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Reviews
Bastard Noise - Our Earth's Blood IV
Wednesday, July 01 2009 @ 03:00 AM PDT
Contributed by: Jack The Ripper

Our Earth\'s Blood IV

Artist: Bastard Noise United States

Title: Our Earth's Blood IV

Label: Cathartic Process United States

Genre: Power Electronics / Death industrial / Drone

Track Listing:

01 Earthmaster
02 A treatise of extinction
03 Christ would cry
04 T.O.T.F.K.A.C.
05 Venom bath
06 An argument
07 Pathogen
08 We the vermin
09 Sunless hell
10 Rushing into deceit
11 From the beasts of fraud
12 Global shop of horrors
13 Warnumb
14 Distant burial grounds
15 Satellite war
16 Inner hostage
17 War loving god
18 Skeletal human bacon hanger
19 Blue green sorrow
20 Killing friends
21 Denials delusions
22 A mother’s tears (Backwards species)
23 Anomic machination
24 G.R.N.

Many are called and few are chosen it does seem to be the consign whenever we speak about extreme music. There is currently a legion of bastard copies, nonsense noise outfits without a flash of intelligent or innovative ideas, a fair show of specimens which in the intent of becoming extreme contribute not a thing to the genre they born into, a marasmus of clichés at the very least. We find the same tactics and elements, the same textures and abrasiveness, the same vocalized corruptions, all coming together at once with each one of them; synthesized in a word. This is the way noise is bastardized, ultimately ridiculed and reduced to the place it was never destined to be; that is a recycling item, a repeatable stereotype, a product that can be produced in unlimited quantities for an elite eager to get something that represents their ineptitude to be something radical and dissimilar, a ideological failure. How far is this to be used as a commercial propaganda and to be played on commercials?

At times it seems like the difficulty of creating something new resides in the complexity to adjust the monolithic structure from Noise/ Power electronics to adequate to new commitments and conceptions. The secret it seems is to circumvent this towards the evolution or modernization of a concept and to integrate unorthodox perspectives in the tradition of its practice, something that most traditionalists in the genre (currently representing the most eloquent stagnation) will simply call heresy. The complexity of this genre lies in the mathematical subtlety from its components; all those demented analog sequencers and degenerated synths, vacuum tubes destined to channel their sonic malaise over the public are there definitively to stay. They do represent the paradigm and essence of the genre. But a different thing is to create new structures and to add new elements into the core of this essence. To create a hybrid in a way, to reform what is decidedly malformed. Bastard Noise has gotten to achieve this interest and with this they gained a notion not standardized, and definitively a form that escapes the ridicule alienation the genre has been falling into. Bastard Noise is above all a well chosen name, that suits with the logical distance from the genre itself, a personal vision not shared by anyone else, unbounded by conceptual definitions, respecting inclusiveness as a method to re-arrange the context of the traditional sonority from Noise.

Bastard noise is an ensemble more than a traditional band formation; a place where many nois-ists converge to collaborate in the creation of new outbursts of sonic violence adventure. The outfit has been evolving through times and the nuisances from entropy have improved their qualities for good as this has served well the possibility for bringing new ideas and creational improvement that has manifested through their now somehow vast discography. They started as a Noise Rock combo called “Man is the bastard” that integrated elements from Hardcore, Metal and Experimental noise abrasiveness in their creations. The combo was originally lead by Eric Wood and Joel Connell until 1997 when they separated ways and Wood went to dedicate entirely on Bastard Noise that was only a sideproject till that moment. Since then the band has exploited the concepts achieved from their previous experimental creations by enlarging variants and aggregating new concepts and ideas that has granted them a fame as purveyors noise in America and creators of the so called “Caveman electronics” due its recognizable original sonority and aesthetic given to vocals.

