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Decaycast REVIEWS : GNAWED “Terminal Epoch” CD (Phage Tapes , 2013)

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Decaycast REVIEWS : GNAWED “Terminal Epoch” CD (Phage Tapes , 2013)

WOW. Just wow. From the second I pushed play on this bad boy it’s dark, spatially aware, and gripping. Terminal Epoch starts out with a slow crawling drone with subtle percussive elements and voice transmissions birthed in the background. Slowly churning, mixing and making its way toward you. The second track hits and begins oozing distorted and ancient vocals atop a reverb slam which sounds like the door of mordar being slammed with the power of one million knights. A delicate balance between total chaos and control is layed forth upon minimal attacks of a death slam, mangled electronics and strangulated howls of pain. The tension and disdain on this album grows and bleeds blood of sonic darkness with every track. As the album moves forward , so does the descent into a deep dark personal place, this doesn’t FEEL like a band, but it sounds like one. GNAWED is the sound of being alone, as a producer of oxygen, all that’s left is your body and your fluids. Tension between the different elements of synths/oscillators , voice and percussive / rhythmic elements is balanced with seasoned compositional and mixing choices. Gnawed understand restraint, and the impact and intensity that such restraint can evoke.

This album is the continuation of the moment right before you plunge off the cliff, amplified and reverberated one thousand times over. Some tracks like “Retribution” take a slower dronier approach to the compositions while others like the second track, “Taken As Scourn” take a more rhythm forward old school industrial approach. This possesses the intensity of power electronics done right, but without the monotonous feedback and excess of vocals. The recording quality is also of a particularly high caliber. Everything in the mix is audible with respect to itself, but it all gels together to create a swell mix of a dark industrial foiree into an interpersonal hell hole, with no escape. Each voice is treated with its own layer of effects but retains an overall clarity and precision which states this is NOT improvised but highly composed and thought out, a rarity these days. Synths are a steady driving force which produce the backbone of the sonic landscape, but voice and percussive elements play an equally important and dark role in the overall material of “Terminal Epoch”

TERMINAL EPOCH is a stunning effort in new American dark industrial / drone / heavy intense music ! This album surprised me around every turn and it was always a pleasant surprise , TOP NOTCH EFFORT!!! For fans of BLOODYMINDED, Tribes of Neurot, etc …

GNAWED

PHAGE TAPES

DECAYreviews: GNAWED / RXAXPXE Split Cs (Industrial Culture Records)

DECAYreviews: GNAWED /RXAXPXE Split Cs (Industrial Culture Records)

This arrived in the mail a few weeks  ago out of the blue, I rip open the package to make sure it’s not a bomb ( it has the weight of one, not that I’ve ever picked one up, but let’s just say the whole package seemed “bombey” . Anyways a cassette tape  encased in two sheets of  metal bolted together, holding the  cassette tight in it’s grips. (Yes, you actually had to unscrew one or two of the bots to get the cassette out, pretty unreal) It almost seemed as if the  piece were  fabricated for the project, either way the sterile presentation of the  metal case leads the imagination wild as to the sounds that could be contained inside.

The GNAWED side opens up  with dark, growling LFO scraping manipulation  madness, oscillating  undulating thwrawts of ripping bass, almost instantly bringing the listener down into the  perspective on all  things unnerving. Muddled CB radio esque style  vocals emerge  from the modulating squelching feecback  synthesizers and a more  dynamic space  emerges and then it clutters into  chaos, vocals and  synths building up into a maddening, nauseating eclipse of chaos.  A vortex in the  universe starts sucking in on itself, creating broken  vacuum stuttering  synthesizer and  vocal swells which unveil a  dark  sloppy underbelly of your  subconscious; the  rattling machines which you are  slowly turning into. This is  really well paced harsh industrial, but the  clarity and  sounds never really suffer as a result. Individual sounds blend together to  thicken the  chaotic sound, yet are  never pushed to a point of muddying the mix, donr  very  well IMO,  A great glimpse into the dark, chaotic harsh sonic world  that is GNAWED.

