Passion and Torment is the new sub-label of the glorious Prison Tatt Records, the label that always brings the best of the obscure and respected black metal, power electronic/noise, dark ambient, industrial, experimental acts to vinyl and some on CD. The difference between the two, thankfully, is not the quality, but simply the format as P&T is basically a custom CDr version of PT. And just to give you some examples of what to expect from P&T, if you’re unfamiliar with the parent spawn Prison Tatt, Prison Tatt releases include/have included the following: the recent LP from Ukranian solo black metal isolationist Moloch and the avant garde black metal sounds of Tomhet; the harsh and obscure Florida based punk/crust black metal clan, Ives; the incredibly raw and unapologetic USBM of Glass Coffin; the Finnish guru of experimental/psychedelic ambient, Haare; U.S. based experimentalists, Kilt; the unique 90’s styled crusty sludge of The Communion (if you like Integrity and Seven Foot Spleen you’ll shit yourself over The Communion); and the improv psychedelic violent black metal chaos of Lord Time.
Keep in mind that that was just to name a FEW of what they produce and with 2013 and the recent full fledged launch of P&T it’s only going to get even more electrifying with the next wave of assaults, so here’s a preview of some the recent (and currently still available) seizure inducing abominations to get you introduced.
FYI: These, like PT releases are VERY limited… as in only 50 printed.
Dope – Dope (CDr)
Dope is the sort of black metal that I tend to love and narrow-minded black metal “cultists” might hate. This CDr consists of two lengthy, untitled, with a hefty load of sparse ambient drone, songs, one clocking in at 16-minutes and the other at 19-minutes in length. Okay, so some of you ADHD cases might be groaning and skipping to read about the ones that don’t require patience, but if you stick with me you’ll red and hopefully go on to hear WHY this CDr is a deadly sleeper.
Starting with “Untitled I” we begin with a muffled, hazy, minimal guitar intro over which some words are whispered. This goes on for about 5 minutes and then dissipates into a low volume drone for about 30 seconds to a minute before exploding into a harsh shrieking and clanking black metal attack. Although very raw in sound, the production makes this one clean and really emphasizes the clanking simplistic percussion and low end thumps and thuds that actually migrate through the mix toward the front. The vocals remind me of early to mid-era Skinny Puppy, with that raspy, sinister, slightly mechanical tone, and the guitar is angular and very stripped down in both treble, distortion, and pace preferring a continual plucked pseudo melody with absolutely no buzzing riffing. In fact, the drums play a huge part here where the buzzsaw militia of treble drowned power chords usually would. The track is not very dense at all, it’s skeletal and raw, and extremely hypnotic. Most of the song is like that and then fades out to drone humming again for about a minute.
Unlike the first song “Untitled II” comes in with a thicker, fuzzed out, melancholic intro that leans toward the depressive psychedelic side of minimal and experimental black metal. Although the drum technique is not solid or mastered, it has a very organic and dynamic feel and works exceptionally well for creating a gloomy and stark atmosphere that stll has some kick to it. There’s definitely some likeness to the minimal and emotional atmospheres of Moloch, but even still I’d say that Dope is even more boney and meatless, especially in the way that the song falls off a cliff into a void of droning, near silence for 2-minutes right in the middle of the song before starting back up to a ranting thunderous pummeling state.
Another thing that stands out on here is that where many raw/minimalist black metal acts tend to have that clunky awkward drum rhythm Dope does not. Although not technically solid, the drums on here have more of an improvised and tribal feel as well as the echoing and dominant low-end percussive tones that ring out from behind the mix. Fans of Welter in Thy Blood, Glass Coffin, Demonologists, Moloch will greatly appreciate Dope.
Dreadlords – Dreadlords (CDr)
Fuck!!!!!! I don’t even know where to begin or end with this one, it’s eclectic and weirdly brilliant being part sonic electronic and synthy industrial with aggressive vocals on “Lord of Chaos” and then analog electro doom with some seriously fuzzed out distortion with “Broken Champion”. In 2-minute and 13 seconds “Broken Champion” does what Sunn and Earth missed the mark on, here we have it as heavy droning doom but it’s absolutely heavy and DOOM but thankfully without the drawn out monotony of little movement or variation for what feels like hours.
Each of the 12 sonically abusive songs on this album are fairly short, 2-5 minutes in length, but they cover so much ground, sometimes in one single song. For example “Dark Oaths” is death industrial chaos mixing the Demonologists/Deathstench black/noise with the power electronic textures of Navicon Torture technologies creating something violent and harsh and then washing it out in areas with waves of tumbling hypnotic humming and crackling. “Channeling True Power” is mostly the sound of a generator amplified, but then there’s the frequent bass roll that strains the speakers giving it some oomph, and when things keep getting added in as the song escalates it becomes a snowball rolling down the mountain building size and momentum until becomes a massive destructive force of its own creation.
You also get a crazy abominable snowman vocal, choppy, raw black metal-like creation with “Touch the Earth”. The choppy feel is similar to that of one of the reel-to-reel old projector films where it’s almost like a shutter effect and works well with the echoing howls of an inhuman beast and the piercing treble quality of the guitar.
Bondage is really vintage in sound and by that I mean very very analog, so much in fact that it literally sounds AND feels like a lost album from the late 60’s-early 70’s psychedelic era. I honestly almost had an orgasm when I first heard this album, I literally obsess over finding the heavy and groovy pscych/kraut stuff and the Mexican and South American scenes are some of the best out there and Bandage hails from Peru…perfect coincidence huh?
”Algo” is more of a dark psychedelic tune with a definite deathrock atmosphere and overall tone. The guitar sound is a creepy acid laced surf/garage mixed with early goth, but sometimes has that screeching out-of-tune tone that is prevalent in deathrock and true goth. The rhythm is that familiar swinging groove from some old Giallo that is so distinctive of that era. Seriously!!!!! This thing is an addictive horror psyche deathrock goth rockabilly surf kraut garage rock masterpiece!!!
And as if that mouthful isn’t enough, “En La Moto” is a stomping spaghetti western sexploitation romper complete with wailing feedback guitar noise buried in the mix, and that twangy loungy tone of the era with some really crazy organ added in for even more flavor. “Adentro” is a massive Hammond organ driven psyche freakout that reminds me of a song off of this odd kraut/psych album by Staff Carpenburg and The Electric Corona.
If you’re at all rev’d up reading this then you gotta get it!!!!! It’s some seriously twisted and infectious throwback to the 60’s, 70’s and even 80’s.
The only release that I have yet to get and hear is Goblin War Trio, but that won’t be for too much longer so expect that review to show up in the near future. Until then check this stuff out and show support for the real underground innovators.
Check out the label and the sounds here: