This is probably the crappiest Abruptum record that I’ve come across thusfar. When dealing with a band whose entire shtick is being crappy (albeit in a dark and evil way lol), then that can be really disappointing. Like getting an Agathocles 7″ where the recording is just so fucking bad you wanna throw the thing against a wall. Anyway, this release offers nothing to me. There’s no atmosphere, no savagery or seemingly any point to this. This is like the black metal version of some crappy MySpace noisecore band. Usually, this works well for Abruptum, but not this time. Ironically, this was their “big” release on Deathlike Silence. If anything, Euronymous’ statement about this being the best aural of blackened evilness or whatever, just shows you how much of an idiot that guy was. This sucks ass.

Chthonic Force – Delirium Tremens: The Best Of Chthonic Force (2007)

Chthonic Force – Delirium Tremens: The Best Of Chthonic Force (2007)

I’ll be completely honest with you: I was totally drawn into this by the art alone. That kind of chosen artistic representation for your sound almost guarantees you a select number of sounds, and power electronics is high on that list. That is, of course, what we have here. The trouble is, is that this is one of the cringiest things I have ever heard. Let’s get it out of the way: there is nothing wrong with the music / noise here. It is atmospheric and eery, and uses the full soundstage to come at you from all angles. There is all sorts of artefacts and creepy additions coming in left and right field, which just makes you even more anxious as the main course of each piece just loops over and over in intensity. No, my problem is with the vocal contributions. There’s a variety of contributors here, and as I understand Delirium Tremens is a compilation of sorts, so some headway is given here for it to be a bit disjointed. But daaaamnnn, this shit is bad. We’re talking nervous teenagers reading their own erotic fan-fiction kinda bad, with unnecessary big words and over-emphasised narration that just cringes me out in the worst possible way. It’s like getting to the seventh circle of hell and finding that it consists entirely of bad slam poetry. Not even Boyd Rice (whatever you think of him) can really bring anything of value to this collection, instead offering cringe-inducing diatribes about BDSM and power play. It’s a no from me. Speaking of Delirium Tremens, I’m gonna need a glass of the beer of the same name to get over this shit.

Full Of Hell & Merzbow – Full Of Hell & Merzbow (2014)

Full Of Hell & Merzbow – Full Of Hell & Merzbow (2014)

I would be lying if I said that I got into this on the first listen. In fact, it has taken me several years to even consider writing about it. In that time I have done countless relistens, and not once has this record landed with me. I’m not even really sure what it is about it that doesn’t gel with me, but there you have it. A pointless review but one I’ve been wrestling with for years so I have to put it down and move on.

Death In June – All Pigs Must Die (2001)

Death In June – All Pigs Must Die (2001)

I remember years and years ago, when I was doing GCSE art. My teacher, someone who introduced me to all sorts of obscure shit like Unseen Terror for example, had this CD with him one day. He put it in front of me and said “what do you think that sounds like?”. I didn’t know what I was looking at back then, but the image of Douglas in that mask, holding a knife to the throat of a pig, well that stayed with me forever. “Bet you think it’s going to be some proper mad Norwegian stuff don’t you?” my teacher goaded me. The man had a full stereo system in the corner of his dilapidated classroom, and All Pigs Must Die went into the CD tray. I was 15 years old, and I was just migrating from being obsessed with black metal to being obsessed with grindcore, and I had no time for the twinkly acoustic tracks that came from the speakers.  It’s only by looking back now, do I realise how unusual it was for someone to be playing this album to a class full of teenagers as they painted awful compositions on cheap craft paper. I kinda respect him for showing us stuff like that, and Unseen Terror, and Napalm Death and so on.  Anyway, back to the present. All Pigs Must Die is, to me, as it seems to be with many others, just half an album. The first half, which comprises of gorgeous and bare acoustic compositions, with haunting additions of trumpets and flutes, is up there with some of the best material Douglas has ever done (the title track and “Tick Tock” in particular). I have no particular gripe with the lyrical content, as petty as airing disputes can be.  Unfortunately, this high quality does taper off towards the latter half, where the record descends into the world of noise and sound collages. This stuff was done much better on the albums that would come, such as Operation Hummingbird and Take Care And Control, where Douglas had more outside help in these fields. Its a shame that Boyd Rice appears on the album, but contributes no noise, only vocals.  If you just want to throw something on in the background this isn’t exactly awful, but the juxtaposition between the acoustic stuff and the noise stuff further just highlights how far, far better one type of songwriting is than the other. Sorry Douglas.

Ligature – Paradise (2016)

Ligature – Paradise (2016)

Very interesting harsh noise with plenty of atmospheric passages. Harrowing walls of distortion are permeated with – and often built up from – loops of peculiar noises; scrapes and clanking, metallic abrasions and explained emissions. This is the kind of thing I would like to see more of in noise. Ligature are not afraid to set a scene or built an atmosphere before getting to the heavy shit.

Werewolf Jerusalem / Culver – Split Cassette (2009)

Werewolf Jerusalem / Culver – Split Tape (2009)

Dense, scouring (what appears to be) analog noise from Werewolf Jerusalem, to whose credit, their 15 minutes sails by as if I am being carried along on a haze of audible wire. Culver is more restrained, offering a similar length piece but of the atmospheric, ambient variety. Dark, menacing ambience of course, but not the kind that will knock you out of your seat. More the kind of menancing ambience that would be the soundtrack to be walking around a dodgy part of town in the middle of the night looking for the address of someone who apparently can hook you up with some snuff porn.