Do you want?... total power electronics? To unleash the beast?... for once more? Yeah, don’t misunderstand modernization or evolution with a feeble stance or a mere pose from its creators. Bastard noise is power, virulence made music, misanthropic inclinations set to come as an electro shock therapy through your ears. Distortion and pain with an original leaning that you will not find anywhere else on the scene these days. Probably their sonic construction is not merely decided on how to hurt or to shock you, more likely to morbidly amuse you with the practice of a non blunted aural tactic and to dose your pain addiction through multiple torturing sets. “Our earth’s blood IV” is an epic concept in all sense of the word, from the excellent art cover craftsmanship issued on a black on black print with reflective engravings, a skull cover icon logo that folds out in a luxurious five panel cross filled with lyrics and enigmatically morbid collages to the monstrously big collaboration set displayed, including Noise, Power electronic, Dark ambient and Doom bands from all over the word including such big names as: Azoikum, Sickness, Merzbow, Bizarre uproar, Goverment alpha, Volition, Clew of Theseus, Nyarlothotep, Peacemaker, Defektro along many more others to the monumentally complex task of bringing this all efforts together in a participative reunion to create one concept album that benefits the Bastard Noise tradition without converting it in a mere collective contributing with fragments and dissimilar concepts but literally conforming a master group with a based imaginary and conceptual direction, seemingly something like what Pigface did in a way, although with different logics and styles, summing countless hours of hard work to resume in just five hours of aural insanity.  All in all an epic task that demarks again the unbound regime settled by the band, concentrating different sonorities, generic styles and structural cadences to create one grandiloquent album as one sole entity. Is it pretentious? Not at all, Wooden has just created a super group and they establish together the limit for their reaches by themselves, something that clearly steps in the direction demarked by the participants, an amalgam of Power electronics, Old school experimental industrial, Dark ambient and metal influences.

But what makes Bastard Noise different? There are not subtle differences, the hybridized term for extreme electronica they all have created in here is all of the above and none of the above, and the listener cannot really discern a definitive name for the conglomerate of influences that has defined the form to “Our earth’s blood”. It is probably a matter of singular distinctions that the listener can capture during his aural expositions being able to identify their direction, but when the tracks focus their well concocted syncretisms its just a beautiful synthesis of cacophonous noise with a vast compendium of monstrous sonic textures, a voice lead by Woods that burns in hysterical screeches, distorted in ambivalent tones and frequencies, metal-esque low growls (traced from the Doom metal, Death metal, Black metal school) and beyond the grave gasps setting a whole vocal compendium. On the other hand some evident metal influences are present, occasional rabid hooks with a touch of Death metal, low paced Doom riffs and the quintessential vocals that generally address the metal association. Count also with the rather ubiquitous presence of industrial rhythms that amidst the violence core of the extreme electronic textures, the dark radiance from drone sequences and the clanging from metal structures gives this special flavour to this aural manifesto. Each CD is a world in its own, sometimes with more defined incidence from certain genres described before be it Drone Ambient or Death industrials, not to name Doom metal; some other times defining more the nebulous condition of the Power electronics considered by Bastard Noise.   
The monumental release comprehends five disks marked with a number of skull icons that represents its respective number. Each disk presents a moment and a glimpse into the chaostrophy from extreme electronics, Bastardized noise for everyone.

One skull:
This disk represents the more experimental from all five disks displaying a vast variety of electronic textures, layers and sequences that imprints a special sonority efficiently intriguing and weird that complements Bastard Noise particularity. A bit of everything is present, for example “Earthmaster” opens with extremely explosive power electronics assault constructed on high quality analog electronics but opening the way for some drone pulses sounding like cavernous mouths engulfing the high frequency bursts. The additional layers are often psychedelic waved transiting in a slow paced motion, somehow soothing the way that chaos manifests. This direction is evidently focused more on atmospheres and textures, even though they remain extreme by definition. “A treatise of extinction” anchors in the old school industrial instead, using live explosive drums with demonic exasperated shrieking vocals preserving a natural tone with some mild distortion. Strange industrial sequences are present reminding also of the colossal rhythms from the old school while retaining texture and detail as appreciated values. But the highlight comes when the vocals kick in, you’ll understand what “Caveman electronics” mean then!

