Dark Hemyspheres: November 2017

Oh, would you look at that – another great hardcore album put out by Southern Lord! This time it is the second Sect release No Cure For Death [7] that is following the same well-worn path; a bunch of guys already well established in the scene come together, record a blistering diatribe raging against the stupidity of society, religion and politics under the guidance of Kurt Ballou, and put it out under what is now probably the premiere label in the States for such venomous outcries. It works, though, of that there is no doubt. Dripping in disdain and hatred, this particular quintet do not let up as they deliver their messages in punishingly heavy and lightning quick bullets that slam into the listener with ferocious force. Now more than ever we need bands like this, so long may the pattern continue.

The Indian extreme scene has been bubbling away for some time without ever really making a lasting impact abroad; and even though Primal Incinerators Of Moral Matrix [5] is only their debut LP, Tetragrammacide are already coming across as one of the more accomplished acts to emerge. A furious blackened death metal hybrid, they sustain the monumental weight and momentum imbued into the apocalyptic odes (despite the utterly ridiculous names each track has). The three interludes that pepper the record are suitably unsettling, successfully breaking up the pulverising blastbeats without ruining the malignant air cast. I find it hard to believe that this power trio will catapult their homeland into the forefront of fans around the world, but they do represent a step in the right direction as a sign of long-awaited maturation.

In comparison to both their individual back catalogues and their previous collaborations, The Body & Full Of Hell have dropped something of a clanger with Ascending A Mountain Of Heavy Light [3]. In fact, you don't need to even put it up against that to realise that is not good; ponderous and monotonous, this comes across as if it were thrown together with little thought or reason. Of course it is very noisy, yet is so without being ever being heavy or challenging – beyond enduring the tedium of the ill-fitting and haphazard chunks of sound smashed into one another. Only in the closing two minutes of 'I Did Not Want To Love You So' do they finally bring things together to deliver something that is crushing, hypnotic and bewildering, but by then it is all far too late.

There is a slight nagging at the back of my mind that Interstellar Transmigration Part I: A Bridge To Further Realms [5], the first voyage for Flames Of Genesis, is just a touch too clichéd... A world of dark ambience with swirling synths and deep rumbling drones, there is precious little innovative composition; and yet, there is a lot to enjoy about this slowly shifting, decidedly bleak and hauntingly uneasy album. Designed as the soundtrack for drifting through the endless void, it is still a well-crafted interpretation to that heavily played film. Sink into the blackness and enjoy the ride far from planet Earth, at least for an hour.

It appears code have left their more experimental, (relatively) quieter prog adventure behind, as new EP Under The Subgleam [6] returns once more to the familiar modern black metal in which they first made a name for themselves. This might only be a small glimpse into the band's future (especially when a quarter of it is taken up with a tolling bell that serves as the intro), it is still one brimming with fire and fight. Recent escapades have left their mark too, as this is far from being a relentless bludgeoning devoid of subtlety; this still manages to exhibit a gleam of pallid light in the darkness, a glimmer that bodes well for whatever comes next.

The Dark Star for this month is an album that suddenly appeared with very little warning, and to much cheer upon its announcement. Godflesh have long been highly influential is this little corner of TDF Land, and Post Self [8] is everything a long-time fan could hope for. This is brutality distilled, going ever further with the "simple but effective" maxim; utilising a drum machine, a bass and one guitar with little (if any) layering, a more concise example of industrial music is hard to find. From the frenetic, driving riff of the title track to the throbbing, reverb-soaked atmospherics of 'Be God' to the dystopian wasteland created in 'The Infinite End', Godflesh are once again the hammer that delivers the crushing blow. Post Self might not be the constant noisy clamour that early works were, but there is definitely no loss of sheer mind-numbing heaviness that the duo are so adept at unleashing.

Sect - No Cure For Death (24th, Southern Lord)
Tetragrammacide - Primal Incinerators Of Moral Matrix (3rd, Iron Bonehead Productions)
The Body & Full Of Hell - Ascending A Mountain Of Heavy Light (17th, Thrill Jockey Records)
Flames Of Genesis - Interstellar Transmigration Part I: A Bridge To Further Realms (10th, Minotauro Records)
code - Under The Subgleam (3rd, Apocalyptic Witchcraft Recordings)
Godflesh - Post Self (17th, Avalanche Recordings)


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