XIPHOID DEMENTIA: Secular Hymns CD Malignant Records


XIPHOID DEMENTIA: Secular Hymns  CD Malignant Records

This is the latest release from Egan Budd’s Xiphoid Dementia, a project that has been actively recording since 1999, providing blistering amalgamations of intense ambient structures based on an electronic, machine-like core.

Opening with ‘Abortion Rights’, a ghostly apparition of sound layers itself with an ethereal ambient undercurrent, torn apart art the seams with brutal Power Electronics mid way.  The intense hybrid of the two genre’s clash at times, but surprisingly work to great effect as much as they are opposing forces; the horrific blisters of sound ever so lightly gelled together with sub-textures and thunderous undercurrents.

The post-industrial nature of XD comes to the fore in ‘My Time Will Never Come’.  The apocalyptical backdrop of sound is a welcome break from the destruction caused by track one, but for me is ultimately ruined by the somewhat cheesy, misplaced electronics towards the end, leaving a somewhat unsatisfying outcome.

‘What You Believe’, toys with PE from the lower end of the scale, gradually becoming more chaotic as the noise rises from the depths.  This ultimately slots in as the prequel to the closer of this album, ‘Breathe’; a crushing montage of sound and wall of sound and a tethered, snarling beast that is never let completely out of it’s restraints.

‘Secular Hymns’ is a decent album by and large.  There are areas of this release that need to be reigned in, holding it back from becoming an outright classic display of what the scene is all about.  That said, if 55 minutes of visceral electronics with an ever so futuristic and post apocalyptical stance is your thing, then you wouldn’t go far wrong by obtaining this.


NYODENE D: Edenfall CD & NYODENE D / SEKTOR 304: s/t CD Malignant Records


NYODENE D: Edenfall  CD & NYODENE D / SEKTOR 304: s/t  CD Malignant Records

Let the assault commence with one of America’s rising Death Industrial/Power Electronics latest sources of relentless torment.

The title track of this album and the following ‘Damnatio Memoriae’, sum Nyodene D up in one fell swoop. With an old school aesthetic that is as brutally punishing as it is absurd.   Echoing machinery is crushed to pieces in an unrelenting barrage of white noise, whilst tormented and ravaged vocals struggle to force through the mix.

‘Edenfall’ in itself is a ferocious slab of prime violence that seeps through to the core of the listener.  Occasionally, restraint is thrown into the pot, but remains ever threatening and horrific, much in the same way IRM channel this medium.

As an entire release this can be a little too much to stomach.  In a way this is entirely what any subscriber to PE should relish, as there is more than enough here to mirror extreme internal rage on the highest level.  For myself however, I do like it when there is a little more rhythm in the pot and ‘Edenfall’ would benefit from the squelching sounds being cultivated a little more into something to get the heart stuttering and fists pounding.

Accompanying this album is a 5-track EP of sorts, in collaboration with label mate Sektor 304.  The album ‘Edenfall’ is available separately or in a gloriously foil embossed box set with this second CD.

What we have here is a perfect partnership of like minds.  Tracks 1, 3 and 5 are three entire new songs created from sound sources take from ND’s ‘Edenfall’ release, whilst tracks 2 and 4 are Nyodene D creating new songs from some of 304’s own work; not entirely new, but neither are these straight remixes.

For me, this is where Sektor 304 shows who is boss.  I enjoy the projects own work immensely and the key output comes from ND’s partner in crime   The ambient hums and clattering’s of noise sculptured into something a little more cohesive in nature, as opposed to the all out throttling provided by the evidently more visceral ‘Edenfall’.  My recommendation would be to hunt down the box set as opposed to the sole album, if anything, to provide a little more variation.

7.5/10 (Edenfall)  8/10 (2xCD Box Set)

DEATHSTENCH: Massed in Black Shadows CD Black Plague


DEATHSTENCH: Massed in Black Shadows  CD  Black Plague

There’s very little to separate the release of Black Plague and its mother label, ‘Malignant Records’. The thinnest sliver of margins if truth be told, as the parent label more often than not sometimes matches and outweighs its child in the brutality stakes.

Deathstench tick all the boxes as far as Dark Ambient tinged with Power Electronics goes and occasionally drape these influences over a wall of guttural vocals and drone infested doom guitars.  ‘Massed in Black Shadows’, is one of those surging releases that move forward like a landslide, with rarely a break to stop the tide of slurry amassing at its final destination; momentum being the most operative word I can use to describe the effect of their album has on the listener.

For the most part I expected something a tad harsher; the overtly Grindcore artwork, whilst quite apt in some respects, is ever so deceiving as to what is truly on offer.  Saturated in ink this isn’t a bad piece of work overall, but does lack the spark of anything truly amazing and for me the cesspit of noise and bleak drones lack the edge in production to truly capitalise on what could have been a monstrous vision of sickening, puss dripping end times.