“Christ will cry” Concentrates on drone usage with an ultra thick layer with demonic vocals imprinted and some additional undulating layers... think for an instance of a Diesel motor in the stratosphere and you’ll get the picture. With “T.O.T.F.K.A.C” you’ll find the archetypical high frequency from extreme electronics but with a tongue in cheek side, defining a brutal sonority nevertheless. Extreme frequencies cohabit with drones, morbidly intense synth lines that slips and fades into bubbling and screeching noises. This is a very nightmarish track. “Venom Bath” is plagued with sonar like pulsations over an atmosphere filled with screeching and obscure drone layers and commanded by guttural humungous doom vocals. This is one epic track with a very disturbing appeal, displaying the distinctive sludgy-doom metal character that Bastard Noise fascinates to instil in. The Crawling chaos voice added with a good quote of extreme textures around it, some metal incidences and cavernous drone atmospheres makes this an appealing aperture.

Two skulls:
Here things start to become rougher. Textures radicalize its frequencies and the drone contexts obscure even more redirecting the sound into Death industrials. Incidences from extreme feedback textures and drone remain as a fundamental background for the rhythmical nightmare that constitutes this disk. Growls and shrieks reminiscent from the Black metal-Death metal school appears, constituting the special addendum for “An argument”. The track strolls between atmospheres and high frequency screeching with no space to breathe. The atmospheres result Sickening, infected but displaying a Progressive sound, between brutal power electronics and drones/feedback rather than merely industrial repetitiveness. “Pathogen” shows a very interesting experimental track filled with low-fi analog distortions accompanied by a depressive thick riff discharge with scents from Godflesh and a heavy pounding industrial drumming. Track evolves and then fades in a doom/noise like rhythm with screeching crawlings. “Sunless hell” is a scorching vault of furious noise cracklings and acid burning vocals seconded by ultra aggressive textures and effectism. Track by track the high frequencies becomes rougher and cascades of noise affects the listener synapse nullifying his brain magnetic core. Ultra distorted psychopathic vocals appears on “Rushing into deceit” submitting an atmosphere of terror and bizarreness. Las two songs are a blistering low paced expansion of minimal noise and vocals more anchored in an ambience of decayed electronics. “From the beasts of fraud” is the sound of a jungle of electronic distortions aided by a psychedelic amalgam of beeps, scraps, screeches and decayed synths transforming in a industrial dungeon of crepitating miasmas, where distorted screams and twisted electronics create a terrifying vista of confinement and torture. This is an extremely interesting track, with original sonority and mind bugging cinematics, one of the best death industrial tracks I’ve experienced in years.


Three Skulls:
 “From the beasts of fraud” Opens with a twisted set of analog sequences connoting twisted retro sound reminiscent from satanic psychedelia in some sort of retentive aesthetic of the 60s, the synths,  high pitched and twisted, reminds the auras from Laveyian rituals surrounded with the aerial tempest from terrible drones, extreme bursting frequencies and crawling noises. A monologue is set in a growling leprechaun like style establishing a haunted atmosphere of doom. Motorized like drones whip in with the monumental sonority of a hell horn set for crossing the Hades. Distorted buzzes and high frequencies stab the listener as farewell in this claustrophobic piece of unrestrained horror. “Global shop of horrors” brings the cruelty disguised in harsh textures amidst machinery noise loops creating a vast atmosphere of desolation and despair. This is a stark vision of the marvellous paradises coming from the dark side of the human mind. In here more incidences from old school industrial paradigm are appreciable, slowly evolving into droned miasmas. This whole aural picture described before constitutes the fluent sequentiality that start with “Global shop of horrors”, continues with “Warnumb” and ends with “Distant burial grounds”. The evolutionary character imprinted on the tracks gives a linear transition that makes the listener to perceive them as just one track. “Satellite war” brings a black oiled juicy Doom drone and noise cradle boil that reminds a bit of the slow suffering brutality exposed by Skin chamber, a witch shrieking voice slipping through thick and obscured drones and painful distortions, really innovative mix and main character from Bastard noise with their metal infusions over extreme electronic textures. Feedback is an additional element that is twisted and distorted to decorate the noise sauce. At this point, it is rather clear that the extremity of sound is rising up and with each subsequent second deepens further down in the unlimited circles of hell. As a matter of fact this tormented walkway allows us to arrive to “Inner hostage” where extreme textures crammed with sickening pulsations reign supreme and commend accelerating transition until becomes a bleeping coma. This is a stampeding madness of abrasive noise with a progressive twitch that derives in even more radical textures by the second. The music that inhabits inside the TV from poltergeist.

Four Skulls:
“War loving god” pressures the wound even further. A wall of ferocious noise circuitry blasting  then passing into a experimental digression with organic percussion over small cans of dried metal and a splatter voice bringing an obsessive remark that reminds of “Dead by dawn” demonic calls. Low-fi noise textures aggregate in and creates a churning wall of virulent flames and a subhuman growling dominating the first plane of the sadistic aural scene. Power electronics tactics are perceived more decidedly here, defining the forthcoming finale of this mortal constraint. Extreme insufferable frequencies and noise blasts, disposed to eliminate the listener and everything around him. We are slowly introduced through the cacophonic river to “Skeletal human bacon hangers” that dissents with the previous track and jumps into death industrials again with a bubbling pulsation seemingly like melting iron in a cauldron with periodical transition from blasts of scorching noise, gnarled beeps and the monotonic monologue from the caveman voice, a distinctive detail from the Bastard noise brand. By now you may eventually smell the scent of fried meat, don’t worry; it’s just your brain. “Blue green sorrow” continues the tradition from death industrials. Unappeased and exhausted monotonic rhythms adhered to low-fi synths a la atrax morgue. Very mind engulfing and psychotically laxative. The strategy is apparently the use from a fixed base of magnetic drone where repetitive hammerings constructs the industrial percussive blasts. The track evolves and starts to fade in a comatose tone that serves as entrance for some asphyxiating drone layer, spaced but full of wrecking tension, this will be as well the entrance for “Killing friends” a track that will show Merzbow as counterpart. In contrast this is a very low paced drone section that evolves in noise cadences and Death industrial tumults. Amidst its rhythmic brutality, its a very mellow piece comparatively with the previous, where the texturized dormancy from the drones constituted by low-fi bass lines that savagely overshadows the harshness from the noises and squeezed voice that reminds of  Donald duck. This is a very well synchronized effect that in company of the rest of extreme sound elements converts the track in a whole aberration of aural extremism.

Five Skulls:
The final disk is perhaps the more jointed, decisively conforming  an atmospheric set with each track delivered, a morphing sequence of exhausted drone ramblings with occasional chaotic noise outbursts, a tense peace is conformed in here. First track “Denial delusions” is very low paced, a drone waves over and over in a decayed procession of low toned ramblings. Extreme noise sequences kick in accompanied by shrieking voice mumbling the vocals while some additional quasi tribal finger drum and analog distortions remains on the background as bleak effects. This is a very moody track, with Dark ambient character and decidedly rooted on drone speculations. The atmospheres created are lifeless and constricted by a moribund like feeling seemingly like the echo of a machine world now in ruins and infinite desolation. “A Mother's Tears (Backwards Species)” is a return to the special analog abuse consolidated by Bastard noise on a tapestry of extreme synth lines and a boiling turmoil of echoed sequences. Here the identity from Bastard noise is unparalleled, their texture and sonority has no similar counterpart in the scene and their unique appeal is manifested in this bleached vision of radical sonorities and textures. “Anomic machination” retakes with the collapsing drone line juxtaposed to innumerable electronic screeches and micro textures with additional layers occupying the remaining spaces. The farewell must not be a happy ending obviously and “G.R.N.” brings the painful finale dedicated to power electronics. Violent pulsations, lacerating frequencies, vigorous lines from the deranged synths, bleak beeps, piercing noise bursts will be a general aura for Bastard noise final apparition. This is by far the more atmospheric disk from the quintuple delivery. This is also the end of the trail. Like nightmares it leaves no trace of its apparition and like a silent murderer it leaves no clues on his whereabouts.

This box demonstrates the skill from Bastard noise to create different aural paradigms and the difficulty to classify them in a definitive genre or aural tradition. Their style is uncategorizable but certainly reunites the characteristics from the sinister side from electronica. If you’re a fan of extreme textures and want to experience something definitively bizarre, Bastard noise will sum up to you all these conditions. This is a division and an example on truly extreme electronics. Accede with caution, you will not come up the same after this experience.

     


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