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This is the debut release of S.O.C.C., as I believe, and it comes in a 100 copies edition CD-R, with explicit Nicole 12esque artwork. It is released on a collaborative effort between Destructive Industries and Dark Winter Moon Recordings, two relatively new labels with some interesting choices till the moment. This record is no exception. Utterly sick and depraved, this is a project to follow carefully from now on, if you´re into harsh, dynamic, noise and predatorial sex sickness.
Opening with the gentle yet ominous mesmeric filtered sweeps of 'Flood', a tabla loop combines with short percussive hits of noise and side-stick struck snare, while masterful minimalistic basslines then underpin the seductive ethereal vocals of Kris Force. Further random samples (of everything from horns to distorted percussion) leap out at the listener in confrontational stabbing regularity.
Right from the opening track, Regim 218, the listener is crushed under a solid wall of noise. Unrelenting power is the order of the day with this release. Even when exploring the ranges of dynamics and depths of layered sound the intensity never lets up. From growling drones to wailing high frequencies Katabol presents the perfect sonic avalanche to accompany the collapse of the world. It’s hard to isolate standout tracks on a CDR of this quality but opener Regim 218 and Ineffekt are definitely worthy of particular attention.
In the following track for me the listener crosses a new bridge, perhaps into the distant past of the location. Track 4, is entrancing. We have reached the summit and now sit amidst the full splendor of where we were searching for. The last track has bells and eerie sounds of the nigh bird. I imagine the explorer walking away from the site they discovered, staring back on last time to see an old bird peering back beckoning them, then they leave.
Kicking it off is an old school death / old school thrash hybrid of sorts from Long Branch, New Jersey. Judging from the videos of them found around the 'net, they're definitely one of those acts you have to see live to really fully grasp the music. The same can be said for most good thrash metal though, including the band on the reverse side of this split. The rhythms aren't chunky at all, but rather they gain their strength from uptempo punk beats and your generic thrash sound (granted that's said in the best way possible.) These two tracks alone are definitely a reason to purchase this 7”, and the Massacre cover has to make even ol' Rick Rozz grin.
A long hypnotic passage of thudding drums echoing over the steppes follows, before the tragically toned, droning guitars set in, again accompanied by the low drums and the lone wolf howls of the vocals. Slow-motion images of the archetypal hunt, of initiation and blood brotherhood, of secret warrior societies are evoked. A bygone dream is resurrected, to be harnessed or forever lost again. The whole suite is a masterpiece of pacing, using the power of repetition to build trance-posing atmospheres.
This was going to be an engaging ride. With the beginning of the first track the innovative and unconventional atmosphere of this attempt is at once brought forward, as atmospheric, almost dark ambient loops are blended in with tribal vocals, spoken word and very precise, slow drum programming. The same clear, calculated drum programming is in fact maintained throughout the whole album, setting the tone for further experimentation, and providing the sound with an intensely tribal rhythm
Many neofolk bands flirt with Teutonic and Norse mythology and heathen spirituality displaying runes and such but not many bands aside from Fire & Ice have attempted to specifically create heathen devotional music. Though many neofolk bands pour spirit and devotion into their music the result is so personal that when we the listeners hear the music the spiritual inspiration and references are often veiled. Even with the likes of Fire & Ice and the “Runa” album you must consciously decipher the veiled myth, rune wisdom, and devotion. Sagentoeter has abandoned all allusion in trade for a very direct compositional style that allows the band to create devotional songs as the title “Prayers To Othinn” implies.
Pianoforté features prominently throughout nearly all tracks, romantically rendered introspection maintaining tentative foothold to traditional instrumentation where the folk elements most often reveal themselves in the conspicuous soaring flute, a duet wistful and at times dolorous.