Jarboe and Helen Money – Self Titled

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It is almost frightening how spellbinding the collaboration between Jarboe and Helen Money is on their self-titled album, how immersed into its dark inviting depths and ravenously siren-esque shadows ears, imagination, and simply reality becomes. The release is quite extraordinary, embroiling the listener in a soundscape of harmonic drones and sonic distortion but equally a sinister beauty and psyche engulfing adventure. It should probably be no surprise the impact of the album. When you place the evocative invention, craft, and voice of Swans co-founder and former vocalist Jarboe alongside the creative dark majesty of visionary cellist Helen Money (aka Alison Chesley), something startling was bound to happen, though an understatement in the case of their album.

Neither lady is a stranger to the skills and adventure of collaborating, Jarboe having worked on over 63 projects with the likes of Philip Anselmo, Neurosis, Jim Thirlwell, Merzbow, Bill Laswell, A Perfect Circle, Colin Marston, Cobalt, Cattle Decapitation, Justin K. Broadrick, Jesu…and the list goes on, alongside her 36 solo albums, whilst Helen Money has linked up with artists such as Mono, Anthrax, Russian Circles, Joe Lally and Shellac over time. They are experiences and bold adventures which have added to their own subsequent imaginative creativity, something their album reeks of.

The delicious tones of Money’s cello is the first caress as album opener For My Father embraces ears, its melancholic voice provocatively coaxing senses and thoughts under a just as darkly lit ambience. The heavy emotional air parts just a slither for the instantly magnetic presence of Jarboe, her radiant tones instantly poetic like against the shadows and the crinkling texture of her keys. The track continues its increasingly broadening embrace as both ladies unveil further shafts of melodic light and doom lined expression through their respective skills. The song is simply mesmeric, a golden sunrise of enterprise and melodic temptation but equally a breeding of dark clouds and imposing drama. As expansive a minimalistic proposition you are ever likely to be lost within, certainly outside of the album, there is an immediate immersion into the heart of the release, external light not to be seen and felt again until the album decides.

The following My Enemy My Friend is similarly a swift fascination of noir wrapped radiance; the alluring string plucking of Money tensing the spring for the flight of intensive sonic and emotional exploration. Within seconds the instrumental is resonating through body and thoughts, the lyrical and social nudging of the first track seemingly spreading into the intimidating but seductive breath of its successor. Keys and cello create a labyrinth of haunting and ominous suggestiveness, an incitement the imagination tenaciously casts scenes with whilst emotions bow before the weight of the track’s rousing portentousness. It is meditative and unsettling, and quite riveting, a success matched by the outstanding Hello Mr. Blue.

The almost carnivorous opening of what feels like bestial bass is glorious, something to sell your soul for. Whether it is bass or a brilliant merging of keys and cello which is also possible as repeat listens twist and turn with indecision, it is an enslaving start which only escalates into a kaleidoscope of, well creative alchemy to be honest. The floating harmonies of Jarboe seduce with celestial beauty whilst Money’s cello flirts with darkly centred eyes, every note having a knowing smile to their heavy persuasion. As Jarboe unveils the warmly delivered narrative, the track in contrast becomes a brewing maelstrom of agitation and aggravation, egged on by the contagious rhythmic dance of the piece. Every track already has breached new plateaus and taken the listener into inventively denser and increasingly threatening exploits, and this continues that exhilarating success as its marches towards its controlled but vocally bedlamic closure.

Wired is pretty much what it says on the tin, its presence a fibrous mesh of sounds and sonic intrigue presenting an intensive and feverish climate for ears and a sea of opportunities for the imagination to interpret and develop further, whether through its voracious incitement or the more of a harmonic smoulder it also harbours. There is little time for those thought bred adventures to take long term root though before the intimacy of Truth inspires with its own reflective beauty. Keys and sublimely drifting harmonies soaked in an air of loneliness kiss ears first before Jarboe opens up her vocal heart in a theatre of those continuing initial croons and just as emotive guitar stabs.

It is hard with words to present the drama and emotive intensity which comes with every bewitching track and the pair’s creative ingenuity which unrelentingly and deeply works away once breaching ears, but easy to enthuse over the ever evolving experiences which re-invent themselves in sound and visceral adventure with every listen. The closing Every Confidence is a perfect example. We can only hint at the tempestuous nature and climate which seeds from and descends on the senses and psyche after an initial gentle mesmeric croon of sound, but rigorously recommend its rapacious hunger to stretch not only the listener and their emotions, but the creative emprise bred by the artists pushing their instrumental and vocal limits.

