Conceivably, I am not the best person to present this split release. I am largely unfamiliar with the two German projects who participated in the split — Scatmother and Chaos Cascade. I also have only a passing acquaintance with harsh power electronics, which is their principal stock in trade. These impediments hinder my ability to introduce our premiere stream of the split in a way that places it within the context of what these people have done before, or the field in general.
On the other hand, maybe there’s something to be said for barging into an unfamiliar din of iniquity (see what I did there?) and simply reacting to the experience. And, to be fair, it’s not as if this is my first encounter with abrasive and unsettling sounds (as most of you well know), even though my own tastes run more to the assaults of extreme metal rather than power electronics or harsh noise. Besides, many of you may be virgins in this territory yourselves (though unlikely virgins in any other way).
But whether it be for better or for worse, here we are, and here we go… with impressions and a full stream of Sacrificial Rites of Devotion, which has just been released by Dunkelheit Produktionen.
A recent interview of the person behind Scatmother provides a few insights, for those unfamiliar with the project. The sounds are fueled by themes “ranging from sexuality to spiritualism, the search for superiority and value in a worthless society and personal experiences (and problems)”. As for Scatmother’s five tracks on this particular split, they deal thematically “with war from a sexual, philosophical and metaphysical angle. The sacrifice of yourself – the Ego, if you will – the strife for superiority and domination, human life in its full fragility and worthlessness and the cruel, sadistic urge that plays a role in certain contexts of this theme”. Per a post on the Scatmother Facebook page, it is “highly inspired by (and dedicated to) Julius Evola, the Bhagavad Gita and Zen Teachings”.
Preludes have no place at the outset of Sacrificial Rites of Devotion. Scatmother‘s opener “Dauþuz” drops us unceremoniously into the midst of destruction, enveloped by the sounds of smashing and crashing against a backdrop of abyssal wobbling tones and acid static. Shrieking feedback, excruciating human shrieks, and tuned transmissions from hell soon follow, which in turn are drowned in a cacophony of assaulting electronics.
In the tracks that follow, the vocals remain persistently unhinged, enraged, agonized, and throat-lacerating, while the electronics are no less lunatic or violent. Crushing abrasion and wildly oscillating radiations envelop “Hyperborea Nasheed“. Screaming tonalities and the shivering vibrations of what surely must be a rock-crushing machine gone mad lead into a hurricane of terrifying vocals and gale-force electronic ruination.
There is a siren-like pulse in “War Brothel” that creates nerve-wracking tension, within a storm of rumbling depths and rhythmic bursts of corrosive sandblasting; by this point the creator’s larynx must be venting gouts of blood. Detectable patterns of sound course through “Sri Krishna – The Metaphysics Of Execution“, but only insofar as the pistons of surging engines might be detected within the fury, frenzy, and frightfulness of a militarized melee, all weapons firing at once, all souls screaming in extremity.
There is no time for any deep breaths, and absolutely no peace, as these tracks maul and mutilate the senses to harrowing and horrifying effect. There’s also no time for a breath before the baton is passed to Chaos Cascade.
Like Scatmother, Chaos Cascade is also a one-person harsh noise/power electronics based in Germany. The same organ that published the Scatmother interview I quoted above also interviewed the person behind Chaos Cascade, though it sheds little light on what led to the recordings on this split or the method of its creation. There is a reference, in the case of the artwork for the split (by Brianvdp) and perhaps to the content of the split as a whole, to “a perfect fusion of total devotion AND absolute ignorance/hate”.
There is a prelude of sorts at the beginning of the first Chaos Cascade track, “Death Drive” — a distorted sing-song voice — but the weird effects of that opening are soon destroyed by a typhoon of abrasion and bestial vocal wildness. Bursts of thunder detonate, and shrill emanations come out like spears from within the swarming morass of chaotic electronics. Repeating elements lend a sense of structure to the terrors to which we are subjected, but it is nevertheless disorienting in the extreme.
You know what an abattoir is, right? That’s the name of the follow-on track. There is a kind of rhythmic groove in the pulsations of the electronics here, and in the surfacing of the lunatic vocals, but what surrounds that sounds like gunshots, laser fire, burning flesh, and some giant drilling machine gouging through the earth’s crust.
If you can imagine what machine-gun fire might sound like if deployed through weaponry developed by alien militarists circling Andromeda, that will give you a clue to “Pile of Bones“, which also includes monstrous roaring tones, crazed screaming, and carpet-bombing electronics.
There is a siren-like quality to the raw, dopplering tones that cycle through the opening of “Duct Tape and Daggers” before it becomes a feeding frenzy of grotesque leviathans and demonic overlords, set within a maelstrom of brain-melting violence. Some almost reverent vocals surface briefly, accompanied by humongous grinding sounds, soon subsumed by a soundscape of the apocalypse.
As mentioned at the outset, Dunkelheit Produktionen is releasing Sacrificial Rites of Devotion, and it’s available now on CD, vinyl, and digital, with related apparel. Order here: