Review: Rope Sect – Personae Ingratae / Proselytes (CD)

mde

Caligari Records have been a favorite of mine since some time back. Always on top with new releases, always on point with the darker themed musical styles (mainly metal) – everything is allowed if it is contained within these limits – and they don’t do a half-arsed job at it. The proprietor of the label was kind enough to send a physical edition of the release about to be reviewed, and we’re glad to finally be able to listen through and critique an item from their discography.

mde

Unfortunately to our own dismay, the case was slightly damaged with what seems to be small cuts on the front of it. The CD itself was not damaged but the plastic attachment which keeps the CD in place was in half, thus there was no use for it at all – thanks to our wonderful shipping company PostNord – who seems to take much joy in making sure that shipments arrive as damaged as possible, unless packed very tight and secure.

 

The aesthetic aspect of Personae Ingratae / Proselytes

Aesthetically the whole package, despite it being a standard jewelcase, is really magnificent to look at. The booklet comes with lyrics for each song, and at the end of it (pictured) there’s a very well-drawn image of a man which could resemble any statue from ancient Greece, holding a rope which yields a perfect representation of the band’s name. Just beside the man is a tightly knit rope, where the words “Venerate the rope! Fear The Rope!” is written beneath it. Makes for a very sinister impression.

The decorative‘ aspect of this release is what makes it, though the fonts are somewhat off-putting except on the front of the CD where it almost seems to be sketched out rather then digitally put there – even though, in the end, part of that dimension as well. You know very well what kind of genre it ought to be by looking at it, even though you might not be able to place the sub-genres, which is a slightly ambiguous touch that makes it even better. Shows how much can be done aesthetically without the release having to be more then a jewelcase.

ropesectdigitalcover

The musical aspect of Personae Ingratae / Proselytes

Rope Sect as a band is a trio, consisting of ‘Inmesher‘ (guitars, drums & vocals), ‘Harbinger‘ (bass) and ‘Gaarentwynder‘ (additional guitars). The release is a compilation, a combination of their first EP released by Caligari Records on cassette, “Personae Ingratae“, and their double-single “Proselytes” released on vinyl by Iron Bonehead Productions. We want to make it perfectly clear that we haven’t heard these releases in their physical format, therefore we can’t do any comparisons and if we had we wouldn’t any way because it would only make sense as that instead.

Fallen Nation” starts off with an ominously sounding German quotation in sound sampled from somewhere, heck knows where. Then what could be described as some crossover between metal and punk, but without the -core in it. Somehow it reminds us of a better, less outdrawn version, maybe heavier in certain aspects – later Katatonia. If they had mingled with Jawbreaker, but without the cheesy lyrics. It is hard-hitting, straight up emotional and there is where the first comparison is drawn, out of a sense of nostalgia and not so much musically – even though some of it is similar, in terms of melody.

It feels weird that a first track on a release can be so addicting. A perfect cocktail of nihilistic tendencies together with a dim, bright light of hope in the end of the tunnel. The drums are muddy, distorted and together with the guitar work and baseline create a malformed, rowdy atmosphere – which is then smacked together with clean vocals. The vocalist is really talented, he pulls off such an emotional but assertive tone in the way he articulates each word, lyrically.

The second song “Tarantist” ups the instruments a notch in terms of how the solos, the riffs and the overall rhythm is concerned. Sure, much of it is similar with the first song, but it has a more deathrock-ish vibe over the atmosphere, perfect for a December’s evening like this. We find ourselves digging more to this song, even though the first one had its perfectly laden harmonics. The psychedelic edge in some of the riffs are absolutely glorious in all their simplicity – they manage to bridge to the chorus in a down-tempo – to maniacal uptempo after a few seconds, so effortlessly.

Even though it makes no sense in text at all, the most powerful lyrical content in this song is when the singer calmly but ominously proclaims: “We’re gonna die – why?“, it hits so close to home that it almost frightens. It is so existential in a beautiful way – yet it gives you an unobjectionable push into the grim realities of life, which isn’t as romantically charged as the notion of living forever either as a memory in the past, or resurrected in the future.

Pretty Life” heads in a different, more downtempo way that has a lot in common with atmospheric black metal, instead of the punk (and sub-genres of it) overtones that dominate on this record so far. Too bad that it is so repetitive and doesn’t really cast a good light on the vocalist as it has done with the uptempo, more aggressive songs before this one. Sure, some moments are great as when the more ‘acoustically’-oriented passages that add an upswing to an otherwise not that interesting song.

