Plutonium – Born Again Misanthrope


Born Again Misanthrope is one of those great releases which maybe initially leaves ears and thoughts unsure but with deserved attention works its way deep into the psyche whilst proving to be one highly magnetic proposition. The nine-track engagement, with a tone and character living up to its name, is the recently released third album from Plutonium, a one man project from Sweden and an encounter which crafts and in turn captivates with a voracious theatre of raw and dramatic shadows.

Carlsson, more often known as Mr J,. is the creator of Plutonium and a sound which imaginatively merges extreme industrial and black metal, though that over simplifies the sonic adventure within certainly Born Again Misanthrope. Hailing from Karlskoga, the project emerged in 2003 with an early demo appearing the following year. Three years on and debut album One Size Fits All was unveiled with successor Devilmentertainment appearing four years on. With hindsight investigation of those releases, it is easy to assume Plutonium has drawn potent attention and support over the years, even if yet to find itself breaking into the broader spotlights beyond its homeland. Born Again Misanthrope though, might be the key; certainly it is the most imaginatively accomplished and unique proposal from Plutonium yet and given the time a sizeable magnet for ears and eager attention.

The album opens with its title track and a militarist nagging of beats which subsequently sparks a similarly toned parade of riffs. From there blackened toxic grooves spring upon ears and appetite as the dark rasping tones of Mr J. almost crawl through the enveloping muggy landscape. It is a ravenous confrontation unafraid to allow a seduction of melodic calm to join its persuasive trespass of ears and imagination. The collusion of industrial and extreme metal is a hellacious tempting with post punk and progressive twists icing on the pestilential cake. As suggested earlier, it provides a thick challenge initially, taking body and thoughts aback with its unconventional design and aggravation but over plays the song really blossoms into one dramatically compelling affair.

It is a journey and achievement which pretty much applies speaks for the album too, and second song Cortex Vortex whose intrusive invasion is at first a boldly unsettling incitement. Taking time to acclimatise to its creative animus of rabid intensity and a ravenously tantalising sonic undercurrent though, the song emerges as another captivating protagonist of the senses. Its unpredictability is as enjoyably ripe as the diverse strains of styles woven into the corrosive theatre of sound and intent; a soundscape as prone to melodic and avant-garde intrigue as it is emotive despair.

For personal tastes it is when tracks venture into that wrong-footing and seriously diverse scenery that they truly come alive and remove themselves from more recognisable black metal dilemmas. The Inverted Panopticon Experience is such an offering; though instantly taking a hold of the appetite with its death march of debilitating rhythms and corrosively wiry riffs and grooves, it is the industrial and sonic imagination that elevates its stature and lure even though its dominant incessant stalking of the senses never abates.

Casque Strength has that same nagging quality too though this time with a warmer melodic hue to its worrisome nature. Straight away it is working the senses though it holds it back somewhat as a great industrially coloured atmospheric mist descends before returning to its unbridled niggle soon after as the vocals offer venomous predation through it all. Already a virulent strain of persuasion, the track only grows in potency as an enthralling, almost indie rock bred melody and accompanying hooks perpetually vein the venture whilst sparking a bold swing to the torrent of sonic tempting.

One of the clear pinnacles of the album it is followed by the shadow rich drama of The Masque of The Green Demon. A sweltering reflective ambience envelops ears as guitars slowly spread their sultry lures whilst drawing on stoner and sludge bred qualities as the song bracingly shimmers on the senses. Vocally Mr J. never veers from his black metal inspired delivery yet it works perfectly with the heavy rock ‘n’ roll of the fiercely enjoyable track for arguably the most unique moment on the album.

The harsh cold landscape of Renuntiationem comes next; the track a wasteland of warmth and hope that spawns a dark and sombre hued drone laced with just as melancholy rich elegant melodies. It is a provocative and mesmeric flight of sound and emotion that, as many, flourishes with every listen, though time the outstanding Electric Barbwire Crown of Thorns has no need of. From its first electronic/metal seeded assault, the song has ears and appetite enthralled with a web of sonic enterprise within an industrial tirade of noise. Swiftly though, the song twists and turns through inventive detours and imagination fuelled escapades as addictive and infectious as hey comes. Along with Casque Strength and The Masque of The Green Demon, it is reason enough to check out Born Again Misanthrope and Plutonium.

The short instrumental of Alice in Plutoniumland (Two Minute Hate Part III) sparks the imagination next, playing like the haunted soundtrack to a psychedelic kid’s tale set in dystopian X-Files spawned surroundings. It is an ever giving piece for the listener to play with before Confessions Of A Suicidal Cryptologist aggressively leaps on ears and emotions with its furious smog of intensity and cancerous animosity. Fair to say though, the album closer has its own enthralling moments of boisterous catchiness and brazen rock ‘n’ roll endeavour, not forgetting atmospheric synth woven incitement.

