Thursday, 26 November 2009

REHEARSAL 2002-2004

Title: Rehearsal 2002-2004
Format: Cassette-only release circa 2006/07 on the Smell The Stench (Australia) label, no catalogue reference.
Edition: Presumed unlimited

Track Listing:

Side 1
01. Akustische Impressionen Der Letzten Grossen Schlacht 5.47
02. Helter Skelter (A Tribute to Charles Manson) 16.17
03. Apokalypse 7.08
04. W.R.S.G. 0.26
Side 2
05. Manifest 2.00
06. Masturbation: Eden 3.03
07. Apokalypse (Ereignis 2) 0.56
08. Vom Ende... 6.36
09. W.R.B.G. 4.38

A very industrial flavoured release this one from Bonemachine, recording rehearsal sessions at W.A.R. Studios between 2002 and 2004.

The opening track also features on the limited run "Zeit" tape and appears here in like format - the artist's impression of a battlefield scene being chock-full of artillery explosions, heavy machine gun fire and the shouts and screams of soldiers and civilians alike being caught up in the drama. Bone-War is upon us...!

'Helter Skelter' is the standout track on the tape, and at over sixteen minutes in length needs to be effective to hold your attention. Fortunately (or should that be 'Of course'...?!) it is, and combines a number of different elements - from an almost techno dance parts to a echoing children's call overlain with harsh vocals, all tied together with rhythmic industrial sections). This track was recorded in 2003, and also appears on the 2CD compilation "Erste Rotation".

The third track on side one is 'Apokalypse', which has a short coda on side two of the tape (in similar fashion, W.R.S.G / W.R.B.G. does a similar trick). A start involving some delicate strings is perhaps not what you might imagine for a song bearing this title, and it develops slowly with some trademark Bonemachine shimmying industrial noises (you have to hear them to know what Nazgul means, I fear!) and other distant mechanical echoes and auditory effects. Some deeply voiced narrative from the Book of Revelations about the Four Horsemen and the opening of the sacred seals follows, with some background choral harmonies giving an appropriately religious context and establishing the theme of the piece. An interesting mix of biblical prophecy and industrial music, although ultimately not quite as 'end-of-the-world' apocalyptic in sound as you might imagine it might be. 'W.R.S.G' is a short clang-and-bang noise piece to end side one, and runs right up to the end of the tape limit of 30 minutes.

Side two is a more varied mix of music in some ways - the short 'Manifest' has a simple yet irregular beat (like sheet metal being beaten in time) with some harsh voice effects and distant noise effects. 'Masturbation: Eden' is the first - and possibly last - track that Alex has published to my knowledge with the sound of a woman in passion (and Nazgul cleaned that up a lot!) blended with some stop-start chords and a rhythmic hand-drum beat. Errrr....not sure what to make of that one, but it possibly continues the religious theme together with 'Apokalypse' ... or possibly not!?

Following the brief hiatus that is 'Apokalypse (Ereignis 2)' - whose chimes and chants surely herald the end of the world - we move to 'Vom Ende...' and are greeted again with what sounds like a mechanised chiming of a vast clock, mirroring the previous track. It's the final countdown, but without the annoying Swedes or catchy keyboard riff! A faster rhythm then develops (not too dissimilar to a slightly squeaky old mine cart barrelling down the tracks of a disused mine!) with percussive effects over the top. As noted at the outset - this is a pretty industrial flavoured tape when all is said and done! Final track 'W.R.B.G.' maintains this approach, with vocals and music both artificially tainted and mechanised beyond mere mortal sanity...

In the overall canon of Bonemachine work it's clearly part of the early discography, although not as melodic as "Schwartzes Jerusalem" for example it still has some good tracks on it. The revival of "Helter Skelter" on the band's first retrospective 2CD collection is testimony to that. I dare say that Smell The Stench could let you have one of these with little problem, so check out their website at for details.

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