Some facets of it can be intriguing to listen to but it is not what we’re expecting after we’ve listened to Rope Sect, we’re sorry to say that. If anything, the abrupt ending is in a class of itself, since this song doesn’t need to be more outdrawn and killed right away. Don’t get it wrong, it is not a bad song per se, but it is an OK song in comparison with the other two which set the standard very high.

King Of The Night” remind us, in a good way, what the commercially successful band Ghost would’ve been if they hadn’t sold out from the get go. Rope Sect is like the better version of what the ideal would’ve been with that band, even though it was dead from the get go, really. A really trashing song from the get go which includes the better parts of good death metal, with the melodically oriented stance that actually, by now, defines their music for us.

Not to mention the classic rock’n’roll vibe coming out of the second chorus, the solos from the guitars are fantastic. They also slap the darker atmosphere on it so that it doesn’t flip out and go into full deranged death’n’roll. In this song comes another memorable line, which also touches emotionally through how the singer delivers it vocally – “We found the gallows sling in the light / A lost reversal of fortune“. What a great line lyrically. It gives off a very subliminal message as it goes through your brain, an ambiguity not easily taken away.

On this compilation, “Recess” feels like the dividing line between “Personae Ingratae” and “Proselytes“, even though it originally wasn’t. A good piece of death-doom metal but with much better melodies then there generally is in that crossover genre. They are really accentuated and heightened in this short song. An uproar of the most desperate anguish, but without the cheesiness that would be attached to it otherwise with bad lyrics, so it is actually good that they went full instrumental for once. Though it wouldn’t of been any trouble for the singer to lay his unique touch on it as well, had it not been.

Ochlesis” is the longest track on the release, and feels like a combination of all the good in the first few songs and the otherworldly nature of their atmosphere. Simple but ingenious riffs lay the foundation of the choruses, as one is transported between all possible sub-genres and back again. From metal to post-punk, doom metal to gothic rock. There’s also an downtempo part that is fanatically great – they leave room to each instrument, and let the different textures blend together through silence and noise – completing the sound in a vividly imaginable perfect scenario.

Though the first part shines the brightest, as that is their stronger side, it is accompanied by an even heavier laden barrage of the finest metal you could imagine. Nothing is compromised when they get to do their own thing, whatever that could be called in a summary. Though, as written in the first paragraphs about this song, it is clear that it is a combination of all the best elements so far from this record.

Death Is Your Lover” is by far the roughest sounding track so far, having more dark riffs then ever before. The title alone suggests what you’re about to hear when turning it on. The drumming also goes into different riffs, as it almost wants to go into full blast-beat as soon as possible, but is hindered by the fact that it is as gloomy as doom metal can be when it is at its best – in combination with the psychedelic, slow and hard-hitting aspects of that certain genre.

Little bits of pieces in this song are good, but together it doesn’t stand out that much in comparison with other songs. There are different ambiance that could’ve been adjusted a bit more, and the singing gets a bit dull after parts of it, but without a doubt the lyrical content of this song is one of the best. Especially the repetitiveness of it all, which lulls one into uncertainty.

Rattenkönig” is so pleasurable to listen to. It holds up great in all aspects and is except the first two songs, “Fallen Nation” and “Tarantist“, which in itself makes it a great song. The lyrics flow so well, as if the vocalist have lived what is described himself. As if it is recited by a great orator. There’s really nothing more to be said then that it gives off a spiritual feeling when listening to it. Such a great, uncompromising and skilfully made song that it isn’t even funny. Nothing could be done better in it that would make it even more outstanding.

BothQuietus” and “Proselytes” is if you had inverted the record itself, not that they are identical to the first two songs musically, it is just that they are as great in their own respects. Here, they’ve added a bit more that gives the atmosphere that knife-sharp edge and volatility which some of the other tracks miss out on. The first song mentioned actually contain some blast-beats to our joy, and it is the better one of the two, but both are god-damn impeccable.

Such a great ending to an otherwise more than good compilation of two releases. We could not recommend it more, actually. It is just a shame that it hasn’t gotten more publicity, because this sure is a hidden gem in the Caligari Records discography – despite it being the next-newest release there. If anything, you should really get this CD because nothing beats having the physical item. You can get it digitally and on CD from Caligari Records, stream the release down below to make up your own mind.

