Tuesday, 7 December 2010

ERSTE ROTATION

Band: BONEMACHINE
Title: Erste Rotation (Eine Retrospektive Von Krieg Und Zeit)
Format: Double CD in DVD size case, released in 2008 on the Sabbathid Record label (Japan), cat ref hoof044.
Edition: Only 1000 unnumbered copies

Track Listing:

CD 1
1. Destination:Hell (first ever recorded Bonemachine track - 2001/2002) 77.04
2. Mutterkorn (new track 2007) 2.16
CD 2
1. Evolution (unreleased track 2005) 4.20
2. Little Boy (remastered nuclear version 2006) 21.51
3. Cyber Terrorism (unreleased remastered version 2007) 10.55
4. Helter Skelter (rehearsal track 2003 - a tribute to C. Manson) 16.09
5. Heimatleid (version 2005) 12.51
6. Beth (Kiss cover - 2006) 5.14
7. Wem Die Stunde Schlagt (remix by Tod Durch Arbeit 2007) 5.27

Were this album let loose in your garden by night, it would certainly eat/maim/bugger your lifestock, trample your flowers, and most probably give your neighbours a hell of a fright before scuttling off back into the darkness that spawned it. It is a thing of wonder - by equal measures a fitting retrospective compilation of Bonemachine (2001-2007) yet a savage and angry beast that will delight and confound in perfect proportion. Nazgul played portions of this album on a drive in his car today, whilst ethereal mists of winter swirled around the windows and turned reality into a fog-shrouded world of ghostly possibilities. In such a setting, the jagged and outre sounds emanating from this CD have the power to positively terrify; to sear the soul of any unwary listener....

It is to the credit to the Sabbathid label in Japan for releasing such a devilish brew, nicely packaged in a DVD sized case and lavishly spread over two discs. The BlackMetal.com website got their hands on this album and declared:

"Cold, dreamy and atmospheric Military Industrial / Ritual Dark Ambient / Apocalyptic neo-Folk from Austria; in the hallucinogenic vein of LUSTMORD, NOCTURNAL EMISSIONS, SPK, ATOMTRAKT, VOND, and SLEEP CHAMBER.

Voluminous DOUBLE-CD (each disc running at over 74 minutes each) certainly essential for completists featuring old / unreleased / remixed materials. Based on the heritage of Industrial Music and Krautrock, BONEMACHINE has quested for the proper way of presenting its own intention toward the post-industrial age by integrating some methods of alternative dark and grim electronic music.

Including 'Beth' a KISS cover-version; and a very strange adaption of BEATLES' 'Helter Skelter'; tracks from 2001-2007; plus a remixed track by TOD DURCH ARBEIT. 'Little Boy' sees Vocals by members from: Marcel P. (Germany), P. Knight (UK), Andrew (Estonia), Simon (Germany), Mike (USA), Bruder Cle (Austria), Chris H. (Austria), Faulbrand (Germany), Lupan (Germany), Uwe B. (Germany), Kelly (Greece), Arjan (Netherlands), Valerio (italy), Alexander (Bulgria), and MASKINANLEGG from Norway."
and indeed the heart of that mini-review seems to form the narrative description for this album on virtually every distro or label website that lists a copy for sale. For rejoice, loyal readers of Honour and Darkness, this is one release from Hugin that is readily available were you of an (un)sound mind to take the plunge and purchase a copy!

What the album offers is essentially a retrospective look at the Bonemachine project over time as opposed to a simple compilation of the most well known songs by the band. In this context, 'most well known' would clearly not be songs that have penetrated the upper echelons of the music charts in whatever country you reside in, for the world is as yet an unsophisticated place that eschews such music in favour of bland pap and formulated nonsense. But we digress.

Instead, Hugin/Sabbathid have put together a collection of the familiar (albeit in alternate versions to recordings from other albums) alongside unreleased or rare versions. On the side of the familiar, there is a piece of history in the inclusion of the 'Destination: Hell' track, formally reviewed in its original Smell The Stench CDr release (on 27 August 2009). At over 77 minutes in length it's not a track for the inattentive or faint at heart, and whatever was in the water in Linz when Hugin was struck with the inspiration for such an epic really should be made available on free prescription.

CD2 sees the inclusion at track 2 of a re-mastered version of 'Little Boy', which is the first time this has been made available on CD in any significant quantity with the original demo CDr being a promo-only version (14 March 2009) and the re-issue in 2010 on Depressive Illusions being in analogue format (29 May 2010). Track 5 'Heimatleid' will also be familiar to you from a number of previous Bonemachine releases, and is one of the definitive 'sounds' of the project. You can find Nazgul's thoughts on this song in a number of places in past posts, including "Endzeit" on 19 June 2009 and "Die Fleischmaschine" on 8 January 2010. Finally, the Kiss cover version of 'Beth' (which is as bizarre in its execution as in its conception) appears on the Wulfrune Worxx collection "The Song Never Remains The Same", covered in Honour and Darkness on 24 August 2010. One of these days Nazgul will attempt a full concordance of all of Hugin's songs to their various releases (or go mad trying!)

Of the rare and new, 'Mutterkorn' is but a short instrumental sandwiched in the available space on disc 1 after the monster that is 'Destination:Hell', and is diverting if ultimately unmemorable. 'Evolution' is the sort of track that could strip the enamel off your teeth given half a chance, whilst 'Cyber Terrorism' and final track 'Wem Die Stunde Schlaght' are hefty slabs of industrial overload; aural assaults on the listener that will leave you bludgeoned and reeling in a pool of toxic waste.

BlackMetal.com called the Beatles cover 'strange', which isn't really the half of it, and even as Nazgul types John Lennon must be revolving in his grave at 1000rpm at the very thought of it!

It's not the sort of release that a casual listen would encourage anyone unfamiliar with this band to buy, yet at the same time the luxury of having two discs worth of material and a thoughtful compilation of material makes this an import worth seeking out if 'Bone-sounds' are in any way your bag.

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