Beginning the track are bell chimes, slow snare beats and commanding spoken vocals which then breaks into a militaristic semi-composed neo-classical tune only to fall back to the beginning structure. My main love in Ordo Equilibrio has always been the use of acoustics to build atmosphere and this release further cements their brilliance in this style. Oh, and limited to copies of course. And where have they chosen to take the listener with this release?
Thirteen tracks are showcased here over a 50 minute span however this time all of the tracks feature lyrics and vocals. Opening with a foreboding horn section and looped laughter a marching snare drones on whilst the spoken monotone vocals of both Chelsea and Tomas present the lyrics in a cold and unfeeling manor. The acoustic side of Ordo is presented on track two with the looping acoustic riff and light keys filling out the sound. Track three expands on some of the ideas explored on the first album, with the cracking of a whip utilized to form part of the sample rhythm used.
The track from the CMI 50 compilation is also included, however has undergone a slight remix with an echo effect on the vocals being the most obvious part. In amongst the honing of their sounds some more folk elements have made an appearance in the form of folk marching drums and the use of a mouth harp on one track. The picture shows a naked female on all fours with a skull and red candle balanced on her back whilst Chelsea holding an teddy bear and Thomas holding a whip are kneeling behind her.
The front cover shows a picture of Chelsea dressed a school girl posing with dagger and lollipop with a black background, red roses and the Ordo logo filling out the visual.
Although the CD is not as progressive as I may have initially hoped this is a solid CD that remains focused throughout its entirety without loosing its direction. Another essential items for your CD collection. Sounding like a small piece of many groups it is blended together suitably to be able to retain its own character. Text and spoken word passages float somewhere in the middle of the mix being indecipherable amongst the infernal clatter.
The screeching vocals of Christina and Richard are used in number of tracks to add an unnerving effect. The final track hints again at the use of the drone ambient genre, which in itself is a relief after the ear damaged sustained from the preceding tracks. Throwing in other names such as Mental Destruction and Memorandum for further comparison this should be leading you in the right direction of what to expect.
This is music to be played loud for full harrowing effect. Here we go with a review of quite an obscure release from the Cold Meat camp. The record starts with a mid paced semi distorted machine rhythm that flows forward but does not really get anywhere over the distance covered. N style and sound. The next track is more cavernous than its predecessors that rounds out the first side with a short and slow piece of ambient industrial.
The second side starts with a lo-fi distant rumble with more mid range sound rising and falling in the mix over a lengthy track. The final track of the LP remains slow moving but has a more electronic feel with some laid back soothing yet harsh type noise if this was sped up and more forceful it could possibly pass for power electronics.
The tracks that make up this release are taken from various recording between but if these tracks have ever appeared elsewhere is anyone guess as there is little to no information included on the sleeve. First off I will question to if the wait for this disc was worth it and sadly I must admit the answer is no. However this is not to say this is at all a bad disc. My major complaint is of the eight tracks only three are new.
Further, as the disc is only 40 minutes in length it seems a little short for the time frame between discs. Well anyway on with a review of the music. I will admit that there has been a definite progression since the debut effort with the duo delving further into a mix of militaristic neoclassical orchestral music and dark industrial styles.
The first track is a low-key industrial piece with some composition included in the background. The disc takes a leap forward with track two into a more composed orchestral track with heavy slow marching drumming and a slow moving yet stirring melody. As track three arrives I will crown it as being the best track of the disc which was the same song from the CMI 50 comp.
As the samples are kept low in the mix and have a slight effect on them, half the fun is trying to make out exactly what is being said! Much of the charm of this song lies in the sustained notes and sounds in the background with the heavy rhythm drumming moving it forward at a fast pace. Again this song is an orchestral marching type song but has a more folkish element due to the accompanying flute tune.
The vocals in this song are less commanding, possibly being even a little condescending in style and tone. As can be seen the album is basically split between industrial type tracks and neoclassical orchestral tracks. As much as this sounds like a contradiction in sound the two styles work surprisingly well. Although far from being a classic release it is yet again a solid offering from the Cold Meat camp.
With little fanfare surrounding the release of this disc I was quite surprised when the promo disc arrived in the post. Before this time there was absolutely no rumors or mention of when to expect a new CD, but here it was! To say the music enclosed on the album is sparse is an understatement.
Peter has definitely mastered the art of subtly knowing that what is left out is often more important than what is left in. The backbone of this album is a flowing current of evolving sound akin to Lustmord that works on a multitude of levels. The sounds morph and evolve over the length of the disc with some more composed moments of keys, bells, rhythms and catholic type chanting sporadically placed throughout. This feel is also again reproduced towards the completion of the album.