The Locust – Well I’ll Be A Monkey’s Uncle (2000)

The Locust – Well I’ll Be A Monkey’s Uncle (2000)

This little remix EP proved a rather difficult task to hunt down online, so I bought a physical copy. Yes, this idiot is buying CDs in 2022! Roll up roll up! Anyways, this is a completists item most definitely, featuring six remixes – and the original – of the title track. And that’s it. The art is cool as fuck, and the remixes from Kid 606, I Am Spoonbender and Bastard Noise are worthy of note.

Agoraphobic Nosebleed / Delta 9 – ANbRX II (2011)

Agoraphobic Nosebleed / Delta 9 – ANbRX II (2011)

The first thing to notice about this second Rx remix offering from ANB is how insanely ferocious it is out of the gate. There was some harsh sounds on the first volume, but also a ton of moody offerings. Here, the entire ship is steered by none other than Delta 9, and only using (I believe) material from Altered States. So, taking both those things on board, it is hardly surprising that this thing rips your head off from the beginning and doesn’t let up until the end. Your tolerance of this record though is surely going to be dictated by your love (or lack thereof) for speedcore and gabber techno. It’s hardly straight up Dutch rave shit like from the hay days, but Delta 9 brings that energy to the already warp-speed of ANB’s world, which makes for an interesting listen, but one that is almost guaranteed to give you a headache. (Also, I’m sure this came out before 2011. At least, it was packed in with the Altered States repress before then, and maybe it came out on GK as a stand-alone in 2011.)

Death In June – Heilige! (2000)

Death In June – Heilige! (2000)

This is probably the best live album I’ve heard from this project so far. It seems to offer something interesting aside from the usual 1 man acoustic renditions of all the hits. The recently deceased Albin Julius is a part of the live show, providing a layer of electronic sounds. This live document was taken around the Operation Hummingbird era, so that makes sense. But yeah, a lot of classics from various eras of Di6’s career are re-imagined in the sound collage style of the Take Care And Control / Operation Hummingbird era. Which is cool. There’s a ton of good percussion here too, and the recording quality is great. The only thing that’s a bit shabby is the record sleeve, but even that works in its own kind of way.

Merzbow – Venereology (1994)

Merzbow – Venereology (1994)

Pulse Demon takes the crown – or should I say the spotlight – when it comes to Merzbow’s most famous release. As the man transitions from the worlds of analogue into digital noise, we saw a bit of a shift in the sounds in general. This mid-90s period was specifically harsh. Venereology, which quickly followed that very famous Pulse Demon album, seems to step up the harshness, if you’ll forgive me for my lack of inventive language. Everything seems so goddamn loud and unforgiving and I realise that may read as ridiculous considering who we are talking about here, but damn! “Ananga-Ranga” – that first track alone is 29 minutes of absolute aural hell, rendering what comes afterward almost pointless. Definitely a record for those who feel like they would like to clean out the inside of their skull with a brillo pad.

V/A – Sludgesicle Records – 10-Way Grind Split – Compilation Tape (2011)

V/A – Sludgesicle Records – 10-Way Grind Split – Compilation Tape (2011)

The Yacopsae stuff opening up this is clearly pushed to the front due to the underground weight that this act brings. However, it sounds like complete shit, if I can be so bold as to declare that in such an environment. LOL. But yeah, the Gdorks stuff that follows (RIP Katz) I’m pretty sure is the stuff from our failed split, which was also released on its own through Grindcore Karaoke. Here it is again, in typical Agathocles-baiting fashion. SMG sound like a horrid mush, before NxVx present their usual tone and I instantly recognise their input from Maria’s intense bass. Honestly, a lot of the other bands kinda just blur into one at this point, as much as I like bands like Fascist Insect. My man Paul in RxTx rounds this out with a few blasts of ridiculous noisecore for good measure. What more could you possibly want, eh?

Blood Axis – The Gospel Of Inhumanity (1995)

Blood Axis – The Gospel Of Inhumanity (1995)

I got into a bit of a shit-slinging incident with a bunch of randos on the internet when Mortiis of all people, posted a picture of himself on his Instagram with who I could only assume from comments was the dude from Blood Axis. The guy had a shaved head, a t-shirt sporting the crutch cross, boots and a belt sporting the reichsadler eagle. Now, wearing boots doesn’t make you a Neo Nazi, but they certainly complimented all that other shit. I got slammed into oblivion for calling out this guy’s dodgy state of dress, so I decided, let’s see what Blood Axis are all about then, seeing as I have clearly got it all wrong. To say that Blood Axis is not a fascist or white supremacist project would be a fucking lie. This proves, if anything, you can’t trust people in internet comments sections, even if they get more likes on their replies than you (lol). Not only are Blood Axis’ themes clumsily on the nose, but these guys are Americans, with no real weight or knowledge at the horrors of fascism and what it did to Europe. Therefore, The Gospel Of Humanity smacks of silly fucking idiots playing about with ancient symbolism and ideals that they know absolutely nothing about. Not that I’m an expert, but come on. To top that off, and to really sink the boot in, The Gospel Of Inhumanity has to be one of the goofiest, tone-deaf attempts at noise / industrial / martial / neo-folk / whatever that I have ever heard. Mixing classical music with Charlie Manson and bad black metal guitars does not make a song, I’m afraid. At least, not a listenable one. Leave that to Dragged Into Sunlight. Anyways, I’ve wasted enough time on this bullshit. Avoid.

Wolvserpent – Aporia:Kāla:Ananta (2016)

Wolvserpent – Aporia:Kāla:Ananta (2016)

I remember hearing this when it came out and struggling to really get my head around what they were trying to do. Personally, I’ve had a go at this several times over the year but have always failed to make it through to completion. Why am I still trying? Well, the concept of it is right up my street. Longform, intense songs covering a gamut of extreme metal genres, including other stuff like noise and atmospherics. What’s not to love? In the case of Aporia:Kāla:Ananta, which is 1 solid 40 minute track, it comes across like a much more serious and grown-up version of Abruptum. Less chaos, more menance.

Esion – For The Shit Hits The Fans (1.5″, Lathe) (2013)

Esion – For The Shit Hits The Fans (1.5″, Lathe) (2013)

Quite possibly the stupidest thing in my record collection, which is definitely the whole point of this thing. I remember, in the early 2010s, a race amongst the noisecore / experimental projects and labels to release the smallest record possible. Technically, RxTx’s Bleached Anus takes the win, being fully playable (if only for a few seconds) at 1.5″ in size. Esion’s 1.5″ however, is actually not playable at all, and is in fact, designed to destroy your needle. Gorgonized Dorks did something similar earlier on in their career, with a full sized 7″. I got this not long before Mike passed away, and that’s probably the only reason I’ve kept it (that and the fact that it probably have zero intrinsic value to anybody else). RIP Mike. Don’t do heroin, kids.

VRV – 2008 (2008)

VRV – 2008 (2008)

VRV are one of those projects that is fairly awful on record but absolutely amazing live. Unless you have a particular penchant for drum machine fuelled noisecore with no direction or purpose, then please do not let me stop you. This 2008 CDr (I believe, from the man himself when I bought the VRV split with Agathocles) contains 2 sessions of improv madness, followed by an unlistenable live final session.

Anal Cunt / Seven Minutes Of Nausea – Split 7″ (1989)

Anal Cunt / Seven Minutes Of Nausea – Split 7″ (1989)

I’ve probably heard this AxCx session a thousand times as I had a download pack of all the old AxCx shit (I think from Agz’ (is that name right?) Crustorrents blog). Its abrasive, nasty and an absolute mess. Everything you want then, from a noisecore band – one of the genre’s founders, no less. It really says something about 7MON, when back to back to classic AxCx, you can truly appreciate just how noisy and difficult they are to listen to. The 7MON side of this split makes the AxCx shit sound like fucking Rush. Absolute audible trash, in every sense of the word. Amazing.

Permanent Death / LSD Mossel / De Madeliefjes – Split Tape (2006)

Permanent Death / LSD Mossel / De Madeliefjes – Split Tape (2006)

Noise noise noise noise! All Dutch and Belgian bands here (or just Belgian maybe – I could be wrong). Permanent Death have always eluded me. I’ve always wanted to check them out because they have had both Tony from AGx (RIP) and Isaac from Fromtheashes and Leng T’che (and a bloody good bloke) on drums. Nonsensical noisecore is the order of the day here, as is much the case for LSD Mossel and De Madeliefjes. Great stuff.

Bastard Noise / L’idiot Du Village – Split 7″ (2003)

Bastard Noise / L’idiot Du Village – Split 7″ (2003)

I love Bastard Noise (or anything Eric Wood) but my experiences with his discography are few and far between. This is a fairly haunting session, where each band on the split sound fairly similar, but there’s a bit more dreadful atmosphere to the Bastard Noise stuff. L’Idiot Du Village (lol) is a bit more abrupt with the “song” lengths, but offers as equally pleasing a contribution of horrible noise. Tidy split!

The Locust / Man Is The Bastard Noise – Split 10″ (1996)

The Locust / Man Is The Bastard Noise – Split 10″ (1996)

I just love how confusing the Man Is The Bastard (Noise) AKA Charred Remains discography is. So… is this Man Is The Bastard? Or is it Bastard Noise? Discogs has Man Is The Bastard Noise looping back to Man Is The Bastard, but this record is clearly a noise release. Perhaps I’m just thinking too much into it. LOL. Either way, it is the crushing power electronics headfuck you can expect from these guys, with (assuming lol) Wood’s intense lyrical spewings. The Locust, or just Locust, on the other hand, sound a lot different to how they would turn out. The scatterbrain, melting electronics and jazzy grindcore that would come later is not quite fully formed yet. Instead, intense hardcore-tinged grind is here instead. The most startling difference for later-day fans such as myself, is the difference in vocal styles.

Tetrahydrocannibal – Tetrahydrocannibal (2013)

Tetrahydrocannibal – Tetrahydrocannibal (2013)

This was a project that I put together in late 2013. I’d decided that I wanted to do some gorenoise, but with the genre feeling rather saturated, I initially figured I’d fire up some “pornoise” shtick but eventually settled on using a bong for long, watery vocal effects. In fact, this was a ton easier than using actual pitch-shifted vocals. The bong is run through the same kind of effects that you would use on an actual voice. Tetrahydrocannibal was supposed to be a one and done, but this EP ended up being downloaded thousands of times from Jay Randall’s Grindcore Karaoke website. In light of this, I went forward with the plan of creating a full-length album, as well as releasing some splits. The splits never came out, but the full-length was released digitally by Legs Akimbo (an honour!) and physically by myself under Pointless Records. Neil from Legs told me that the .torrent of the THC full length (which you can read about here) was downloaded over 10,000 times. That doesn’t mean 10,000 copies were made exactly, in bittorrent language, but I was impressed nonetheless. Tetrahydrocannibal hit the wall when my other project Gorrendous Whoreplasmia more or less devolved into the same gorenoise nonsense, and the only difference between the two was that THC had bong noises where GxW had my actual voice. I was also heavily running out of steam in regards to the song content for THC. The world is a sick and disgusting place, and inspiration for GxW lasted a little longer, although now both projects are long dead and I sever all ties to them, disown them, in fact. GxW in particular. Anyway, that’s enough history lesson. Ciao for now.

