Malignant Records is one of the few reputable labels that has not only managed to survive for roughly two decades now BUT they still maintain their elite status by sticking to what they know and not what is wanted outside the narrow realm of like-minds who revel in this sort of aural abuse. Whether you’re into industrial (the real stuff, not VNV Nation or whatever other piss and dribble defaces that term), dark ambient, power electronics, black noise metal, neo-classical…or any/all of the above, you more than likely own a Malignant or Black Plague release. When the PE, death industrial, dark ambient territory was being dominated by the Swedes with Cold Meat Industry during it’s height in the 90’s the U.S. based Malignant Records was right there running a parallel gamut of audio assaults and still is by featuring reknown acts: Yen Pox, Skin Area, Megaptera, Navicon Torture Technologies, Sektor 304, Steel Hook Prostheses, Control, K.N.O. Funerary Call, Deathstench, Sewer Goddess, Nyodene D, Xiphoid Dementia, Vomit Arsonist, and many many many more.
The likes of Brighter Death Now, In Slaughter Natives, and Deutsch Nepal may have cut my teeth on what true industrial and power electronic music really is outside of losing my industrial virginity to Einsturzende Neubauten and SPK, but with many of the original labels either slowing down or dismantling themselves it’s been a relief to have much of the Malignant/Black Plague acts listed above still recording and releasing solid albums that are on par with anything CMI, Old Europa Café, Tessco, Steinklang, and the like ever did or will release; and perhaps some are even better.
VERY Recent Assaults:
Vomit Arsonist – An Occasion for Death (Malignant)
Personally speaking, An Occasion for Death is one of those perfect albums that does not require a particular mood or mindset to fully embrace it on the multiple levels of which a good album has many of. The spaciousness of the songs on this album allow for a lot of breathing room and vaporous atmosphere but never wanders too far from being able to instantaneously condense those spread out masses into strangling intense moments that will gradually wring your neck with deadly virility such as is done via “At the Edge of Life, Everything is an Occasion for Death”. Clocking in at about 5-and-a-half minutes in length Vomit Arsonist will cover terrain that goes from being a dreamy drifting through a vacuum of dark cosmic ambience loaded with rumbling bass frequencies underneath the neo-classical/militaristic percussion that brings to mind label mates Phelios and Phaenon, to the explosive bastardized neo-classical heathendom of In Slaughter Natives. Aside from the versatility and craftsmanship of the artist the quality of the recording also lends a heavy assistance to the already domineering stature of the composition itself enabling it to come off as an audio analogue to lying relaxed in a field of crop circles that suddenly ignite into scalding red flames as a giant spacecraft hovers over you to within an arms reach. And ,”NO”, I’m not over exaggerating with that analogy.
And as much as I hate to draw comparisons to others acts, Vomit Arsonist does seem to touch on the highlights of many such as those just mentioned and then amplify those traits into new reverberating specimens of their own self defining and the glorious PE sonic stomp of “Torn Between Will and Desire” with hints of Navicon Torture Technologies, Rasthof Dachau, and Stahlwerk 9. The combination of authoritarian propaganda-like speech spewed through a maze of static and whirring frequencies that feels fuzzy and brainwashing, sort of like waking up from a GHB cocktail only to be barely able to consent to the abrasive rubbing of a barbed sand paper on your bare ass until the raw exposed flesh burns and swells with pulse to a marching fascist beat.All in all this is superb, done by an established act, that is like a super clone containing of all traits form the many different styles presented but yet still different and evolved into it’s own being.
Here’s an audio sample courtesy of Malignant:
The Totality of Death is being co-released by both Malignant Records and Silken Tofu although it is, in fact, two different albums with the very same artwork and title. The actual songs themselves are quite different in name and content and although I’ve only gotten to sample TToD Programme B (Silken Tofu release) because I have been immersed in TToD Programme A, as the latter is the one that I scanned through and gravitated to the most due to alphabetical order, I can confidently state that they are equally solid and similar, and NO I’m not OCD, I flipped a coin and it landed on A (for tails…or ASS).
Initially I was drawn to the variety of sound through the first scannings but upon actual (full) listenings since then I have found that even though it’s indeed varied between song to song ( in other non-repitive /monotonous/stale) there is an underlying cohesiveness between songs and album versions. There is also a sense of classic 90’s Swedish PE/Death Industiral ala Deutsch Nepal present throughout the album which seems especially apparent on “All Hail the Black Flame”, as that particular song does contain that sort of unique tribal/ritualistic S&M rhythm pairing with the ghoulish vocals lavished on top, sort of like “The Hierophants of Light” off the glorious Deflagration of Hell from Deutsch Nepal, where the line between industrial, electronic, dark ambient, and hallucinogenic states disintegrate and those styles coalesce into something invigorating and depraved. In fact much of Trepaneringsritualen’s recent two disc escapade is very similar to that early boom of late 80’s – early 90’s TRUE industrial/experimental electronic/ritual electronic/post industrial/blahblahblah heavenly cesspool of sounds: Brighter Death Now, In Slaughter Natives, Sanctum, Skin Area,etc.
