(Todd Manning brings us a fourth installment of his series on power electronics and harsh noise releases. The first three can be found here, here, and here.)
If you can survive the global autopsy that is the nightly news and feel like you’re not drowning in toxic-fecal sludge, you must not be paying attention. But then again, who doesn’t love the smell of the apocalypse in the morning? Once again, desperate times call for even more extreme music than usual, so let’s once again take a peek in the darkest corners of the underground to find the soundtrack for the end times.
First up, Death Industrial duo Steel Hook Prostheses are set to release their 9th(!!!) full-length Calm Morbidity via Malignant Records. With a sound heavily focused on punishing drone and searing swarms of static, Calm Morbidity possesses an almost hypnotic quality. Nevertheless, the atmosphere is more subterranean than ethereal; any transcendence is achieved through the aural evocation of pure body horror. There is a serial-killer-in-a-trance vibe going on here, and you’ll definitely need a shower after this one.
Also falling under the umbrella of Death Industrial, The Black Scorpio Underground are poised to release their third full-length Necrochasm through a partnership between Husk and Prison Tatt Records. The approach here is more dynamic, moving from punishing electronic swarms to menacing whispers at the drop of a dime, sometimes drowning in waves of amorphous chaos and other times taking a more rhythmic approach. There is definitely a Black Metal vibe here as well, which should come as no surprise, considering TBSU’s prior split with T.O.M.B. and endorsement from Erik Daniels of Watain.
Previously appearing in this column, Cadabra Records continue to release readings of classic works of weird fiction with suitable background darkness being provided by various artists. They have just released two more installments in this series, Edgar Allen Poe’s The Raven and H.P. Lovecraft’s Pickman’s Model.
The Raven is rather short but features cool, Angelo Badalamenti-inspired backing accompaniment by Maurizio Guarini of Goblin. The vibe is very Twin Peaks, and would fit nicely into a playlist of all the pieces in this series.
Pickman’s Model, on the other hand, feels like the penultimate installment in the series. Here, the background is pure Dark Ambient, created by none other than Theologian. Much longer than many of the other pieces in the series, Pickman’s Model takes its time building up tension before delivering the final horrifying conclusion.
This whole concept is just great, perfect for the Extreme Music fan who also loves classic Weird Fiction, which surely there are many.
Speaking of Theologian, the “Blackened Synth-Death” act has teamed up with Post-Rock experimentalists Lament Cityscape on a new collaborative release Soft Tissue. In some ways, this is one of the more traditional sounding releases to appear in this column, but don’t let that dissuade you. The electronics add much weight to the Post-Rock moments, and when the heavier material arrives, it’s simply devastating; think early Swans, Godflesh, or maybe Skin Chamber. The juxtapositions definitely bring to mind The Body and their current output, both solo and collaborative.
That’s it for now. I hope to do another one of these very soon, because there’s a lot to catch up on, but until then don’t let the soundtrack to your own apocalypse go wanting. And remember, someday all the humans will be gone and everything can go back to normal.