 

Advertisements

Exclusive Swedish Premiere: S U R V I V E – RR7349

survive

You might know them as soundtrack connoseurs “Stranger Things“, the second series – coming in 2017 (spoiler alert), or somewhere else. S U R V I V E is as exquisite, experimental and as concentrated as synth-pop can get. Do not forget that they have other songs (and albums), such as “Relays” which is our favorite here at Repartiseraren. They are well-deserved to be crowned the kings, of making one of the first really exciting soundtracks for a proper horror series, in a very long time.

In conjunction with Relapse Records (EU) – I’m honored to have been received the exclusive premiere of the whole of Sweden, for S U R V I V E, specifically their forthcoming album RR7349 that is due to be released on vinyl and CD. There is also a t-shirt available for you hardcore fans out there, which is gorgeous, to say the least.

What is “RR7349” and how does it hold up to their prior releases?

The hype surrounding Stranger Things season number one and season number two notwithstanding – RR7349 – it’s masterpiece if you’ve heard all their other albums, including the soundtrack for Stranger Things. They know how to use all synthesizers simultaneously, whilst triggering the functions at the exact right point (sequencers, drummachines, etc) – which makes for an atmospheric, almost ritual experience in listening. Great experimental atmospheric (electronic) synth music.

Glad to have heard this album. Sincerely recommend it.

Go and buy when you have the money, to support the artist and label. It is also available on their own Bandcamp-page in vinyl/CD/etc. Listen to it exclusively (Sweden only premiere) down below, courtesy of Relapse Records (EU).



Exclusive Premiere: Husbandry – Biralata

biralata

In Brooklyn you find a band that has its roots down under, but above the ground they reside with post-punk overtones. With their interesting combination of metal, experimental rock, post-hardcore and post-punk they make way for who they’ve become. Since they haven’t been around for that long, let alone put out anything besides their newly released “Make Room For Waves” EP, it’s great to hear something fresh once in a while. With this comes Husbandry, whose singer sounds like somewhere in between Katzenjammer Kabarett‘s original misanthropic tone and the rather mesmerizing moments with the band reliq. Together with the breakdowns of pro-longed post-hardcore junkies caught in a time-machine. The band itself consists of Carina Zachary, Jordan Usatch, Arnau Bosc and Andrew Gottlieb. The fascinating thing about this release is that it was recorded during a weekend back in April this year, which makes it about a month later that they’re releasing it for the world to listen to.

So I got the opportunity together with Husbandry to put out one of the tracks from this release, on Repartiseraren. The track wasn’t really chosen by me to begin with, but I think it’s their best track on this release by far. Because in it they showcase the greatness of structured post-hardcore with post-punk baselines that soar through the landscape, together with erratic drums that keep the tempo to a max.  Just as they come into some kind of weird medley whereas Carina Zachary with her vocals make it an endurable process to listen to, as it moves back into the sound-scape which they created before. Moving back to the intermezzo once again in another part of the track, making it a very predictable but at the same time unpredictable track. I simply adore the melodies that are laden before me when you’ve taken yourself through it, together with cluttering hi-hats and complex rhythms howling in the background as the vocals feel even more dedicated and soulful. The track chosen for exclusive premiere was “Biralata“, a six-minute long song which you can listen to down below. If you’re interested in buying their album you can go to their Bandcamp.

Promo: Believer/Law – Matters of Life and Death

Believer-Law-cover-1024x1024

The long-awaited vinyl-release of “Matters of Life and Death” have appeared on Chondritic Sound just now, on the 4th of March, as I’m writing. Consisting of two songs from earlier releases, and two completely new songs, whom have been premiered at Pitchfork (among others) and Invisible Guy. This eccentric mixture of the best from the world of body, shaped into a dynamite-charge of industrialized evilness – have made a huge impact on those whom have taken Believer/Law for what they are – a pretty damn unique act. Add a little hint of minimal wave and other notable influences such as noise, psychedelia and experimentalism – and you’ll have the final product. The release itself is made up by 600 copies, whereas 100 are on limited white vinyl, 200 on gray and 300 on regular black. The digital album costs 7 dollars and the physical LP costs 15 dollars. A must-have for anyone even remotely interested in their music, and for those whom are interested in the resurgence of new body mixed with industrial elements. The tracks are as follow: “Ashes“, “War Story“, “The Task At Hand” and “Contrition“. Digital release can be bought at the Chondritic Sound-bandcamp, and the physical edition can be bought from the Chondritic Sound-store.

