Various - Palaces of Darkness

Album: Palaces of Darkness Artist: Various Label: Black Mara Catalogue no: BM-22
Tracklist:      1.Sol Mortuus – Muv-Anki      2.Corona Barathri –The Kingdom of Nav      3.Nubiferous – Xvarenah      4.Mrako-Su – Autumn of Time      5.Ad Lucem Tenebratium –Spirit of Water

It is only through darkness that light is revealed, a fact that many are reluctant to acknowledge. Our whole existences are intertwined with dualities: light/dark, good/evil, Heaven/Hell, up/down, and light/heavy. Without the presence of these opposites, we wouldn’t be able to comprehend the world. But it’s not quite as clear cut as some would have you believe: the ancient Chinese realised that reality isn’t delineated strictly through black and white, but there is an interdependence and connection between them, and that the conversation flowing between one with the other is what constitutes the basis of the reality we live within – hence the philosophical conception of yin and yang.
Darkness, as a result, is often misconstrued…

ANTIchildLEAGUE,Sandblasting - The Grey Lady.

Antichildleague, SANDBLASTING – The Grey Lady. Not on Label. CD – 2019 – Limited to 30 copies.
The Grey Lady. Easy Lady. Lost on the Motorway. Excite Me.

This is a new, very limited (30) release CDR with Sandblasting providing the sounds and Antichildleague providing the vocals.
The Grey Lady was very different from what I was expecting, it starts off with warped vocals, but once the noises lick in, it is very rhythmic with massive beats and synthesizer drones very prevalent. The vocal is very ACL – warped and inhuman. The electronics and effects are strong, I feel I received this at the right time as I am listening to a lot of Beat driven noise such as Salford Electronics, Occulting Light, Soft Kill and Tetsuo at present.
All tracks are heavy on deep atmospherics, with the vocals whispered, screamed and shouted. At times I am reminded of the broodier, later work of Pain Teens. It seems to build images of cit…

Hiemal - Shoreline Inertia.

Album: Shoreline Inertia Artist: Hiemal Label: Self-released Catalogue no: N/A
Tracklist:      1.Shoreline Inertia

I have always been fascinated by edgelands and margins, those liminal transition zones and dimensions which are neither one nor the other, yet simultaneously both. As an example I can cite the very outer margins of a town or city, where built-up areas give way to the rural. Where is the exact point at which one becomes the other? Is there a thin sliver where it’s neither, or a combination of both? Seen in the abstract, even the present moment we live in is a kind of liminality, as it exists briefly between the past and the future. Hiemal’s latest release is focused on another such zone, the thin stretch that divides the land from the sea. It has its parallel perhaps in the diffuse zone between atmosphere and the vacuum of outer space, at least in one obvious respect; one side is essential to our well-being, the other side completely inimical to it without artificial aids. Howev…

Depletion - Final Exit.

Depletion – Final ExitInvisible City Records – 2018 – Cassette/Download.
Final Exit. Intravenous. Broken Doll. Brain Scan. Suspended by Black Shadows.

Depletion is the project of Martyn James Reid, who is also one half of Vampyres with Lee Stokoe. Depletion have actively been releasing since around 2013, there have been around 14 releases in this time.
The album begins with dark droning atmospheres, that have a stark and deceptively repetitive nature, there are shifts in tone that are subtle. This has a psychedelic effect that resonates through the work; as if from an old TV programme. This can have a more abrasive effect in parts to add more aggression to the work. There are some bleeping noises that add rhythmic noise to the main warbling sounds. I find the album does differ in each track, becoming aggressive through there being less shift in the repetitive sounds with more harsher tones added too.
Later tracks like Broken Doll use a more fractured atmosphere with background drones doin…

Various - The Black Orb.

Album: The Black Orb Artist: Various Label: Distorted Void Catalogue no: [DV-9]
Tracklist:      1.Infinexhuman featuring Scythralisa – Burial Rhythm      2.ABBILDUNG – Dwellers of Dark Earths      3.Alphaxone – Silent Highlands      4.Uzbazur – The Witches Ritual in the Wood      5.RNGMNN – Euforia      6.Adonai Atrophia – Yliaster      7.Endless Voice of Entropy – Path into the Nothing      8.Jeton Hoxha – Bowed Metal      9.Seetyca – Limbs Bent and then Broken      10.Chris Russell – Coronium Ore

