The No Visible Scars label was originally started by a man with a vision to recreate a tape only label for the hell of it to release small presses of underground stuff, just like in his old beloved tape trading days. Now, several years later, the label is the same in terms of quality and small quantity but had expanded to CD and LP formats beginning with the Maniac/Custodian split 12” last year and the following CD releases from power electronic/industrial legends Death Factory and the M.Todd/L.Kerr collaboration plus the first Abazagorath release in years. Other noteworthy releases include the Blessed Offal-S/T tape; the tape version of Scorched Earth Mars; Nightbitch Of Sex and Magik; Reclusa/Degnerate Slug split; and this list can go on for some time so I’ll truncate it here and move on to current business.
Coming in 2013: another (much awaited) release from Scorched Earth titled Marauders; a wickedly killer black metal meets industrial act Slumber Room (featuring members of Abazagorath and In Memorium ); the nihilistic black metal/death/thrash assault from Vein; and a few others that are “To Be Announced” when they are confirmed.
Below are reviews of two of the labels recent releases, the Death Factory Maschinen Unter Kontrolle is already here on this site ,click this link to view it: http://forbidden-magazine.com/2012/11/death-factory-machinen-unter-kontrolle-no-visible-scars/#.UQiw8qFFdHA
I’ve been anticipating this release ever since that Degenerate Slug/Reclusa split tape dropped back in 2010, and after the wait and sampling a song at a time as they became complete, let me say this: “It was late but worth the wait”. Crashing, buzzing, and clanking in just under 30-minutes this cyber sludge self-sexploitation from the crafty fuck that brought Degenerate Slug, Pink Sex Death, and Poison Tongue to realization is a massive exploration in deranged industrial S&M.
The meat of “Heat” is doom/sludge guitar feedback modulating and warping into Twilight Zone drone, continually cycling through creating its very own rhythm much like a stripped down Cluster with sadistic hoarse whispered vocals, and a slight nod to Earth in their early darker hours of black drone sludge, but with more fluidity and activity. The creepy, yet cheesy and still very effective, sci-fi backdrop sells the package. I wouldn’t be surprised if hordes of people listened to “Heat” unknowingly while in the presence of someone who had it on and started to become entranced from the sci-fi whirring and began to squirm and writhe on the floor tearing the crotch our of their pants. It’s not quite subliminally laced from my experience, for those who are not initiated it might be a bit too strong for their urges. Actually, now that I think about it, that whirring sound reminds me of Phantasm when the brothers are in the Mausoleum and that crazy orb comes at them.
With some moments I can hear similarities to the clanking screeching distorted vortex of Cloama, other times I can hear the fluid crafting of sound similar to Death Factory, especially in the sonic closer “Can You Hear the Bodies Fucking” with that ultra dense whooshing and throbbing analog bass pulse high on reverb that fades in and out in cycles of hypnotic frequencies. The vocals are deranged transmissions, faintly coated in static “crackle and pop”, of harsh heavy breathing whispers bringing to mind the mysterious murderous caller in a classic giallo film,
Industrial,power electronic, noise enthusiasts such as myself NEED this album.
Vestal Claret have been around for some time now on the doom/occult rock circuit and as with anything involving Phil Swanson (Seamount, ex-Hour of 13, Nightbitch, Briton Rites) there’s a heavy atmosphere of dark sadistic occult sexuality and extremely emotive lyrics. Expect a soulful approach to song writing and delivery that deserves to be mentioned in the same circles as: Pentagram, Internal Void, Revelation, Unorthodox; with a definite nod of respect to the 70’s proto metal greats: Sabbath, Rainbow, Jethro Tull, Dust; and I’d dare say a bit of Coven, Black Widow (band), and the mighty Italian occult.
The sound of VC is very similar to Hour of 13 and Nightbitch as are the lyrical themes, but getting past the obvious superficialities of that just said it becomes rapidly apparent that VC is its own musical entity. Vestal Claret blur the lines between vintage and current occult rock, and although definitely a bit of a doom influence is blatantly present there’s just as much N.W.O.B.H.M era present so exact genre classification is inherently pointless. Just know that anyone who REALLY appreciates the 70’s and 80’s era of underground heavy metal with a definite emphasis on the sounds and textures of the N.W.O.B.H.M. realm.
Now on to Ungod, who are one of THE original German black metal bands dating back to 1991 and in actuality one of THE early and original black metal bands period, and thankfully unlike a quite a few other bands form this era and style they still maintain their sound. The sound that is: reminiscent of a raw almost Ramones rhythm on occasion; includes slower paced riffing moments with a bit of doom tone AND rhythm to the guitars that suddenly ruptures into old school black metal with raping treble bombed punk tones and blistering chords as heard on early works such as Circle of the Seven Infernal Pacts (1993), but here it has infinitely better production. Just listening to “Silence in the Golden Halls of Endless Hope” much of their early glory just mentioned including the continual switching between the salivating blood thirsty vocals and the clean spoken dark incantations is a deathblow to the concept that black metal has waned to time and trend.
In conclusion, the two bands featured here are an pairing but they still bust out their own sound for one side of this tape and it’s certainly an equally worthy listen regardless of which side you favor.
PLEASE for “ ‘s “ sake (you fill in the blank) fucking check this stuff out. And DO expect me to keep shoving it in your face, especially that upcoming Scorched Earth release, Vein, and Slumber Room…all three make me salivate and they ARE confirmed for release, the rest is getting them pressed and put together all pretty like and stuff…ah shucks.
Fans of diverse and reputable small DIY labels such as Crucial Blast, WOHRT, and Prison Tatt will want to check out NVS. There is also a label comp available for stream/ free download from their bandcamp site (link below) to give you an idea of the quality and scope that NVS covers.All other current and upcoming releases are available for purchase download and/or free stream as well on the Bandcamp site
Listen to, browse, and purchase HERE: