Saturday, August 11, 2012

Blue Sabbath Black Cheer - Untitled (2012)

Full Length, Equation Records / Dead Accent Records
August 3rd, 2012

Genre: Noise/Industrial/Death Industrial/Power Electronics
Region: USA

This is the last piece of material from the releases enclosed on "The Boundary Between The Living And The Deceased Dissolved"; a set of rare and unreleased tracks in the Blue Sabbath Black Cheer catalogue. Not being as familiar with his various releases as I would like I cannot tell you when these were recorded, however it is quite a compilation of vile sounds to ingest.

There's a great deal of variance in terms of arrangement and intensity to be found on this album. Despite this the atmosphere never strays far from a violent hellstorm. It is truly a string of monstrous sonic eruptions, the essence of destruction laid down in harsh and unforgiving terms, never lacking in structure but always creative and surprising. Track lengths run from 4 minutes at their shortest to one 11 minute conjuration of spellbinding horror and everything in between; even on the more lengthy track it never loses you which is a testament to this acts ability and talent in such a niche genre.

Out of the gate I was immediately impressed by "The Sense of Violence", one wonders just how much you can do with harsh noise but Blue Sabbath Black Cheer prove continuously that it can be as engaging and creative as any other style. The sharp shrieks of metal on metal and roars of ferocity merge with metallic clangs, high pitch noise and muffled booms to create a jarring and haunted grind in this opener. Feedback and a rotating static grows before the iron clangs come back for a brief section of gritty silence, split open by feral roars. An industrial landscape being ruined by some unearthly evil.

"Man Is The Bastard" follows, and the last moments of the first track bleed into it with a crash; overwhelming radio static beneath. This track is only slightly shorter and certainly no less oppressive. The groan of machinery rumbles forth with purpose, as hollowed howls clash with urgent wailing sirens — it creates what one may hear in a hurricane ignited by the flames of an exploding volcano as it passes over you, fading into the distance horizon.

It's certainly a rarity when a quiet moment appears, really there's only varying levels of controlled chaos and bleak loudness. "Demise" displays this well with a fading silence overtaken by shifting distorted frequencies, a stinging high-pitched digital cry fades and returns as those demonic vocals go from low to a frightening high — all the more distorted as they rise. You almost think silence will return but it never does as that whine comes back, pulsing and shaking as it gets louder amongst the background noise.

Then it ends abruptly as a segue into the hypnotic muffled booms of the first "Untitled" song. This album just continues to impress.

Quiet at first but the noise soaks it up as those dulled impacts continue to rotate. This is an industrial goliath that builds over the 11 minutes you're immersed in it. Again the distinct wail of metal scraped on metal returns, circling a cosmic drain as more elements are sucked into it to grow the chaos. It feels ancient, rhythmic, powerful. Nightmarish sounds from some tortured extra-dimensional entity pulse in and out of the fray. This repeats for the entire track as some elements fade and grow in volume until about the 7 minute mark when the booms disappear, replaced by electric crackles, hums and scratching all shifting in pitch and intensity. It becomes a deafening whirlwind before releasing, transforming into a static-laced quiet, and it is captivating the entire time.

Again the last track bleeds into the next. "Disgusting Body" carries a similar mesmerizing rhythm in it as well, replacing crushing industrial blows for a repeating alarm carried by more unholy bellows. It's less chaotic, more simple then the previous track and yet still jarring while showing a slight change in direction, staying fresh but no less intimidating. It only changes the formula right at the end as the alarm is slowed way down.

With a startling quake we are welcomed to "No Escape... You'll Still Die" — a buzz and successive, concussive slams under a suffocated growl. Grotesque static bursts in between the crushing blows and a frightening demonic howl wavers between the right and left channel.

The title is absolutely appropriate as this track conjures an image of a very violent, unfathomably powerful, rudely awakened cosmic force ravaging planets creating a piercing, harsh frequency as it inhales. You have no chance to escape it. When you're swallowed the rumbles of the outside environment become drowned and the hums of the inner-workings deaden your senses, ever increasing in volume — then it passes, leaving only a faint whirring chime in its wake.

A track like "Song For The Dead" literally sounds like an absurdly twisted emergency siren on some enormous marine vessel being overtaken by biblical sea creature. The constant cycling noise and whine grows at an agonizing pace with tortured shrieks bubbling to the surface more and more, only to slowly fade as that vessel sinks into the abyss.

The second "Untitled" track (closing the album) is an example of the BSBC formula at it's most quiet, breaching that silence with spectral croaks and moans as echoing stomps and a low reverberating hum grows steadily. These far off impacts in the background, and the intermittent knocking sound like the earth being pummeled by howitzers in the distance as you're huddled in a haunted bunker. It's on the edge of being ambient.

This is a compilation of forgotten sounds that is worth listening to. It plays as one whole song of mechanical, cruel, unstoppable collapse of empyrean might brought on by unknowable forces.

Truly a wicked journey that must be heard. I can definitely recommend this one. While this cd comes with the aforementioned package available for a limited time on Equation Records (also available over at Aquarius Records), you can also find a copy of this compilation on its own over at Dead Accents if you're only interested in this unreleased material.

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