Therefore, if you have had your hearing gloriously ravaged by any of the CMI legends and have not heard this act, coincidentally also Swedish, than I honestly suggest that you do so. As much as I like the true crime/exploitation themes and screeching frequencies of HNW and various noise/extreme PE acts past and present which I cover quite a bit, there’s really nothing that defines a creepy and seductive mind-fuck quite like primal ambient meets ritualistic meets industrial meets occult and sociopathic/psychotic atmospheres like they did during that era, and unlike many incredible labels spewing forth toxic noise Malignant seems to stay close to its roots in the shadowy corner from whence it was spawned. Malignant and it’s roster (past and present) continue to thrive and forward that distinct sound into new territory without abandoning its roots, CMI and it’s contemporaries are still active to some extent but not anywhere near what they were in the mid 2000’s and extending back into the 90’s. If you desire to continue to enjoy the junk metal percussion, random babbling conversations buried within ritualistic/symphonic bass drum bombs and lower end frequencies exploding into subtle rumbling clouds across a landscape, all yielding an alien psychotic/hallucinogenic sensory experience in which you simply listen and lose your mind as is easily done with the tribal mechanics of the 14-minute “Van Zeven Manieren van Heilige Ninne” then grab ahold of the two versions of TToD and let your sanity go.
ESSENTIAL for fans of: Deutsch Nepal, In Slaughter Natives, Raison d’Etre, Ordo Rosarius Equilibrio, Desiderii Marginis, Alio Die, Xiphoid Dimentia…
Listen below and prepare to have your free will absconded:
Aderlating is a unique listening experience, there’s a lot of neo-classical/martial/ritual textures and sentiments but with it being the fourth fabrication brought forth form the deviant minds behind the Gnaw Their Tongues legacy it’s not too hard to imagine the subliminal and very explicit savagery and heresy contained herein. Each of the seven hymns of diabolical ceremony presented here play out like a trip through seven various Hells, each one more dreadful and grueling than the previous. Honestly, it’s very difficult to not find oneself thinking of violence, depravity, and all sorts of Biblical debauchery becoming a reality through sound as the murderous ambient soundscapes contained herein unravel into a psychological spiral staircase of madness and murder. Between various demonic languages uttered beneath a layer of vibrating bass filth rubble and storms of static hissing like a venomous serpent feasting the on cadavers of souls it’s fairly improbable that anyone in their right mind could not be somewhat moved through the Hellish sway of horror presented here and as an added bonus for those ignorant enough to think that damnation was reserved only for eternally torturing those who earned it, think again, as whatever malice that lurks in this irritated bowel of existence literally destroys all prior theories and realizations of Hell and feasts off our present fears and rejoices in reducing them to metaphysical feces while they torture our minds and souls before we’ve even expired.
Entities that are unimaginably hostile and difficult to manifest an image of move like serpents slithering amongst ritualistic drum beats, cloaked in horrendous neo-classical drapery. You may feel the rhythm of the serpent slither through you as a sudden chill and skin quake and/or hear the maniacal banter twittering beneath the occult orchestration, but aside from the unease and anxiety brought on by this presence something far more powerful and devious stalking inside you there’s nothing to be done outside of acceptance of the evil or suffer the realization of a never ending painful eternity.
I must humbly admit that this is my first full Aderlating endeavor, but it certainly won’t be my last. This experience, further aided by the superb recording quality, played out like a soundtrack to a bizarre night terror with Hollywood blockbuster dynamics and had me stunned from the first few seconds right down to the last. Every minute detail exposed and enhanced right down to the tiniest pin-drop is audible and dramatic with the entire production being almost three-dimensional. And as much as I love GTT, Aderlating takes a quantum leap into the psychotic void with their compositions here that even the majestic hyperreal chaos and violence of GTT is mildly surpassed so do expect a well composed expose through an unimaginable Hell courtesy of bastardized neo-classical/Martial/ Ritual mechanics forced bred with dark ambient and experimental, almost kraut rock-like off-beat rhythms and time signatures that are even druggy free jazz as heard on “Bondaged in Shame, Disgraced in Fear”.
Listen and be afraid…very afraid: