Since my last "batch" post was decidedly rooted in black metal, I feel it's time to balance it with some fantastic death industrial, dark ambient, and generally horrific music with roots in the electronic rather than metal genres. I recently received a batch of CDs from Malignant Records and these three in particular stood out for me, although it'd be folly to dismiss the rest of this label's impressive catalog. Seriously, take a look--it's stunning. Honestly, there's a chance I might feature more Malignant releases soon, as these have pretty much been in constant rotation over here for the past few weeks.
The Vomit Arsonist- "An Occasion For Death" CD
Of the albums I received, The Vomit Arsonist was instantly a curiosity for me. While the name is slightly curious to me (does he set vomit on fire? is his vomit made of fire?), this album is as serious as it gets. The mechanical percussion sets a fantastic dirge pace for the depressing synth-laden drones, churning static, and violent yelling that make up the meat of this album. It's both somber and terrifying--perfect for dimly lit rooms and long nights of self-loathing. Suicide, or death as a whole, is an easy theme to prey upon for darker music, yet The Vomit Arsonist captures this heavy subject matter in a respectable and convincing light rather than simply throwing out something vaguely negative. There is a true sense of despair and ugliness here that really inspires my faith in death industrial and power electronics as truly expressive forms of music rather than simple ways of shocking people with machinery. The passionate violence here sticks with me long after it's finished, leaving a dull emptiness in its wake. Order a copy here.
Phelios- "Gates of Atlantis" CD
I will admit to already being quite fond of Phelios before receiving this CD, but this album further cements Phelios' role as a talented dark ambient visionary. As its name might suggest, this is a rather subterranean voyage, with rhythms that feel more organic and ancient than byproducts of modern electronic music. The majority of this album feels like a living, breathing thing, almost some ancient force lying dormant. Despite the relatively dark subject matter presented here, there is a euphoric sense of satisfaction to the smoky and ominous atmosphere here, perhaps as a celebration of fear and the unknown. The tension and foreboding on this album serve as a soundtrack to an inner film of both majesty and horror. Whether falling through endless depths of space or boring straight to the core of the earth, this is an ever-expanding experience that grows with each listen. I could put this one on and listen on repeat for days. "Gates of Atlantis" is easily one of my favorite electronic albums to come out this year and cannot be recommended highly enough. Grab a copy and you'll understand.
Aderlating- "Gospel of the Burning Idols" CD
As one of the many projects of Gnaw Their Tongues mastermind Mories, it's safe to say that Aderlating's music is and has always been on the scarier side of the musical spectrum, but "Gospel of the Burning Idols" has taken my understanding of Mories' dark ambitions and given it new depth. This is easily the most unsettling work I've heard from Aderlating, with occasional feedback bursts and startling live percussion illuminating an otherwise ashen landscape of bleak droning death industrial and adding to the anxiety-inducing nature of the music. It's hard to tell if the sparse vocals are whispered or shrieked and simply buried, but they're just one more piece of this horrifying slab of noise. To truly put the intensity of this album into words is a rather daunting challenge, as I have been fortunate enough in my life not to encounter death or torture, but this truly feels like the sounds of a panicked ending to one's life. Absolutely horrific, loosely structured, this album is worth the time for any who are brave enough to endure these challenges. Buy it here.