Listen: Kontravoid – Impurities (The Remixes)

a1698524532_10

I haven’t really been covering Kontravoid a whole lot, with one exception. But what I have been covering has been Tännhauser Gate. Now they’ve outdone themselves when it comes to remixing, as they’ve just now remixed “Impurities“, a stand-alone single that as of yesterday, have been remixed by Equitant, Alixander III, VLsonn and Tarantula X. Also featuring a remastered version of the track itself. It seems like Pretty Pretty Records from California have had their hand in making it happen, too. Anyway, the reason that I’m writing this is because Len from Tännhauser Gate e-mailed me about it, and I must say that when I pick and choose from those remixes – I always fall back to Tännhauser Gate. They squashed in their signature into it, and even though it sounds alike, their more down-tempo take of the track is unabashedly my favorite. When it comes to the actual track itself, the techno-vibes along with the aggressive EBM under- (and overtones) – make me head back to the original source all the time, that is – when I’m not listening to the Tännhauser remix. I actually have no idea what will happen to this single, more than the fact that you can buy it from Kontravoid himself and Pretty Pretty Records. However, this is probably one of the more interesting remix-albums since Three Winters released theirs earlier this year. The album art for this release is courtesy of Ryan Paterson. Buy it digitally by name-your-price and put in something extra there, or buy on iTunes for the ridiculously low price of 0.99 dollars.

FERRO is a new label in town!

Ferro #00 Cover

The newly emerged label FERRO is specializing as a tape-label for techno releases. They’re currently in the process of managing their first release, which will come out on the 23rd of January. As they clearly state in their own manifesto, their releases will be limited to exclusive copies and digital downloads, making them as personal as possible. With that said, their first release will be a compilation of great deep techno tracks, which feature the following artists: After Disco, Centrist State, Mount Wishmore Unlimited, Zzzzra, Basic Noise and San Jolér. The release will go under the title of: “Various – Ferro #00“.

Continue reading

Review: Catholic Spit – I’m Your God Now / Die Alone

If you need a punk doses that will last for a while, you should encourage yourself to listen to some Catholic Spit. First track “I’m Your God Now” really opens the floodgates from the more punk-oriented sound, so it can diminish itself within the realms of death-rock. Even though the sound-scape is pretty much lo-fi, the sound is excellent and extraordinary when it comes to the combination of those two genres. A really interesting listening, and I love the little touch on the crash-cymbal which you can hear throughout the song. Enjoyable death-rock riffs guides me throughout a wicked landscape of the most nocturnal and non-sacred things known for me yet. They really bring together the traditional sound of death-rock and manage to make it feel even more punkier than it usually is. Deathrock that I listen to tend to be more on the rock-oriented scale of things, which brings me back to the fact that they have some qualities that could be compared to 45 Grave, with a hint of Gothic Girls on the edges. They’ve channeled the quirky but quintessentially weird formula that the last-mentioned band really has when it comes to the sound-scape. It’s nice to see the grasp around the roots, but at the same time feeding and buffing it up with some nice punk.

In the next track “Die Alone“, they get to the point quicker than in the first song. With a baseline like that, it feels like I’m completely entrenched with the darkness it spills out. The thoughtful but outdrawn intro forces the sound-scape into a quick fury of punk goodness. Whereas the drums stumble upon themselves and release all the anger in the world. But it also feels like they’ve managed to contrast the sound-scape a little bit better, when they don’t blend the punk-oriented stuff with the more pushy deathrock. I don’t know if the quality of this release is supposed to be lo-fi, but if it is, there’s a charming side to it too. It sounds way more underground than it probably would’ve if it had been a little bit more polished. Also, the grand finale and outro is one of the best things I’ve heard for a while. This band has got a lot of potential, and it’s not really going to waste. Hopefully another release from them will come my way and I’m hoping that it will land in my hands so I get to have a peek on it too. Certainly one of the albums you should buy if you have the money for it, pretty cheap for such a great release.

You can buy it over at their bandcamp which is over here or listen to it below and make up your mind.