Abruptum – Potestates Apocalypsis (2011)

Abruptum – Potestates Apocalypsis (2011)

Abruptum’s initial legacy ended in the mid 2000s, but after a few years hiatus, the member known as “Evil” returned without founding member “IT” (Information Tech? – these fuckin’ names, man) and released new material under the Abruptum name, even though, realistically, this should have been called something else entirely. However. This is fucking great. Potestates Apocalypsis (you know its grim and evil if the name is in fuckin’ Latin) is actually really, really good. Dark, dense, terrifying, atmospheric, blackened noise. Samples of warfare penetrate through the mud, but for the most part, this thick bog of echoic lava drowns you and consumes your soul. Comprising of four huge tracks, totally around 45 mins or so, this is a stunning work of atmospheric darkness. I highly recommend!

Video Nasty – Pizza Tits (2013)

Video Nasty – Pizza Tits (2013)

How is this 9 years old? The time, she flies! I used to trade a lot with the Fuck The Industry label from Japan, who at the time were putting out some of the highest quality home made releases I’d seen. It goes to show how much difference can be made by investing in a decent printer (lol) – all of FTI’s stuff looked the part, both on CDr and cassette. Video Nasty (not to be confused with UK death metal band Video Nasties) is as far as I can tell a solo noise project (2022 edit: its a two piece according to Discogs). Things here are a bit hectic and all over the place and the CDr doesn’t last very long but it was cool to dig this out to fill in a review I should have written nearly a decade ago. Better late that never, eh?

Final Exit / Napalmed – Split Tape (1996)

Final Exit / Napalmed – Split Tape (1996)

Wow. There’s something humbling about listening back to old noisecore stuff. There always seems to be an element of fun involved with just getting into a room, or switching on your board setup, and giving everyone’s ears hell. When I listen to raw rehearsal recordings, which is the case here with the Final Exit stuff, I feel like I’m given an unique window, a fly-on-the-wall look into a rehearsal room full of friends messing about and causing chaos. Maybe I project my own feelings of missing those kinds of days onto sessions like this. But I think anyone who’s ever been involved in noisecore in some way should understand what I’m trying to say. Napalmed round off this split with some good ol’ analogue noise terror. Bleeping, blooping, shrieking, crawling, buzzing noise. This split is well worth a listen if your into the noisy shit. Be warned the Final Exit stuff is mixed super low so when Napalmed comes in it blows your head off.

Kollaps – Sibling Lovers (2017)

Kollaps – Sibling Lovers (2017)

Strong, dense industrial combining the more harrowing elements of the genre with something altogether more classic (that being the pummelling heave-ho motion and delivery of early Swans). It uses such as a backbone to create seemingly lawless noise, which is often allowed to run rampant and unstructured with abandon, but here it is pinned down like a worm on a dissection plate and we are able to peer into it. You’ll surely remember what Nietzsche said about the abyss…

Abortion Breath – No C.H.U.D.s No Masters (2021)

Abortion Breath – No C.H.U.D.s No Masters (2021)

Well then. This is certainly on the fringes of the bizarre. Not your typical noisecore, the uhh, lovely-named Abortion Breath instead employs electronic elements in their noise. I knew this before hand, thanks to Choppin’ Headz zine, and I expected some sort of Gorgonized Dorks approach to pummelling your senses, but this is totally, completely different. Pulsing, headache inducing electronic beats are used as “songs”, often accompanied by short bursts of anguished vocal barks. File this under: outsider art.

Chihuahua – Violent Architecture (2021)

Chihuahua – Violent Architecture (2021)

Chiwawawawa are from Manchester and play an interesting blend of noisy rock and a slightly more melodic vein of indie music. Without wanting to be derivative or to put these guys in a box, Violent Architecture has an awful lot of Black Midi vibes, and the final track has parts that sound as if they are lifted directly out of Swans’ “Bring The Sun”, but this is so blatant it simply must be some sort of tribute. All in all, this is a great record, but even for all the hay-wire craziness, its not very original.

Redlight District Part II: The Red Edition – Stirner / Kaelteeinbruch – Split CDr (2012)

Redlight District Part II: The Red Edition – Stirner / Kaelteeinbruch – Split CDr (2012)

I reviewed parts 1 and 4 of this series back what must be, shit, 8 years ago now, and I figured I had lost parts 2 and 3 to time, but I recently managed to unearth them from a long-forgotten drawer somewhere. The crap you accumulate around you, eh? There’s far too many entries in this series to mention, but at least I can round off the ones that I physically own. Stirner is pretty straight forward as far as noise goes, at least on the track submitted here. It’s quite the brain massage though, so they get bonus points for the harsh noise meditation stupor they manage to invoke in me. As I was listening, I drove past a restaurant on the way to work that had apparently been ram-raided, and I took a moment to soak in the scene along with this noise and reflect on the carnage and the absurdity of life. Kaelteeinbruch’s offering however is naught but pure irritation, with flaccid distortion passages married with pointless pornography samples, all of which goes absolutely nowhere.