The track provides a formidable and potent end to a thoroughly enjoyable adventure which simply becomes more impressive over time. With certain moments of majestic ingenuity backed by further creatively rousing craft, Born Again Misanthrope is a proposal that extreme and industrial metal fans especially should definitely explore.

Born Again Misanthrope is out now @

Pete RingMaster 13/04/2016

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Inca Babies: Deep Dark Blue

Inca Babies

    Deep Dark Blue is easily one of the best albums of 2012 and one of our favourites, a release which shows that the creativity of Inca Babies just gets richer and more delicious. The thirteen track album is a sensational treat which teases and ignite the passions with all the expected shadows conjured by the band brewed in a sweltering vat of new imagination and mesmeric enterprise.

Since its beginnings in 1982, the Manchester band has brought a distinct and hypnotic presence to rock n roll with their punk spine combining trash rock, surf punk, garage blues. The early days brought great acclaim and popularity, the band playing four John Peel Show sessions over the years, frequently topping indie charts, and playing tours and dates across Europe, not to forget releasing four acclaimed albums and numerous equally received singles. The time also saw the band struggle with holding onto drummers and singers to remain alongside guitarist Harry Stafford and bassist Bill Marten. This eventually led to the demise of the band in the late eighties, Inca Babies running out of suitable options. The release of the Best Of… compilation album Plutonium in 2006, ignited great interest on the band again and it reformed the following year with Gold Blade drummer Rob Haynes joining Stafford  who took on vocals too, and Marten. As gigs followed inside and beyond the UK, the band began working on their first original album since reforming but sadly midway through Marten passed away and everything was put on hold as the band came to terms with the devastating loss. Eventually in tribute to and to keep his legacy alive the band, with friend and former A Witness bass player Vince Hunt coming into the setup, completed the album Death Message Blues which was released late 2010.johnn

Released on their own Black Lagoon Records, their sixth studio album is quite possibly their best work yet, the maturity and DDB album coverexperiences of the band leading to songs which just lay organically on the heart as if born from your own personal passion. Rightly or wrongly we have always thought of Inca Babies as the UK version of The Birthday Party, not necessarily in sound but in journeying through the darkest of shadows and using them as a wrapping to their unique vision. Deep Dark Blue again gives plenty of evidence for us to remain casting that ‘shadow’ over them whilst continuing to mark the band as something which is one of a kind.

The album opens with is their first single for twenty five years, My Sick Suburb. Opening on simple beats and a grouchy bass the track is an instant bluesy attraction especially with the jangly guitar and vocals of Stafford soon adding their presence. It is an uncluttered track with a sure swagger which ticks all the boxes, and though the choice of single from the album would have been different for us you can see why it was chosen and not argue with its open effectiveness.

From a strong start the album just gets better and better. The following But Not This Time is a fiery stomp of sonic guitar rubs and what in no time becomes an addictive element of the whole release, that heavily prowling and throaty bass invention. Throughout many of the songs the Cramps like breath which lacquers the sound is irresistible with this song and the next up title track the first such pleasures. This track is a smouldering stroll through a heated atmosphere with caging rhythms and sizzling guitar sonics which place the senses on edge and set the heart alight. It is a twisted blues piece of grandeur with an acidic twang and viral infection to its gait.

It is so tempting to wax lyrical about every track on the album but will resist and just mention personal highlights amongst only nonstop irrepressible and contagious slices of delight. Firstly there is the twin scintillation of the gallows themed Following Jorges and the psyche elegant Bikini Quicksand, both with a similar yet different heat to their coruscate air. Tracks like Tower Of Babel and Monologues Of Madness also trigger all the passions possible but all are exceeded by two songs, Endgame Check Out Club and Sven Hassel v Billy The Kid. The first of the pair is a track which plays like a psychobilly Johnny Cash track spiced with The Screaming Blue Messiahs, its infectious groove and scorching solo a welcome sonic branding which any one would be proud to bear. The second is just brilliance in action, everything about the song an ‘orgasmic’ addiction. Punk guitars graze the ear whilst sharing time with vocal and bass lures just impossible to resist, their combined mischief sheer genius. Easily one of the best songs heard this year its mix of bruising storms and magnetic simplicity is quite masterful and a true triumph.

As declared earlier every track on Deep Dark Blue is outstanding, making for an album which should stand to the fore of any best of lists and the heart of all who engage its magnificent company.

RingMaster 07/12/2012

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