Irony heaped upon irony. If Nazgul were awarding the prize for the 'most ironic entry in Honour And Darkness' to date, then this release would surely scoop the prize without question!
Firstly there was the little matter of finding a copy. It was a release in a limited edition (as usual) but one that Nazgul just couldn't track down anywhere. Nazgul finally approached Alex for help or suggestions on where to find one, and in that good-natured and most generous way that Alex has his own copy (#1) was made available for Nazgul's collection. How typical was it, therefore, to almost immediately find one for sale at the Discogs website! Of course, Nazgul bought it anyway (this one being #16, to the left in the photo - no, you weren't seeing double earlier on) as you can never have too many limited editions and anyway, the vinyl piece on the cover is a different shape!
Secondly, there was the little matter of playing the wretched thing! Copy #16 played the Pope On Acid track perfectly, but only got as far as the first eight minutes or so of Bonemachine's effort before the CDr gave up trying to play it, and that was that. "Damaged Sounds" indeed, muttered Nazgul darkly, but of course the situation was redeemable by dint of that other copy (the very collectable #1 issue) being stashed away. Except, of course, that that too failed to get far with the Bonemachine track (Pope On Acid playing perfectly, of course) and also gave up the ghost fairly quickly when tried on PC and on the trusty Castle Nazgul death-deck!
Now, you might imagine that this is a tale of depression and woe but you'd be wrong. Whilst it's probably a first to publish a piece in my Blog about a track I've not yet actually heard, the tie-in with the previous post was valid (the quality and uniqueness of W.A.R. packaging) and during my research for this post I happened across a review on the Heathen Harvest website, which you will get a flavour for this release from:
Pope On Acid is up first with T.G.E., which opens with an extended sample of a 1950’s sounding radio news report about a murder before bursting into a solid wall of viscous noise. Multiple frequencies assault the listener for a good while before suddenly cutting into a section of melodic music that caught me completely off guard. This continues for a while before the next avalanche of harshness breaks over the listener. As the track reaches its climax cutting through the noise is the sounds of a woman in distress. The victim mentioned in the opening sample perhaps? In a final twist we are treated to another interlude, this time of a couple between two "All American" sounding people, one proposing to the other, and then we are thrown back into a final two minutes of noise. The sample work on T.G.E. gives it a really odd, surreal feel.
Bonemachine’s Darkness & Light takes a very different approach. Lush ambiance and rumbling drones are the order of the day with this one. An occasional voice sample penetrates the mind of the listener already in a hypnogogic state from the soundscape. This track puts me in mind of Inade or Sleep Research Facility. High quality dark ambiance indeed. This is a perfect track for lying in a darkened room and meditating on the entropy at the heart of the universe.
I highly recommend this CD. Both tracks are very high quality examples of the genres that each artist works in. For fans of harsh noise there’s the Pope On Acid track and for dark ambient fans there’s Bonemachine. Somehow both tracks work well together on the same release, which is great. My only complaint is that this is a limited edition of 21. This needs to be heard by more people."
Ah yes, irony number three: "this needs to be heard by more people...." !!
"It's extremely interesting, how Pope On Acid try to control the listener, to demand reactions from him, which in turn intensifies the music.
Bonemachine confronts with really uncommon tones - beginning with slight rhythms, which stamp the background with metallic, deep and cold mood-fields displacing into subterranean fields – in the spiritual eye an unimaginable, industrial catacomb-realm. Immense halls, motionless machines, decay on the bellied torsos in the boiler room; a fusty and putrefactive smell lies in the air, the matt light of the floor-lamps, which inexplicably still drag electricity, gives off bizarre eeriness. Concerning atmosphere everything is simply made right here - one critical point would be the unbalanced regulation of the bass-tones, which isn't on a constant level and in some parts nearly overwhelms."
Being the collecting type, Nazgul will fearlessly go back into the search for another copy of this particular CD on the assumption that some of them will play correctly (and it's a salient reminder about the propensity for some CDr to deteriorate over time, so always make a copy folks) and, in time, another will come to light. Who knows, perhaps the original vinyl disc might be reassembled by the time Nazgul is through?!
Oh - as I'm sure the same question had crossed your mind - I did ask Alex recently about the vinyl disc that was sacrificed for the front cover design of this release. He couldn't actually recall, but suggested it might have been something pretty random from the 70's....!