MACULATUM: The Nameless City CD Malignant Records

MACULATUM: The Nameless City  CD Malignant Records

Six brooding tracks here from the minds of Collapsar and Rasalhague, combined as one colossal mass of rich cinematic, inky black ambience.

Based on the short story of the same name by H P Lovecraft, we have here a vast ritualistic tapestry of horror-induced drones and layered spaces of cavernous Dark Ambient.  Careful attention has been placed on making sure each individual texture has a platform in its own right, as not to overstate itself.

Throughout this six-song affair a solid cohesiveness flows to make sure the tracks flow seamlessly together; with the odd dash of Industrial flair making an appearance at key points as to drag this album away from the usual approach to the genre stylistically.  Subtle reverberations and throbbing pulses of sound counterbalance this, oozing along at lower levels; whilst the echoes of machine like air, flow over the rafters and rooftops of desolation.

I have albums by both individual artists and they have a distinct quality in their own right.  It’s fair to say however, that the combined forces of both acts together produce something that is ultimately a beast in its own form, one approach complimenting the other with impressive results.


FUNERARY CALL: Nightside Emanations CD Malignant Records

FUNERARY CALL: Nightside Emanations  CD Malignant Records

There is an overtly organic nature to the works of Funerary Call, with a heavy leaning towards ritualistic and tribal creativity.  As far as the genre goes, it hasn’t always been an element that I particularly relish, with some of the scenes long termer’s such as Z’ev and the like, being banished from my collection; bearing this in mind, I approached this album with caution.

Luckily, FC focus their attention more on the ambient regions of sound creation in a lot of areas; the title track in itself letting loose on its fair share of drones, sinister hums and chimes.  This in itself is the essential glue to piece together the naturally composed aural experience, as not to let everything fly off in unnecessary directions and pathways.

This is none more evident than on ‘Thee I Invoke’, folding its pitch-black foundations as a rich tar to cement together a bed of brooding Dark Ambient, culminating in one of ‘Nightside Emanations’ better tracks overall, coupled with the closing monolith that is ‘Upon the Heath’.  It’s when Funerary Call focus on this productive avenue that we hear the best results and I do prefer this to the sounds of gongs and bells that have obviously been too irresistible to avoid.

As a whole experience, there is more than enough on this release to enjoy; but the dualistic nature of the experience throughout does make for elements that may not suit everyone.  I personally am not entertained by shamanistic instrumentation, but thankfully there is more than enough on here to appease my penchant for black ambience and industrial ethos.


HALL OF MIRRORS: Altered Nights 2xCD Malignant Records

HALL OF MIRRORS: Altered Nights  2xCD Malignant Records

This is the third album by the collective efforts of Amon and Nimh, collaborating to produce over 100 minutes of absorbing and dank, dark atmospherics.

What is immediately obvious is the range and breadth of thought processes that have gone into this album.  Track one ‘The Meeting’, pitches two forces that rise together upon to platforms; one providing the rumbling unobtrusive grind, the other with a spacious air like quality set at a range above sonically speaking.

By the time ‘Magmatic Resonance’ is mid flow there is something fairly obvious to the ear with what is actually occurring.  This is a purists’ blend of Black Ambient fused with a coherent Death Industrial edge and a contrasting style that is blended with a touch of professional flair.

More often than not when too forces like this come together, one usually outweighs the other and it’s an art that more often than not, can become a confusing and overstated mess of noise.  Hall of Mirrors however, make no such schoolboy errors.

Disc two comprises of the 44 plus minute long ‘Late Summer Ceremony’, a track that thematically matches its title.  I have always found that there is a danger when producing such a long piece of work.  It’s way too easy for pretentiousness to creep in, subjecting the listener to self-indulgent ramblings and meandering pointless drivel.  Fear not however, HOM produce an epilogue to ‘Altered Nights’ that is as engaging as it’s opening partner in crime; an entertaining and sometimes visceral montage of two consummate professionals, fusing their own sensibilities and collective interpretations as one.


SEWER GODDESS: Disciples of Shit: Live Waste CD Black Plague

SEWER GODDESS: Disciples of Shit: Live Waste CD Black Plague

Released on the sub label of Malignant Records I knew I was in for something fairly nasty, if not for the title of the album itself.

Opening up with ‘Condemned is the Unborn One’, Boston’s Sewer Goddess treat us to grinding bass driven guitars and desperate female fronted wailings, that filter vocal samples through a wall of psychosis; as the title suggests, these recordings are taken from various live shows which have been compiled over a two year period.

