Sent to prison by a military court for a crime they didn’t commit,these men promptly escaped from a maximum security stockade to the Los Angeles underground.Today, still wanted by the government, they survive as soldiers of fortune. If you have a problem – If no one else can help – and if you can find them – maybe you- wait a minute! That’s not right……..what’s my name again?
(V.E.G.A.)- Alienforest (A Sick Mind’s Hologram) DMP0044
So, continuing the review portion of my blog we now come on to number 4 of the 20 cds I’m reviewing and the second (V.E.G.A.) cd in the pile.
Though this is the band’s second release on the Debemur Morti label, it is in fact the first official release of the band’s debut album (recorded between 1999-2001, with the exception of the title track that was recorded in ’08) and goes a long way in explaining why several of the tracks from ‘Cocaine’ appear on here and in slightly different forms.
Opening with some garbled alien/munchkin voices on the track ‘Wilkommen’ the cd then proceeds with ‘Cocaine’, which was the closing ‘hidden’ track on the previous album! As I stated in a previous review it’s very Front 242 meets Laibach meets eurodisco track that is very well done and with this and the following track ‘Kill Me’ (also from the previous album) it sets a tone for the whole album: a black metal song followed by a eurodisco-industrial dance music song followed by bm song followed by an instrumental (continue until cd ends)
The track ‘Fish, Smoke & Satan’ is one of the many highlights on this album. Starting off in a similar way to an Orbital number, the drunken/stoned vocals lead the listener into a strange place indeed and the more the track continues the stranger the place gets and the weirder the synths and the music becomes before the voice asks ‘is Satan there?’ and the music blends into another harsh black metal number ‘Absence’ after which the dark, brooding, ambient song ‘Oceanwoods’ takes up residence in your mind and proceeds to imprint dark, soothing images into your brain.
The final track, which is also the title track, is a very apt way to finish the album. A 10 minute walk through a soothing, electronic forest that you can almost feel cool breeze through the wires and cables that hang down from the canopies and almost get bitten by the electric bugs that are buzzing throughout the track.
This is another exceptionally strong album and I do love the mixing of the different genres and experimentation that (V.E.G.A.) do. A must for all those who posses an open mind and enjoy great music.
Helel- A Sigil Burnt Deep Into The Flesh DMP0046
There are many things you can learn from listening to metal: songs about war campaigns and genocide (Hail of Bullets and Slayer spring to mind), how many bands have been influenced by J.R.R.Tolkien: either in name (Amon Amarth, Gorgoroth, etc) or in song titles, album concepts and album covers (take a bow Summoning) and of course the numerous names for the Adversary of various religions: Beherit, Marduk, Samael, Azazel, Baphomet, and now there is another one to add: Helel (means Lucifer in Hebrew- which seems to have a shit tonne of words for Lucifer!)
Helel play industrial black metal and play it bloody well. This French trio does not let up for the 27 minutes that this album is on for. They sing and scream in French, English and cod-Latin all in the same song, the guitars pick away out your brain like scalpels and the drumming! Jeeezzz! If it’s not programmed drumming then I’ll have whatever the drummer’s having!
The band sounds as if they are huge fans of J.G.Thirwell (Clint Ruin/ Foetus/Wiseblood) and it shows in the sampling, the keyboard sound and the overall vibe of the songs especially the title track which recalls Wiseblood’s song ‘0-0 Where Evil Dwells’,(off ‘Dirtdish’ which is another great album by the way.)
One other favourite moment is during the song ‘This Is Hel(e)l’ which starts off all industrial and metal and then around the two-minute mark it then proceeds to become a ‘happy hardcore’ dance track, without the happy part, and if you tried to do the ‘big fish, little fish, cardboard box’ dance (look it up) then you’d end up with arms like Mr Tickle! Or Stretch Armstrong depending on your cultural reference.
Yet another very strong album from Debemur Morti and another one to return to again and again.