It is a challenge and success which applies to the whole of the album. It is an astonishing encounter, a scourge of everything bland and predictable in modern music which goes beyond being something merely to listen to. You feel and almost taste the dynamic and intensive atmospheres of the tracks, you breath the drama and emotional intensity of the sounds and their inspiration, and ultimately it is a journey provided by Jarboe and Helen Money which you take and will never be the same again after.

Jarboe and Helen Money’s album is available now via Aurora Borealis as a black vinyl LP, on CD and digitally.

http://www.thelivingjarboe.com/     http://helenmoney.com/

RingMaster 04/03/2015

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Listen to the best independent music and artists on The RingMaster Review Radio Show and The Bone Orchard on Reputation Radio @ http://reputationradio.yooco.org/

 

 

Godflesh – Decline & Fall

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There are some bands you always find a soft spot for in the vast ranks of likes and thrilling encounters which accost the senses and imagination over a lifetime, and Godflesh is one of the most impacting and self-sustaining examples. The prime provocateurs of not only industrial but metal full-stop, the band even in the few years they were ‘AWOL’, continued to incite and inspire personally and emerging propositions, their influence constantly openly audible in new bands and sounds. Now the UK band has unleashed its first new material in 13 years through the carnivorous ear seduction of the Decline & Fall EP. Birmingham duo Justin Broadrick (Jesu, Palesketcher, Final) and GC Green has twisted the richness of their early sounds with the experiment intrusiveness of latter inventions to give birth to an exhaustingly primal and vindictively fresh predator. The four tracks making up the release are ravenous tempests of industrial toxicity, metallic hostility, and punk rabidity, a brew which simply steals the passions just as the band has done so many times before.

Also acting as a potent teaser for the band’s new album A World Lit Only By Fire, due out this Autumn, Decline And Fall as well as rigorously casting out a new net of virulently antagonistic enticement also holds a nostalgic strain of bait most notably in opening track Ringer. As well as unearthing past memories of the band’s earlier forages into the psyche there is a raw but definite early Killing Joke repetitious tone and bait to its carnal charm. A sonic wash disturbs ears first, brewing up a portentous air which heavily cascading rhythms and bestial riffs pounce upon with greedy ferocity. The beats stamp with a military like enmity and precision whilst the bass of Green brings arguably it’s most primal and tenacious malignancy of sound yet. It is a delicious and glorious savaging which prowls imperiously alongside the feverishly caustic scrubs of guitar and the loathing fuelled monotones of Broadrick, the years having seemingly only increased his scornfully raw and imposing tones. The track is pure primal evil, a contagious tension soaked malice to devour greedily.

The following Dogbite immediately infest ears and psyche with sonic squalls which seductively sway with wanton designs whilst the bass brings its own salacious swagger to the emerging animus. The track has its own unrelenting gait to its predecessor but equally suffocates and consumes with a base fury which resourcefully blazes with cold flames. Repetition is one of the most instinctive addictive tools in music, along with discord, and there are few who can swing that bait so potently and seductively as Godflesh. The track crawls over thoughts and emotions with the gnawing patience of a dog, every chewing snarl and intensive lick of sonic persistence an irresistible incitement.

As impressive as the EP is to this point, it touches perfection with Playing With Fire. The track is simply an inescapable epidemic, its harsher industrial climate and alienating sonic web pure destructive and addiction spawning manna. We mentioned new bands being influenced by the duo but here alone you equally know and recognise the well which the likes of bands such as Fear Factory and Prong drank inspirationally. That mentioned discord is a passion igniting flavouring around the vocals whilst again bass and rhythms frame the maelstrom of sonic vendetta and enterprise with sheer grudge clad might.

The title track brings the release to a close, its viscous feud of sound a corrosive abrasing sculpted into another magnetically inspiring and senses grinding, almost cathartic challenge. The least dramatic in its attack and incessant in its confrontation, the track is the most inventively tangled weave of fascination on the EP but also the least gripping, though to be fair it still chains imagination and ardour drenched passions without mercy.

If the Decline & Fall EP is a hint of the album to come we are in for something special once again from Godflesh. We admit we might have a slightly blinkered appetite for the band and their sounds over the years but it cannot disguise the impressive and blistering might of the new release, or the impatient anticipation of the impending full-length.

