Enjoy. Perfect with themes of the day.
Tag Archives: Progressive Rock
I went to bed with this in my head, dreamt about the lyrics, and then woke up with it still playing in my head.
Vom Fetisch der Unbeirrtheit (to be known further as VFdU for the remainder of this review) are a German experimental band, focusing on exploration of the philosophical meaninglessness of life through their sounds. Their album, which will release on 9/23/13, is Vertilger. Billed as combining black metal, industrial noise and experimental sounds, VFdU do nothing to disappoint fans of that genre.
The album opens with “Lachenvieh” a seven and a half minute meander through an apiary found in an old warehouse. The singer’s voice lends itself to panic with his harsh, garbled vocals sounding a mixture of croakals and screams. To be frank, the song reminds of a djent approach to black metal that combines the electric/noise soundscape of Circle Meets the Square or Ministry. The metal sounds are stunningly raw in comparison to the noise components, but serve seem to serve to focus solely on the rhythmic side of the party rather than the melodic.
“Schabenbrut” expands on this approach, opening with possibly the most disconcerting mixture of electronic noise and pained howling I’ve ever heard in song. The 20 minute long production suffers no moments of emotional intensity, throwing any number of schizophrenic soundscapes at your ear in a never ending assault of the senses (how we got to an electronic component that included the stereotypical music of a French cafe, I’ll never know). Ultimately, the song’s core centers around its math rock structure; though when VFdU get to the point and hit you straight with their black metal that transitions into acoustic parts while still being accented with electronics, the song comes more clearly into view (see: 12 minutes through the end of the song).
“Multiformale Lieberdimension” is essentially an instrumental electronic piece topped with ominous spoken word that bleeds to “Kadavermeer” that opens with a gentle swath of warm guitar tones behind the singer’s wail, who evokes a German Nick Cave warble on the song. Unfortunately, this does not develop further as it breaks back into the band’s djent styled Black Metal, where the tremolos hum in the background before breaking back into a more logical extreme section. Ultimately, this composition is my favorite on the album, if only for its ambition. “Prothesensucht” continues the intensity of this approach, exploring the ideas further.
Fans of this genre should find some redeeming qualities here; however, the first half the album comes across to me as intensity porn. The heady ideas of exploring meaningless (while I did not read the lyrics) do not come across in song, rather they are hidden in a senseless dance of schizophrenic soundscapes. The last half of the album actually details a logical progression of soundscapes and twisting turns in the style of DEP or other math rock stylings. Fans of France’s The CNK and Ministry or even Grindcore or Noisecore music should find something here. Yet, I’m sitting here at the end of this review, wondering whether or not I listen to music or an amalgam of sounds. If that’s the point of their philosophical approach, then I guess it worked. This listener just didn’t get it.
Diurnal Aural Experiences: Bruce Soord with Jonas Renske’s “Frozen North” from Wisdom of Crowds (2013)
I’m loving these collaboration projects.
Enjoy; from the music review earlier today.
Compared to Bilateral, the artwork for this album is stunningly gray, but ultimately just as effective. I love the imagery of the human skull resting atop coal. It’s dark, foreboding, representative of death, but also glorifying of the simplest and most reasonable way to determine a human form. From a chemical perspective coal and diamonds are no different save for one very important thing: pressure.
That’s exactly what this album is about, varying degrees of pressure inserted to the soundscape. The production quality of the album is precisely done and well accomplished, each instrument never quite overwhelms another. The samples and loops are used well used on this album (see the end of “Foe”).
The music itself is a progressive metal masterpiece: a dark, forbidding pressure filled atmosphere that breaks free in catharsis by the end of the album (Black Metal), aggressive, thrashing sounds and aural assaults (Death Metal), but, in equal measure with the heaviness, quiet, introspective moments. There are no flaws in the transitions of song to song; a listener that wishes can take this album, sit down, and start without concern for the track list and let the music go for its nearly 55 minute run time. Each song feels as if a movement within the greater piece, which is, in my opinion, the highest point of songwriting and musical ability in the art music group.
The lead track bursts in as a discordant warning siren and ends in a cacophony of Einar Solberg’s vocals. The drum track on Foe is positively epic, feeling jazz inspired in parts. The entire compositions of “Chronic,” “Coal,” and “The Cloak” are beautiful songs, each taking you on a different journey but all sharing strongly the same theme. “The Valley” comes in shortly after “The Cloak’s” silence ends, using 8-bit sounds off the synth keys (first time I’ve heard that in a serious approach to metal). “Salt” starts generating the steam again, but remains low key into “Echo” which is a well composed piece ending with a very simple music behind Solberg’s flowing voice. “Contaminate Me” is fully the hardest hitter on the album; it grabs you by the ears, forcing you to listen. Its core component explodes in shortly after 15 seconds of silence to end “Echo.” It relies off a vocal driven interplay between Einar and Ihsahn in call and response.
Okay, the above three paragraphs have basically detailed all the things that I really enjoyed about this album. I cannot yet and have not yet find a place where the band took a misstep on their approach, in the composition or the performance of this album. It is very much a wonderful piece of music by a band that, after Bilateral‘s playfulness, seemed to want to find their own voice away from being Ihsahn’s backing band. The atmosphere of this album is stern and as cold as a coal mine (which is something they intended). However, this is first album from Leprous, after having purchased Tall Poppy Syndrome (which Coal is very definitely better than) and Bilateral and streamed Aeolia, that I did not once think, even with Ihsahn’s vocals included, about this being his backing band. All those thoughts and attempts on the previous albums come together on Coal and craft a wonderful album that deserves attention for its quality.