Swans – Real Love (1986)

Swans – Real Love (1986)

A seldom listened early Swans effort for me, which is a shame because there are some cracking renditions here. Granted, Real Love will almost always be overshadowed by Public Castration, but Real Love has, dare I say, slightly more audible and “less punishing” versions of a few of the same songs. Of course, this is 80s Swans we are talking about, and the music is inherently uncomfortable, but these are less tortured than Public Castration. Not to mention, the production / capture is much clearer too.

Siege Electronics – The Coming Age (2014)

Siege Electronics – The Coming Age (2014)

Another record that I have unceremoniously sat on for about 7 years. The Coming Age is a full length from one man noise maker Seige Electronics released on the excellent (and now possibly defunct) Vile Noise label from Scotland. Anyway, there’s some really cool textures here, and the whole thing sounds alive and analogue. There’s some horrible subject matter to confront and some intense vibes, but confrontation in this way is part of what power electronics is about, right?

Gulaggh – Vorkuta (2009)

Gulaggh – Vorkuta (2009)

I’m unsure why Stalaggh changed their name to Gulaggh. I should do a search and find out why, but I’m not really that interested. The main real difference is that the Gulaggh project, or Vorkuta at least, is far less focused on the noise aspect of the group’s sound, and more so on the screaming and wailing supposedly delivered by patients at a facility for mental health. Or whatever. We’ve all heard the story of Stalaggh, but it’s up to you whether you believe it or not. Anyway, this is harrowing stuff.

Varken – Sixth House Is Risen (2021)

Varken – Sixth House Is Risen (2021)

Sixth House Is Risen is a little experiment I made out of noise loops, synthesizer apps and a little box of fun called a Korg Monotron. Honestly, there’s hours of fun to be had with one of these, and Varken was a project born to release some of the noise I’ve made. It certainly helped whilst working from home in the original pandemic, where internet issues were rampant and I had a lot of downtime (and no baby boy!). Maybe I’ll do more Varken stuff some day. Hopefully I’ll put this on a limited run of cassettes sometime soon. It was nice to make noise again, at least.

The Gerogerigegege – パンクの鬼 (Tokyo Anal Dynamite) (1990)

The Gerogerigegege – パンクの鬼 (Tokyo Anal Dynamite) (1990)

Absolutely legendary but in reality, utter garbage noisecore from Japan’s infinitely-influential The Gerogerigegege. Tokyo Anal Dynamite is seemingly considered a stand-out release from this project (if there can be such a thing), but honestly, I’ve heard better. I suppose, realistically, in this kind of thing, the major difference between albums is the production used to record the carnage, rather than the “music” itself. There’s a fair chance I’m thinking way too much into things. This is absolute aural carnage.

Infanticidio – Lobotomía: El Mundo Es Tu Mente (2010)

Infanticidio – Lobotomía: El Mundo Es Tu Mente (2010)

I have no idea where I got this CD from, but the contact address is from South America. I can’t ever remember recieving any parcels from South America, so truly, fuck knows how I go this. The beauty of trading, eh. So, after fuck knows how many years in my possession, I finally span this CDr. Unfortunately, at 2:48, the thing obliterated itself inside my car stereo. How my car’s CD player is still working is anyone’s guess, but the foil has come off the CD surface lol. RIP.

Kots Donor / VRV – Split CDr (2009)

Kots Donor / VRV – Split CDr (2009)

The sampling on the Kots Donor tracks is pure freakery; I wish I knew what the guy was saying! There definitely seems to be a whole lot of the Mortician thing going on (long sample, tiny track) but all in all this is quite enjoyable for mindless gory noisecore. VRV is, well, true to his sound, for lack of a better way of phrasing it. I love this shit; it is horrible, harsh and repetitive to the point where you want to beer bong 36 bottles of Palm and throw feces at people. The biggest downside with VRV though, is once you’ve heard one release, you’ve kinda heard them all. But never mind; long live pointless noisecore!

RxAxPxE / Absurdgod – Split Tape (2008)

RxAxPxE / Absurdgod – Split Tape (2008)

RxAxPxEx did this absurdly noisy split with Absurd God. I got given this years ago, so passed on the love and gave it away to a colleague who was collecting cassettes in my previous job. It had a lovely yellow colour to the cassette. Nowadays I’m back to collecting cassettes, so it sucks I gave this away, but what can you do? This is blocked on the Discogs website, which made me worry if someone involved was related to something shady. However, RxAxPxE is not blocked, Absurdgod is not blocked, nor is the label involved here, Fuck You Tapes. So why is this banned from sale? Fukken mystery.

Vomir / White Widow – Split Tape (2021)

Vomir / White Widow – Split Tape (2021)

Picked one of these up on cassette recently as I couldn’t remember the last time I bought anything noise-related on tape. Plus, y’know, its always good to support new labels. This is wall noise at its finest, you really don’t need to look past Vomir when it comes to this subgenre (not to undersell everyone else involved – myself included) – but White Widow is worth a goose too. For the most abstract noise fans only. Bleak and depressing. Enjoy!

Last Days Of Humanity – Human Atrocity (1993)

Last Days Of Humanity – Human Atrocity (1993)

Human Atrocity is the bigger, better sounding brother to the band’s self titled release a year previous (its also the name of the 12″ record released not long back that includes both of these releases – confusing!). This is, unless I’m wrong, where the pitchshifter sound first was heard for LDOH? Which is cool to know, considering how much of a staple it would become. There still doesn’t seem to be any descernable riffs or patterns here, but its a well-recorded EP/demo (before the shifter vokills annihilate everything).