What can one say about Sanctum? They are surely one of the most innovative bands within any genre of music at this point time as they cover so many styles and themes within their music. For me I do believe that there is a certain commercial potential for this group with their perfect mix of theatric music combined with enough industrial sensibilities and a heavy does of moving melodies.
Beginning with a classical type vibe, when the track hits its industrial phase the powerful female vocals soar over the driving and distorted samples. A dark twist is taken in the song when earth shatteringly heavy beats enter and eventually take over the mix along with harsh aggressive spoken vocals and more sweet female vocals. This is emotional industrial band music at its best. Not really worth a mention in comparison with what else is on offer here.
Might I add this is limited to so I suggest you act fast. Heavy rhythmic techno drumming moves many of tracks along at a blistering pace with some distorted guitar saxophone and keys added in certain sections. This review may not be typical of the rest of the albums presented here but I still think it is worthy of a listen for those how listen to a wide variety of styles of music.
Well, well. Since the departure of Kari Ruslatten after the bands debut CD this band have really changed direction and not for the worse I might add. Gone are the folk influence replaced by prog rock, blues and jazz influences. This is the bands third full length and the second with their new female vocalist Ann-Mari Edvadsen. Many of the songs have a floating, emotional feel to them and just meld one into the other like travelling in a dream.
On some tracks no vocals are present, with them simply acting as a musical bridge to float you to the next piece on offer. This makes the CD progress really well as a single piece of music rather than just a collection of tracks. The music has a top notch production and the studio has been used extensively to produce a rich an diverse album that is not just a taped live representation of the band.
It is the bands willingness to experiment with influences and styles which helps them remain fresh and undated to my ears. Firstly to anyone thinking of buying this, act quickly and get the double LP version as it has 10 bonus minutes of music not on the CD, not to mention it being limited and the layout being heaps better.
Most of the music on this release is not actually new to me as I was lucky enough to snare a copy of their two earlier tape releases limited to each which comprised most of the tracks herein. The first time I heard this I was a little taken aback by the upbeat folky elements as I was expected mostly dark music akin to what Mortiis is doing.
Over a number of listens the actual ingenuity is revealed. It is heavily based on synthesized percussion and melody but used in manor to express folkish beats, cymbals, horns, flutes, trumpets etc. All of the tracks are fairly short there are 30 tracks on the DLP but this means an ample amount of variety. Many different themes are explored through slower tracks but also many up tempo sections can be found. The use of background sound effects and vocal samples add to the atmosphere and help carry the feel of a concept and story being played out.
Back with their second full length CD I hear that there has also already been another tape album and third CD, with the fourth and fifth in production the highly productive …the Soil Bleeds Black continue where the last CD left off. There has been minimal if any change in style, sound and production from the last album, thus the above review is still typically applicable.
Bard Algol of Cernunnos Woods also pops up on one of the tracks with his distinctive vocalizations. Now for a couple of gripes. My main concern with this project is the lack of progression and sound between albums.
If it is simply a matter of churning out tracks with little thought to constantly progressing, they risk loosing the interest they have generated thus far. Ten tracks are on offer all being of a different nature and theme while still using the common threads of middle eastern sound and structure.
Trial of the Bow have managed to use the middle Eastern sounds to create dark brooding and emotional music without giving the feel of being in a Budist temple. A definite highpoint for the group is that no keyboards or electronic instruments are used. What is heard are the all real thing which gives a natural and authentic flavor that is so often lost with synthesized sounds.
Track 5 is a departure from the other songs as for me is one of the highlights although it has the least happening. Being extremely hypnotic the songs floats along by the sounds of bowed instruments without using an actual tune.
Track 8 uses a recorded to my ears which sounds more of a Baroque style while the percussion remains firmly rooted in the middle eastern style. In comparison to the MCD many more themes have been explored with this release, but at the same time it seems the flow of the album has been sacrificed for the stature of the individual tracks.
One theme will be experimented with but before you can get fully engrossed within it moves on the next track where another theme will be explored. In this respect repetition is avoided. This is a minor complaint on my part and by no means reflects on the quality of this release.
Obvious comparisons can to made to elements of Dead Can Dance but Trial of the Bow have definitely managed to carve themselves a niche within the world music realms. Not too bad. You can't really tell from the outside. Overall it's in decent shape. The cd looks mint. The record and sleeve are in really good shape. I doubt I ever played the record and the sleeve still has the shrink wrap on it.
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