I find that compilations can be troublesome creatures, mainly for the fact that most times it’s a bit of a lottery. On the other hand, of course, they can also be the gateway to a wonderful assortment of unknown treasures, introducing you to projects you might never have encountered otherwise. Another drawback for the reviewer is that only the highlights are the focus of the review, unintentionally giving out the impression that the other acts aren’t up to scratch.
Infinexhuma’s contribution, assisted by S…

Various Artists - Mysterium Lunae: A Requiem for the Invasion of the Moon

Album: Mysterium Lunae: A Requiem for the Invasion of the Moon Artist: Various Label: Aurora Borealis Catalogue no: ABX079
Tracklist:      1.Hawthonn – The Curse (PYAX JWA)      2.Burial Hex – O’ Crescent Shedding Queen!      3.Sutekh Hexem – Læk¬      4.Anji Cheung & English Heretic – Sancta      5.Moon Mourning Earth – Devour Us      6.Tenhornedbeast – How the Stars Wept for the Rape of the Moon

This concept album (for such it is) takes as its premise a new perspective on the first Moon landing fifty years ago – calling it an ‘invasion’ which, technically and stretching definitions a bit here, is correct in a way. After all, we were never invited to go to the Moon and, for the sake of argument let’s stretch things a little bit further still, do we really even ‘own’ the Earth-orbiting satellite in the first place? I’m playing around with semantics here, of course – it’s a fun little exercise in looking at a situation from a standpoint we might not have thought about before.
Anyway, I’m not h…

The Mannequin Factory.

The Mannequin Factory – ST – CD and Digital – Sonic Entrails Records – 2019 -
     ·Mad as Hell 19      ·Feast.      ·I Found God.      ·Sentient.      ·Abdicate.      ·Black Stork.      ·The Wheel That Never Stops Turning.      ·Prisms and Palettes.      ·Carbon Jackboot.      ·Subliminal Sledgehammer.      ·Agents of Change.

The Mannequin Factory is made of musician John E. Smoke and Punk Poet Adam Probert. This is their debut album as Manequin Factory, Adam Probert has done several solo albums for the label and John E. Smoke has recorded for years as part of Flesh-Eating Foundation.
I’m immediately reminded of the story interludes on the Small Faces ‘Ogden Nut Gone Flake’ album, but with impressive social commentary added, this tends to be about the Austerity Cuts, Unemployment, Violence, Wars and the effects of Capitalism around the world. The warped electronics at an odd atmosphere to the already odd, expressive voice of Adam Probert, they provide a bleak l…

Satøri - Dispøssessiøn

Album: Dispøssessiøn Artist: Satøri Label: COD noizes Catalogue no: SHUM18 Tracklist:
     1.Dead Cities      2.Succour      3.A Clean Death      4.Trogo      5.Flesh Ritual      6.Hatekeeper      7.Devils Cease      8.Esorcismo      9.Wytched     10.Slaughter of the Innocents     11.The Immolation Chamber     12.Out your Hands in the Fire
Satori have been around a long time, since 1984 in fact, and in the intervening time there have been a few line-up changes: Dave Kirby and Robert Maycock; Dave Kirby and Justin Mitchell; Justin Mitchell and Neil Chaney (Pessary); and now it’s come full circle with Dave Kirby assuming the mantle once again. Having seen the Mitchell/Chaney incarnation live a couple of times, it comes as a pleasant surprise to hear that this new iteration has evolved into a harsher, doomier, and more feral beast than previously, one that has some serious bite (let me add though that the previous Satori was one of my favourite dark ambient outfits – this is neither better nor worse, it’…

Bagman - Men Who Solicit Sex.

Bagman – Men Who Solicit Sex – Black Psychosis – Cassette – 2019 – Black16.
A1. Men Who Solicit Sex Part I A2. Men Who Solicit Sex Part II. B1. Will. B2. Men Who Solicit Sex Part III. B3. Men Who Solicit Sex Part IV.

I sometimes think I am a bit Power Electronics lightweight; I feel tend to favour stuff from the personal, ambiguous perspective – I support, but I don’t fully engage. Then I remember that I listen to Bagman, I have loads of Bagman and Stark, I buy whatever he releases. This makes me realise I am a heavyweight listener as Bagman is the acid test, a Northern England one-man Hell. If you were playing Power Electronics Top Trumps, the Bagman card would annihilate most of the other cards of artists then and now.
Men Who Solicit Sex begins with samples of news reports of women smuggled into the country and then forced to work as sex workers. News samples, recordings of sex workers introduce every track. All Harsh Noise Hell breaks out, this is a horrible eruption that is as raw as i…