The Decline & Fall EP is available on Avalanche Recordings now and @ http://godflesh1.bandcamp.com/releases

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Justin-K-Broadrick/118373041529126

9.5/10

RingMaster 11/07/2014

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Invertia – Another Scheme of the Wicked

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US band Invertia and their imposing sound is tagged as industrial black metal by the accompanying press sheet to their new album Another Scheme of the Wicked. It is a label which fits suitably but only hints at the depth of the sinister textures, rapacious ingenuity, and insidious breath on offer. The band’s second release is a threatening invasive corrosion of senses and emotions, a consumption and incitement of the imagination which leaves you clutching at sanity. The album is virulently compelling, an entrapment rife with powerful hooks and intrusive manipulations which seduces and violates simultaneously whilst inviting thoughts to step through gateways of primal and man induced corruption.

Hailing from Massachusetts, Invertia is the creative union of guitarist/vocalist Dave Coppola and drummer/programmer Tim Winson. The pair first sent attention scurrying for cover with their self-titled debut album last year; the release marking out the band as a potentially incendiary proposition if without finding enough passions to awaken. Another Scheme of the Wicked not only realises that potential but takes it to darker dangerous potent levels and it is easy to assume it will be the spark to catch the radar of a much wider spotlight within extreme metal. Released via Ohm Resistance, the album consists of five new malignant journeys courted by another quintet of destructive remixes, doppelgangers of the originals if you like though which side is the most malevolent is debatable.

Invertia is said to be ‘A mirror displaying some of the darkest paradoxes and truly terrifying segments of American society’, and as soon as invertiacoverofficialopener The Sidewinding immerses the senses and thoughts in its thick body of intent with excellent samples littering the oppressive scenery, you understand its meaning. The track almost ambles in but with an intimidation and haunted feel wrapping the coaxing guitars. It borders on invitational until the first sampled vocal stab opens the lock for a charging enticement of twistingly nagging riffs entwined with a serpentine groove and understated yet punishing rhythms. The heavy rasping tones of Coppola alongside the interjections of hellish samples only accentuate the intensive danger and malice of the proposition, the emerging blackened rabidity abrasing with weight and acidic ferocity. The track is a magnetic suffocation of light and emotional escape, a drop through demonic realms with a diversely flavoured and feverishly impacting soundscape leaving thoughts resonating and senses exhausted.

Whereas the first track thrust the listener into the blackest grip within seconds, the following Cross-Eyed Christ engulfs ears in a Ministry like predation, short grooves and scourging riffs entrancing before the heavy shadows and vocal rancor takes hold. Samples again punctuate lyrical and sonic declarations whilst the guitars scythe the air with irresistible swipes, a combination with the leviathan groove which steals away the distraction of anything outside of the song. Brutal yet impossible infectious the track continues the immense start before making way for the toxic erosion Void of Community. Its climate and touch is poisonous though like its predecessor its initial incitement is pure contagion. This lure never relinquishes its hold across the encounter but is soon tempered by the caustic vocal squalls and barbarous drumming for another blistering tempest of harsh extremes and conflicting yet united textures. The album is one which needs time to blossom in the passions, each venture a greater persuasion and success as evidenced by this track, its first touch agreeable and its sixth and counting viciously bewitching.

Both Hourglass Without Sand and They’re Everywhere continue the slavery of thoughts and passions, the first as the previous song a rampaging incessantly catchy torrent of abrasing riffs, merciless and varied rhythmic confrontation, and devilish hooks. A shift in weight and gait into a lumbering tsunami of intensity and drama provides further proof of the inventive twists and imagination to the album which its successor takes further and into a truly destructive and malignant landscape. Vocal winds smother the senses like a sandstorm whilst the blackened niggle of the guitars simply grazes and scars with every vitriolic note unleashed, matched by the scourge of vocal animosity. It is an evil conclusion to the first part of the album, and an irresistibly enthralling if scary one.

The five tracks are next presented again with remixes from notable artists within the Ohm Resistance camp and more. Remixes never sit easily with us as regular readers will realise and the quintet here provides a confirmation of our doubts and equally at times a reasoning to embrace them. The Justin K. Broadrick (Godflesh, Jesu) take on The Sidewinding, pushing it deeply into the suffocation lying within the original. It thickens and slows the flight of the track unveiling the intensive blackness within. It works well as a companion to and inverted insight of the song but fails to come near to the grip of its founder though it does spark the imagination just as powerfully.

The End.user (The Blood Of Heroes) version of Cross-Eyed Christ tantalises and teases with all of the lures of Invertia’s version, cleaning up the industrial and metallic parts of the song but entwining them with an electro bred matching virulence. It is an invigorating success matched fully by the Submerged (Method Of Definance, The Blood Of Heroes) remix of Hourglass Without Sand which comes after the smothering jaundiced take of Void of Community by TranZi3nt. Both tracks appeal in varying degrees but the unrelenting ebm spawned Hourglass Without Sand is just breath-taking.