Faces Of Gore / Biocyst – Split CD (2007)

Faces Of Gore / Biocyst – Split CD (2007)

Faces Of Gore is an old Marc Palmen project (LDOH / Urine Festival). Here, reprinted as a split with Biocyst is the almost impossible to find demo entitled Bradyurethrorrhoea. Its not a far-cry from Urine Festival, or one of Bobby Maggard’s infinite gorenoise projects. It is sloppy, disgusting, and fantastic. Biocyst on the other hand, seem really familiar to me but I don’t think I’ve ever heard them before. Honestly, its more of the as what Faces Of Gore did, only even more lo fi and even less put together. TLDR: If you love gorenoise, get on this, otherwise stay far, far away. (July 2021 edit: Turns out Biocyst is a Marc Palmen project too. Before Bobby Maggard, there was Marc Palmen! Haha!)

Prostitutes Of The 19th Century – The Dawn Of Sleaze (2017)

Prostitutes Of The 19th Century – The Dawn Of Sleaze (2017)

I had to check this out simply because of the name attached to it. Grainy pictures of prostitutes (mangled or otherwise) is a solid trope of the noise or power electronics worlds, but what can I say, I’m a sucker for everything exploitation. Aurally, The Dawn Of Sleaze is rather disappointing in a bash-your-pretty-skull-in way, instead opting for the intestinal massaging of what are almost walls (but not quite). There is some variation, but for the most part the tracks sail by without too much offence. Not blown away, but I respect the effort and would check out more.

The Caretaker – Everywhere At The End Of Time – Stage 6 (2019)

The Caretaker – Everywhere At The End Of Time – Stage 6 (2019)

And so ends the journey into the world of dementia, as led by The Caretaker. Part 6 is utter chaos and confusion (for the most part, at least), a fitting end to this harrowing project. How accurate is this? Who knows, especially for a story told entirely through the medium of sound. Either way, one must heavily commend The Caretaker on his monumental effort, and of course, for the light and focus that he has put towards dementia. This has been a fantastic journey and one that I’ve been glad to go on. Thank you so much, Mr. Caretaker.

Merzbow – Pulse Demon (1996)

Merzbow – Pulse Demon (1996)

Ah, Pulse Demon. There aren’t many stand out individual noise records. Bands, sure, but individual records? There aren’t that many. Pulse Demon is probably one of the most instantly recognisable, but is it one of the better offerings from Merzbow? And why is it so popular? Well, for starters, its got everything from the Merzbow project. It captures – from the prime era – all of the project’s great attributes. It’s not as intensely incinerating as some of his works, but its a great starting point if nothing else.

Pharmakon – Abandon (2013)

Pharmakon – Abandon (2013)

Pharmakon is a lass that knows how to invoke a creepy atmosphere or six. Long before Lingua Ignota brought screaming into the mic under the mainstream light, Pharmakon was churning out gorgeously disgusting power electronics like it was nobody’s business. What I love the most about Pharmakon is that there is no need to wallow in the depths of endless distortion in order to create chaotic or unsettling soundscapes. Yes, these are often clear and all-encompassing tracks that hold back on the distortion front (compared to most noise) and still manage to pummel you in the face with all sorts of unsettling feelings. The “bonus track” here, a near-30-minute bad dream, is the icing on the cake.

The Rita – Gamzatti (2014)

The Rita – Gamzatti (2014)

I heard you like foot fetish oriented slabs of crushing noise, bro? No? Oh. Well, The Rita brought some anyway. I have a rip of this on my computer and I have absolutely zero idea where it came from haha – either way its a lovely harsh massage of the senses. Its impossible to keep abreast of The Rita but when our paths do cross I always enjoy the experience.

Lair Of The Black Blowfly / Pterophylla Camellifolia / Porpoise Disfigurement / Slithis’ Revenge / Undocumented Dweller / Proboscidean Rage ‎– Nature’s Revenge On Mankind 6 Way Split (2014)

Lair Of The Black Blowfly / Pterophylla Camellifolia / Porpoise Disfigurement / Slithis’ Revenge / Undocumented Dweller / Proboscidean Rage ‎– Nature’s Revenge On Mankind 6 Way Split (2014)

Don’t you just love it when something sounds exactly like how the name makes you think it will sound? As far as I’m aware, Lair Of The Black Blowfly is another Bobby Maggard gorenoise based project, of which I’m of the opinion that the world simply cannot have enough of. This is a clever and almost artistic approach to the sheer sheets of noise that we are used to, where themes (and sounds, in the form of swarming flies) of putrefaction are woven intrinsically into the music itself. Like, it’s total fucking noise, but it’s genius. Slithis Revenge is another Maggard project (again, to my knowledge. Actually are all these “bands” Maggard projects?), and is not a million miles away from the last. Undocumented Dweller offer some interesting noises. All in all, this is an ear-drum excoriating release and should appease most fans of the gore and noise genres.

Sunn O))) – 3: Flight Of The Behemoth (2002)

Sunn O))) – 3: Flight Of The Behemoth (2002)

Some lovely head-buzzing drones from the earlier portion of the Sunn O))) discography. “Mocking Solemnity” and “Death Becomes You” are excellent offerings, as is the uhhh, interesting take on Metallica’s “For Whom The Bell Tolls”, which is of course, completely and utterly unrecognisable. The biggest drawback with this album is the middle two collab tracks. I love Sunn O))), and I love Merzbow, but fuck if these works are not irritating as fuck. The second part, namely “O)))Bow 2” is probably a little more tolerable, but in general, these two tracks are a massive detraction from the excellence of the album.