Flip the tape and RXAXPXPE HITS  YOU  right off the  bat  with a bleeding, oozing, clawing harsh noise wall, layers and  layers of  feedback occasionally give  way to high pitched squeals of what sound like a baby  bird caught in a high pitched machine that needs  lubrication  BAD. Cluttering and  clanging dark undertones modulate the wall but it  remains LOUD steady and pretty unchanging, then it  DROPS;  giving way to a second track which is just as  errie, yet  has a slower and  more  refined pacing to it, Scratchy in the beginning and  then the  feedback  decays into a middle-low  bass drone which  slowly modulates- sub oscillators help  dig  out  your  grave. The  title and  sounds of  this  all point to the  soundtrack to the burial of the listener, Slow moving,  relentless, and maddening.  High pitched blasted distortion waves come in and out over the bass drone, but it  goes on  for  a few minutes, and  then CUTS in and out and in and out, until your not sure where the entire thing started.  Distant  distorted vocals  slowly creep in and become a more  prominent part of the mix but actual words/lyrics are  pretty indistinguishable, would be nice if the lyrics are  available  somewhere?  Aside from “personal meaning” to the  artist him/her/them selves, I have honestly become frustrated with listening to people  sing, yell , scream with no access to the  content, i would like to  know, but  ONLY if the  artist wants me to know, kind of a side  rant, but the music and  project title, only lead me  to assume the  lyrical  content is  harsh/negative/etc. Maybe I’m wrong.  About 10-12 minutes in really gets going in a distinct, yet concise direction on the XRXAXPXEX side, a  sudden cut  of a  feedback wall brings in a new more  dynamic feedback wall, which holds the most meat-   sounding of  simple mic and  feedback scraping whilst possesing an  internal tension which  elevates the track to the peak of the RXAXPXE  side. It’s a bit more  raw in it’s fidelity, yet controlled and  articulate, and the  groaning vocals play a wonderful counterpart to the stop – start flutter of the  feedback punches. A  solid  tape overall and worth checking out if  your into the harsh/industrial  still that borders on wall  at  times.

written by : malo

available  still from http://industrial-culture.com/

DecayREVIEWS “GNAWED- Patience is Waste” c40 (OOBR, 2011)

 

“GNAWED- Patience is Waste” c40 (OOBR, 2011)

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Dont know much about this project (seemingly cause im
Out of the loop) but from the second the tape starts rolling, it caught my attention. It starts with a throbbing dissonant beat with druid?esque synth swells, slowly building up to a chaotic explosion of exploding throat vocals spliced with sharp blasts of dense white Noise. Grating throbbing pillers of STATIC trigger machine guns synth and drum blasts tear apart the cochlear as overdriven howls of repeated pain pulse the speakers. Distant drum patterns start to build
Up to a creshendo of chaos, but all while Keeping the overall tension between the instruments. While mny harshnoise/rock/industrial hybrid bands go for an all out sonic assault, obliterating all traces of “traditional” instrumentation, GNAWED rides the line very well. Dark pulsing low to
Midrange synth tones
Provide a balanced and textured backdrop for the drums and vocals to breathe as voices of their own , yet building up into a swelling breathing, bleeding storm of sonic chaos. DECAYED~ blasting stabs of ear pain keep building and building into your speakers and start to short circut your system then silence, ear ringing silence.

Side B picks up where side A left off but with a slightly quicker pacing. A crumbling church bell modulates in the distance as subtle machines begin scraping and shaking at the fabric of time. Slow Building tones create a chaotic space of confusion and disorientation. Before you know it your back in fhe whirlhind of self hate. Each miniture explosion of sound is another howl into the whistling winds that curl off of the slopes of gravestones. Slow churning peels of distorted spun around vocals swell into a. Unscalable wall of noise. The second track on the B side is the most developed spacial of the tape, dispaying a great call and response style of spacialized development between the oscillating vocals, and crawling syntn a d percussuin blasts. Most ofthe tracks have noticable intros ans outros which helps to demonstrate them as movements within themselves. The tape slows down a bit toward the end to a last breath type pacing, a creaking ship of dangerous winds. Are you the last one left on the boat before it sinks? Buzzes again build into a shaking chaotic nervousness that keeps the listener on a delayed edge of sanity, as black winds smother the percussive sounds of machines malfunctioning in the vacant hole of the afterlife. Good luck with that :/

This release isn’t terribly varied in the sonic spaces and or structures that it explores., yet GNAWED manages to create articulated chaos and TENSION with a fairly simple and stripped down sound palette, something many projects in this genre seem to have difficulty grasping, a very solid release overall. Top notch death/power electronics! Will be looking out for new stuff by GNAWED for sure. Pro dubbed chrome tapes with pro printed labels and color covers with black and white inserts, beautiful decaying artwork wraps around the black tapE.

OVERALL : 8.7 /13
Written by : Malo
2/29/12

GNAWED

OUT OF BODY RECORDS