Sunday, 14 June 2020

Pastoral Abuse – Cold Hand of Power

Pastoral Abuse – Cold Hand of Power – Cassette/Download – 2020 – Invisible City Records – ICR67

        1.    Reborn.

        2.    Carcer City.

        3.    State of Execution.

        4.    Limp.

        5.    Death Domain.

Pastoral Abuse in a project by UK (Newcastle) based Thomas Tyler who also does Plastiglomerate.  I have previously reviewed Plastiglomerate’s – I Have Seen the Future and One Day We Will All Stop Dying 3”CDR on Inner Demons Records.

The opening track is a Crash like combination of gargled, struggling vocals and guitar like sound, for some reason it recalls the David Cronenberg film Crash. The vocal is tortured, in a unique way. Throbbing, pulsating electronics form Carcer City, distortion faulters as the electronics rev up. The tone of the noise changes periodically shifting the work to accelerate through different passages. Towards the end, the noise sounds like it is dying. This is an impressive display of Power Electronics, considered, planned, and well executed. State of Execution sounds enginelike in how the different components of sound individually work to create a whole. It has a higher dose of Harsh Noise than the other tracks and is more aggressive in its delivery. As the sounds increase their intensity, the speed of the track increases, so the attack intensifies.

Just as I thought things couldn’t intensify further Limp really delivers with a more digital, electronic assault of noise. A cut up vocal shouts within the cacophony, I am not sure if it is singing or wailing at times, the tension of this track is insane, it doesn’t stop rising. Death Domain is the longest track on the album. This rises to pure tension of sound, on par with that of Limp. Within Death Domain, I notice the sound seems to take on different dimensions as if to shift its range suddenly, it adds and drops sounds to do this continuously. The vocal remains buried inside the harshness of the track; this sounds more pained than before as if in a long breakdown. This makes the entire track a 20-minute decline of the self, it is frenzied yet mournful at the same time.

This is very clearly a top tier project; Cold Hand of Power is to me, a display of brilliance. The UK is currently experiencing several peaks of different forms of Power Electronics amongst newer artists, this, simultaneously reaches several of those peaks. This at times has the cold, clinical delivery of the Unrest era whilst alluding to the ‘breakdown of the self as theme’ Outsider Art approach and also the insanity of ‘Destroy All Artifacts’ acts. Someone recently told me the glory era of Power Electronics was in the early 2000s, judging by the utter strength of this material, clearly not.

Nevis Kretini 2020.

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