Merzbow & Gavin Davis – Atsusaku (2016)

Merzbow & Gavin Davis – Atsusaku (2016)

I stumbled upon the second part of this collaboration at the beginning of the year so it was high time to go back and hear the genesis of it. Atsusaku is stacked, 2 huge back to back slabs of droning and sparkling industrial noise to cleanse not only your aural palette but also portions of your brain. Its impossible to tell who is doing what here, but this is a solid noise release if I’ve ever heard one, with a nice smash of power behind it. Heavy yet pensive.

Phyllomedusa / CxBxFxIxHxFxLxFxRxE – Split CD (2017)

Phyllomedusa / CxBxFxIxHxFxLxFxRxE – Split CD (2017)

I’ve been a fan of the hyperblasting froguencies of Phyllomedusa for some time now, so it was excellent news all around when I found out they would be doing a split with the lovely chaps in Catastrophic Blunt Force etc. etc. etc.  The Phyllo stuff is harsh and perfect for inner skull excoriating or some such horrendous practice. I may be biased in regards to my relationship with CBFx, but they offer something different to the gorenoise world, in that their records are recorded in a full blown studio (thanks to Dead Woman’s Ditch ax-man George and his Herepath studio). Honestly the difference is heavily welcomed, as the full total destruction can be more fully appreciated.

Theologian – The Chasms Of My Heart (2012)

Theologian – The Chasms Of My Heart (2012)

It’s nice to see something that bridges the gap between industrial, power electronics and harsh noise so perfectly. Often these terms are bandied about wantonly, with several terms being used to describe the same thing in a pedantic circle jerk of an already restrictive genre. Whilst I still don’t quite know what the fuck Witch House is supposed to be, I can literally feel the industrial vibe pouring out of this record, like steel girders shooting out of my computer screen and impaling my face, but in a good way. Yes, this is a noise record, but it earns the industrial or power electronics tags due to the sheer palpable feel of the tracks, like genuine mechanical beasts have come alive to create these horrendous cacophonies. Some of these “songs” even seem to hold their own sense of beauty, despite being mind-numbingly repetitive and gargantuan in scope. “My Body Is Made Of Ash…I Live As Ash” for example, is so anxious that it’s almost relaxing. There’s guitar in there somewhere I’m sure, as well as a clusterfuck of distorted voices. Some moments are repetitive to the point of an almost tribalistic percussion, which when made out of mashed up sound, is actually extremely impressive. Because The Chasms Of My Heart manages to be a enthralling noise masterpiece without having to resort to continuous maxed-out harshness, I’d wager this is a good a place as any to start with the noise genre, if you fancy giving it a go. To summarise: a very impressive and hypnotising record in a seriously over-saturated and often lazy genre of music.

Sutcliffe Jügend – Offal (2016)

Sutcliffe Jügend – Offal (2016)

Unsettling and disturbing as always, SJ embark on yet another plunge into the depths of humanity’s darkness. For all the storytelling that makes you feel like you want to take a shower, Offal is actually quite a pleasant listen. The noise on offer is clearly harrowing in its origin; it feels like there is a prolonged screaming suffering mangled through the tracks, but in such a way that it is delivered almost like a purifying fire, rather than a depthless mire of filth and depression. There’s a lot of disturbing noise and power electronics out there, but you can always count on Sutcliffe to bring the aural thwack that so heavily matters in circles such as these.

Japanese Torture Comedy Hour / Muzumuzu Suru – Split Tape (1995)

Japanese Torture Comedy Hour / Muzumuzu Suru – Split Tape (1995)

What is the perfect soundtrack for painting a skirting board I hear you all ask at once? Why of course, I answer, it is head-scraping harsh noise from Japanese Torture Comedy Hour and Muzumuzu Suru! I can’t claim to own this tape, but some kind soul has uploaded this to YouTube so I am finally able to enjoy this long-lost relic of power electronics. I can’t seem to find much info on Muzumuzu Suru, but the noise ebbs and flows and is interesting enough. JTCH is a shambling, blooping, bleeping mess, and all in all, I can’t really fault this at all. Some interesting textures and moods are presented.

Children / Ебануться Пиздец – Split Tape (2014)

Children / Ебануться Пиздец – Split Tape (2014)

Children, for my lack of any understanding of the noise scene, appears to be a project between Genetic Noose and a fellae named Gaeme Baillie. I had a chuckle to myself thinking the Children material here sounds a bit like Arab Strap recorded an album whilst in the middle of a severe bout of alcohol-fuelled manic depression. Either way, it’s miserable as sin and fucking angry as fuck. What more do you want from your power electronics? Ебануться Пиздец (I have no idea what that means) on the other hand are a bit more typical with the making-noise approach, if I can be so lazy in describing such. Nevertheless its great palette cleanser and some decent variation and interesting moments can be found amongst the hellish fuzz. I’ve had this cassette for fecking yonks (cheers Tom!), only now getting around to listening to it, after it being kept in a box for donkeys years. Split by Children/Ебануться Пиздец

Current 93 – Dogs Blood Rising (1984)

Current 93 – Dogs Blood Rising (1984)

Dogs Blood Rising was my first experience with the work of Current 93. The record threw me at first, as there are no songs per se, just large, meandering passages of sound collages. “Falling Back In Fields Of Rape” heavily scratched my de ja vu (turns out the Death In June song with the similar title / lyrical layout to this is a “cover” of this ginormous undertaking of a track). All in all, Dogs Blood Rising is disturbing, unsettling and weird. It comes across more like an art project than it does like music or even noise. I like what I hear though, and I will be exploring the project more in the future.

