Artist: Hydra Head Nine
Label: Old Europa Cafe
Genre: Power Electronics / Harsh Noise
01 Inside Lola
02 Lord have Mercy
03 Grate Balls
04 Lola is a Grrrl
05 Gia Regency
06 Slow Emission
07 Texas Grave Digging (Returning Goat)
08 From Flesh to Steel
Henrik Nordvargr Björkk who stands firmly behind the many projects he has released since 1988, MZ. 412, Folkstorm , Toroidh and more, has released yet another project, Hydra head nine, as a trilogy through the italian label Old europa cafe, with KOD being its second part. I am usually a little suspicious about people who release more-than-you-can-handle albums with more-than-you-can-handle project names, especially when many of them are solo projects, but Nordvargr justifies his different projects and after giving several runs to KOD I am begining to understand where Hydra head nine is different from Nordvargr's other works and deserves its different title. The militant elements and the historic references and samples that are familiar with folkstorm (similiar to HH9 in its intensity and power), for instance, are gone, leaving behind them a violent, if rythmic at times, angry storm of power electronics.
The rythm is down and dirty, and an interesting aspect on this album when it is combined with the natural playground of mr nordvargr. A good example can be heard on "Lord have mercy" for instance,when low beating are giving a straight, in-your-ugly-face rythm, alongside cold and dirty atmosphere. Cold and dirty? That's what KOD is about. The distant and painful shredding heard on "grate balls" are another fine example. With minimal, almost impossible to detect sounds over the background. Nordvargr tends to hide these microscopic sounds behind the monolithic walls of hostile noise for you to detect. You can get a hint for that on "Lola is a grrrl" when these tiny voices begin before the madness take over, and this is one of the reasons I find HH9 very interesting, More than several other of it's founder's projects. KOD is claustrophobic and intense to the extreme, with "Slow emission" being the peak of its bleak and claustrophobic agenda, as its slow, drifting ambience slowly turns into a powerful and echoing despair.
KOD is a very rewarding album that, after a tormenting journey through seven interesting and harsh tracks, ends with "from flesh to steel", the most rythmic part of the album. Although my days of an enthusiastic rythmic industrial fan are more or less over, I find myself nodding my head to the dark rythm of this process. Perhaps because this is the part where I am allowed to feel pleasure while listening to HH9, Perhaps it's the simple relief. But I know that Nordvargr knows what he's doing and I know this is a very good summary to the whole album. I'm going to look for the other two parts of Hydra head nine.