The release is completed by the R3TRD look at They’re Everywhere, a track bringing in samples of ‘a Pentecostal preacher vampirishly admonishing children to visit with him as he speaks in tongues’ to create a version which strikes further chills into the already fearsome throat of the song. It is a powerful end to an impressive release which by just talking the first half of its spiteful endeavour is an exhilarating and almost demoralising treat. The remixes depending on your take add more weight to the proposition but it is Invertia’s own tracks which make this an unmissable injection into extreme music.

http://www.inv3rtia.com/

For the first five tracks 9/10

As a whole 8/10

RingMaster 04/2014

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Jesu – Everyday I Get Closer To The Light From Which I Came

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     Everyday I Get Closer To The Light From Which I Came, the new album from Jesu has been over two years In the making, partly for the passionate intent and adventure explored upon it and equally for the creative vehicles band main man Justin K Broadrick has been involved with. As always the musician has been heavily engaged with numerous projects since the release of previous album Ascension, most notably with the reunion of Godflesh as well as masterminding remixes for the likes of Mogwai and Cult Of Luna. The new album reveals that Broadrick has been no slouch with his own solo project and its evolution though, the Avalanche released Everyday I Get Closer To The Light From Which I Came seemingly with a fresh appetite for the exploration of even darker intensive emotive depths but transferring that somber flight into a magnetically reassuring and potently hued closer to home provocation which initiates self-appraisal and reflective thought in experiences and shadowed corners of the psyche.

The dark adventure starts with Homesick, a rapaciously draining expanse soaked in melancholic intensity, where from within gnawing away behind the melodic temptation, riffs soak the ear and thoughts in drone spawned predation. It is an enthralling mix of raw yet measured rabidity and shoegaze mesmerism which intimidates and seduces simultaneously whilst its consuming breath ridden by the mellow coated vocals of Broadrick, permeates every pore of thought and imagination. As across the whole album there is plenty going on within the riveting textures and depths of the song; a wealth of open shadows and secretive light which unveil their presence with further ventures through the magnificent opener.

Comforter is a thick almost tempestuous flame of ethereal enslavement, though with hungry intensity and a snarling touch to its meditative brawl of warmth. Like its predecessor the track is an evolving exploration with a shifting emotional narrative and sirenesque presence, and at times as menacing within its smouldering discord wrapped ingenuity. The invention of the track is startling and in many ways such its uncompromising twists and ideas should not flow as magnificently and poetically as it does. As the track takes the mind deep into its provocative crevices the suggestion that this is the finest Jesu moment to date is loud and as the album continues to impress it is hard to raise much in the way of argument.

The moody resonating bass croon and metronomic beats which open up Everyday immediately seduce, a deepening of that hook secured with the post punk seeded guitar sonic colouring which adds its bewitching voice soon after to the wonderfully repetitive stroll of the rhythmic inducement. It is more of a stalking really which vocals and guitar taunt and skirt with their My Bloody Valentine/Joy Division like acidic beauty. It is a masterful entrapment for the passions with every hue and flavour of bait needed to solicit the imagination and ardour.

Exceeding seventeen minutes in length, The Great Leveller is an epic passage in its own right within the colossal emotional examination of Everyday I Get Closer To The Light From Which I Came. Also featuring the bewitching skills of Nicola Manzan who provides a powerful stringed narrative across what seems a close and personal exploration for Broadrick, the orchestral guided evocation of emotionally immersive tides is a breath-taking landscape and sludge entrenched journey which only rewards as in a sense it suffocates the mind and soul into deep thought and investigation. The song is arguably overlong though it feels like its presence is far less than it actually is, but that is down to personal reactions rather than the track labouring at any point, a preference which would have conversely preferred Homesick to have stayed around longer. The extensive track is ultimately a masterful experience, in craft and effect which only elevates the album to another exhausting plateau of satisfaction.

Closing with the entrancing yet menacing Grey Is The Colour, another irresistible search of thoughts and emotions, Everyday I Get Closer To The Light From Which I Came is a sensational encounter which only time and numerous travels fully reveals all its remarkable depths and incitement. Broadrick maybe be back with Godflesh to stir up the psyche but right now there is here a more eager appetite for Jesu.

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Justin-K-Broadrick/

9/10

RingMaster 23/09/2013

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Listen to the best independent music and artists on The RingMaster Review Radio Show and The Bone Orchard from

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