Ut Strepitus – Pedes Culti (2020)

Ut Strepitus – Pedes Culti (2020)

Ut Strepitus play slow, evolving soundscapes of noise and dense atmospheric ambience. The shtick is a heavily Latin-based BDSM theme, something of course which has been seen in noise and power electronics worlds before, but not so much maybe in the atmospheric, ambient or synthesiser worlds. The moods and tones shift from paranoia and dread, to small moments of wonder and contemplation, before oppressing drones of collapsing atmosphere suffocate you under its weight. There is a fetishistic element to the sound (and track titles) here, and that definitely comes through in the sound. Pedes Cultui by Ut Strepitus

Panties – Like A Lamb To The Slaughter (2014)

Panties – Like A Lamb To The Slaughter (2014)

Like A Lamb To The Slaughter was the short-lived original direction of my Panties project. It had such a simple name that I couldn’t get out of my head, I had to try and make some noise that was oppressive and fetishistic (is that a word?) to accompany and suit the name. I’m sure others who revel in the pits of noise music have these same itches right? Like, the name comes first, and then you’ve gotta start a project to match it!? Ha! There is nothing particularly redeeming about Like A Lamb To The Slaughter; it’s pretty glacial distortion and not much else. It has that oppressive feel, but I quickly changed tack with what I wanted to do with this project and moved on from this sound. For perverted noise freaks only. P.S. – no, I don’t know the girl LOL 

Fall Of Because – Life Is Easy (1999)

Fall Of Because – Life Is Easy (1999)

Before Godflesh, there was Fall Of Because, from what I can tell a fairly short lived project when members were also involved in Napalm Death or Head Of David. Featuring a trio of which would collaborate freely in the coming years, Fall Of Because plays bare bones industrial rock, where the incredibly influential noise from New York’s Swans had been trickled through Brum’s own industrial culture. It’s not quite Godflesh yet; think early Swans meets early Killing Joke at a Napalm Death / Joy Division double headline show (there’s plenty of death growls for those who fear the melodic). Also it’s not a million miles away from what Scorn would gestate with on Vae Solis before going off on their own dubby path. The best thing about Fall Of Because is hearing a bunch of proto-Godflesh tunes. Early versions of several tunes will be present here, and the eagle-eared Flesh fan would be in for a treat if this has not been heard before (I’m pretty certain Justin is drumming the beat to “Pulp” over one of the live tracks at the end!). The live recordings tacked onto the remastered version are a bit hit and miss but what you’ve got is a collection of pretty much every Fall Of Because recording (save for a remix of “Grind” by Broderick, which appears on a compilation somewhere). A good find. 

Prurient – Frozen Niagara Falls (2015)

Prurient – Frozen Niagara Falls (2015)

Prurient exists in his own class within the noise world. That sounds a bit up his arse, but the project toes a fine line between beauty and chaos, between the fragile and the concrete. This balance of opposites is as clear on Frozen Niagara Falls as it is in any of Prurient’s other work (that I’ve heard), and at an hour and a half in length, it is a mammoth double album journey through ice cold shards of noise, and gorgeous synthesizer passages.

Bow Gamelan Ensemble ‎– Great Noises That Fill The Air (1988)

Bow Gamelan Ensemble ‎– Great Noises That Fill The Air (1988)

I suppose this could be categorised as true industrial music? I am instantly reminded of the group called Stomp that we used to watch videos of as a kid. All sorts of machinery and noises are utilised to create bizarre mechanical soundscapes. Fireworks (I think? Ha!) and the scrape of metal on metal is the order of the day, resulting in the beauteous song of the furnace at work. Good stuff. 

Sutcliffe Jügend – Blue Rabbit (2012)

Sutcliffe Jügend – Blue Rabbit (2012)

Sometimes power electronics can be a little try hard,  especially when try to capture the impact of the older days.  Blue Rabbit however is genuinely terrifying; a brooding, disturbing entry from a great of the genre. All of the narratives are pretty macabre, but the title track itself is particularly harrowing. Musically, it is a little bit dialed back compared to some of their peers, instead of blasting your face with noise, the band let the creepy atmospheres unfold. Front and centre is the terrifying narratives. Definitely not for those of a weak disposition! 

Lingua Ignota – Caligula (2019)

Lingua Ignota – Caligula (2019)

There’s a lot of buzz and hype around this woman right now, so I was afraid of being disappointed. I can happily (is that the right word?) confirm however, that this is a dark and disturbing listen. I’m getting heavy Gnaw Their Tongues vibes off this, but the blend of dark atmospheric noise and classical music, along with multilayered vocals, it’s pretty unique. My one complaint is that the album is top heavy, and trails off towards the end. Hype train or no, this is a solid and raw entry into a genre that lurks mostly in the shadows, and I can only hope that the level of exposure this artist is getting for her intense performances (she was in Kerrang! magazine for fuck sake) brings a lot of new fans to the noise and power electronics underworlds. TLDR: imagine Jarboe and Pharmakon having a fight in a mine shaft.

Big Black – Atomizer (1986)

Big Black – Atomizer (1986)

I love Big Black, but for some reason I never have them in my rotation all that often. A colleague at my previous job swore down that Atomizer was their best album, and I had to admit that I had never heard it, so out I went and got stuck in. I just love those abrasive, hollow walls of guitar noise. It shouldn’t work but it does when you mount layer and layer and layer of that shit all on top of each other. The clanking bass and drum machine spine underneath it all speaks directly to my soul.