This is a fairly visceral release with crashing percussion, screeching feedback and droning guitars which are laid heavy with distortion; unfortunately though, sometimes the vocals seem a little misplaced without any visual content to compliment the live performance and I do feel in some respects, if this had been an enhanced CD with footage taken from the various shows, it would have added thematically to the overall experience.

Track four ‘Chained to the Cage of Existence’, is a highlight of the album however; with its throbbing drone-work, it oozes atmosphere displaying just the right amount of controlled chaos that eventually erupts into a volcanic rage of hellish screaming torment.

Not altogether a bad release that should be taken for what it is, but falling short because live actions are best experienced in person than on your hi-fi and this misses out on a fair bit.


SEKTOR 304: Subliminal Actions CD Malignant Records

SEKTOR 304: Subliminal Actions CD Malignant Records

Old school in its approach, reminiscent of early SPK and Test Dept., straight for the jugular the moment you hit play, Sektor 304 smash through your speakers with massive metal trash-can percussion, big beats and shouting reverberated vocals.

There is something tribal that underlies the whole of this release with a writhing mass of organic matter, making a welcome change from the digital age that now takes precedence over the Industrial scene; almost unforgiving in the writhing carnage that unfolds this is a purist’s album no doubt.

‘Vultures’ is undoubtedly a highlight of the album; opening with a visceral growl, the pounding percussion and grinding bass stomp relentlessly throughout the track, reminding me somewhat of a cross hybrid of Godflesh and Sonic Violence in their ‘Transfixion’ era and is the clearly dividing line that splits this release into two halves.

From here on in the album takes a different turn of events, with ‘Friction’ droning out a swirling mass of black ambience and machine factory like hums; indeed the following tracks take a somewhat slower avenue and focus on a more oozing sludge like approach to sound exploration.

‘Subliminal Actions’ is an interesting piece of work that has more than enough for fans of nostalgic Industrial, right through to Dark Ambient and Power Electronics.


SKIN AREA: Rothko Field CD Malignant Records

SKIN AREA: Rothko Field CD Malignant Records

Opening with a spitting, seething vocal, reminiscent of a cleaner more precise Deathpile, this caught me somewhat off guard; leading you down the garden path somewhat, as it is by no means at all a portent of what is to come.

‘Rothko Field’ is a completely different release to what I expected; the noise is reduced almost to a residual hum, concentrating on lightly distorted ambient drones that occasionally mix with choral pads, lifting the atmosphere into almost trance inducing states come the title track.

‘Hypnagoga’ simply put, is completely mental; almost playing out like a disturbing nursery rhyme I have to applaud Skin Area for daring to venture into such territories; whilst being completely barking mad, it does assist thematically with the albums concept of music that is the aural equivalent of borderline personality disorder.

This is a wonderfully thought out third album, beautifully packaged and daring from start to finish.  Musically this is not going to be one for everyone, barely hanging around the rim of melodies, focussed purely on atmospheric states of mind, there is more than a touch of IRM and No-Wave throughout the album, especially in the latter half and if anything, a lot of this album reminds me of Coil in a many respects.

A peculiar CD from start to finish, progressively bordering on lunacy; ‘Rothko Field’ is a thoroughly engaging affair and one of the more interesting pieces of work I have heard in some time.


TERRA SANCTA: Sunken/Buried/Forgotten CDep Malignant Records

TERRA SANCTA: Sunken/Buried/Forgotten CDep Malignant Records

You’ve gotta love Dark Ambient artists; can you guess what the song titles are?  Yeah, you got it; this is a three-track release.

Joking aside, this EP is a bridge for the their last release and the next album; sometimes you can view extended players as a throwaway for unused tracks, but I get the feeling that this trilogy of songs didn’t fit with the forthcoming release, hence their appearance in this format.

I have to applaud Terra Sancta somewhat; the tracks are fairly lengthy and when dealing with this genre you have to have something that engages the listener straight away and in a lot of senses this has been done cleverly.  There is little to differentiate between ‘Sunken’, ‘Buried’ and ‘Forgotten’ sound wise, indeed they could actually have been submitted as one seamless track.

In its 23 and a half minute entirety this does appear to be over rather quickly and although this appears to finish almost as soon as it starts, there is the temptation to hit play as soon as this comes to its conclusion; there being the magic that lies within, which is no mean feat considering that on the face of it, there might not be much going on from start to completion.

Repeat play you will however and there you will find the undercurrents of sound that that were not immediately evident; I thoroughly enjoyed this short excursion on the way to Terra Sancta’s next jaunt with the ending credits of ‘Forgotten’ ironically leaving a thoroughly enjoyable and lasting impression; quality.