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Linus Raudsepp is a complicated fellow. In an interview with AlterPraxis he described the variety of mediums he works in: "I do performance shows on stage, installation art at galleries, clubs & huge parties, avantgarde horror fetish films on location, macabre ballet dance shows & noisy dirty romantic music. Writing poetry & painting with dark oils on big canvases are also devoted scars of my creative wounds." Aside from this I found some photographs by Linus on the web as well as an Italian site which described him as a 'fetish ballet performer.' Suffice to say, Linus comes recommended by the small yet highly particularistic coverage he has received.
Visually the recording is very entertaining. There's footage from a large amount of camera's, which causes lots of different angles. There's even a camera right above the drummer, filming the drummer. Interesting angle indeed. But that's not all. There's also various digitally editing in it, lots of visual effects to enhance to experience and to emphasize certain aspects of the songs. The shots from the (dancing) audience are very nice to see as well.
The sound quality is so excellent throughout that just watching people behind a mass of wires and equipment, talking drinking and smoking, becomes a cold experience after a while. Nice as it was to put faces to the names I personally believe that the lack of movement from the artists, unless you think walking around with a microphone in your hand constitutes action of any sort, coupled with the non existent audience reaction made the DVD appear as enjoyable as watching paint dry rather than a major happening…which with the artists involved it really was.
Accompanying the visceral damnation music is a montage of black and white grainy footage of everything from concentration camp victims from WW2, early WW1 battlefield scenes, factories on fire, corpses on the street, corpses dumped on piles and other atrocity related scenes. Interspersed with 'real' footage of actual events are stage managed hangings and burnings along with modern scenes of chains and deserted buildings.
For once the re-mixers have all done the work of HIV+ justice and actually adds another facet to Pedro’s work by redefining it but without totally losing the originals identity completely. The HIV+ tracks highlight the artists touch with Industrial rhythms and a variety of doom laden atmospherics and is worth the price of this CD & DVD combo alone.
If a recording deserves damning criticism then it receives it. By the same token he is never shy in throwing praise for a release that works for him. I thought I was fairly up on the ‘noise’ scene but after finding I had only 12 releases in my collection covered in the reviews I’m re-thinking that viewpoint. This man is a walking breathing all knowing ‘noise’ addict. What his wife feels about his passion isn’t recorded but she must be ‘the most understanding woman of all time’ to put up with some of the releases that blast out around their house.
Overall This Is My Life is enjoyable watching. It reflects both the dark humour and the serious critique of Western civilisation that makes up the Institution D.O.L. project. The DVD is also an interesting approach to the medium, which can often be used as nothing more as a record of live performances.
English Version No. 2 opens with an interview from one of the greatest masters of Pagan Metal to currently be involved with extreme music: Forefather. There are only 2 men in Forefather, and they are brothers. They also do not like to be referred to as black metal, which is hardly the case anyway. Their last album, "Ours is the Kingdom", was release in 2004 on Karmageddon Music and was received very acceptingly from the underground Pagan Metal community, having great reviews from 'zines worldwide published.
Blutvergießen is a very beautifully put together German Magazine specializing in Pagan and Folk Black Metal acts. The normal German versions of this magazine are thick with over 200 pages of fantastic quality material, not only from what the magazine itself is made of, but also with the articles and interviews that are present within. Blutvergießen seeks to give the world a look into the pagan and folk black metal underground, interviewing artists from all over the world whom fit within this specific field.
Con-Dom's performance is a little more than average. As far as music goes, Con-Dom (aka Mike Dando) knows what he's doing. He's been making this since 1983 and has had a pretty steady flow of quality music. His live performance here is a "live manifestation" of his 2001 release Colour Of A Man's Skin.