Hovert - “ACKET (The Ascetic)"
I am always on the hunt for black metal that inspires me to write more symphonically dark industrial sounds. Hovert is a great example of the blend of sounds that I look for when seeking inspiration because there are emotional upturns that build until they can’t exist anymore and then break into softer acoustic moments. The calmer aspects of “ACKET (The Ascetic)” are beautifully orchestrated - the instrumentation and the way the violins come in make the song whole to me. It is very clear that the song would still be well written without the violins and synth elements, but when they come in and the drum pattern shifts to a slightly downtempo beat, it makes the song much more impactful.
Hovert is an atmospheric black metal band from Russia. Their latest EP, The Sickle, can be purchased digitally from their Bandcamp page.
Swarm Intelligence - “Gulf”
This track is crazy minimal. I love how subtly the sounds weave their way through the mix. What starts out as a pretty basic (but bass-heavy) pattern grows so strangely into an only-slightly different version of itself. The drum and bass element in the forefront of the song stays there through the entire song, but way off in the background there are so many different layers - a lot of which are obscure and wonderfully placed field recordings - that pop up and change the atmosphere of the track. There is something primal about it that works for me, like the track is literally breathing in and out with every hit of the bass drum and moving forward.
Swarm Intelligence is a Berlin-based producer who has released on a number of labels but most recently signed to Ad Noiseam to release Rust on LP, CD, and digitally.
Schwefelgelb - “Balancier Dich”
With the new Schwefelgelb, Wie Die Finger Durch Den Nebel, recently being released, it was probably predictable that I’d be writing about it this week. It’s no secret that these guys have become one of my favorite projects. If in the past, you thought maybe these guys were a little too techno, not enough EBM, this track should help bring you over. In “Balancier Dich”, Schwefelgelb turns up the pressure, with heavy, banging beats overlaid with growling bass lines. Where songs like “Irgendwo Vereint” on Dunkel Vor Den Augen Uns felt like heavy, angry techno, “Balancier Dich” shows how much Schwefelgelb has moved towards EBM over the past three years. There’s definitely some techno feel to the track though; it has a kind of a groove to the way the kick mixes with some plucky little bits of percussion that feels a little more techno, giving it a distinctive feel that I don’t get from a lot of other artists.
Phase Fatale - “Rot”
If you’re thinking “But I really liked the angry techno!” after reading that last review, then I have got a track for you! “Rot” starts us out, slow and brooding; the bass line pops along heavy and intentional. The kick is deep, and little bits of percussion echo around the edges. Soon, though, the techno influence of the track really kicks in - the bassline opens up, hi-hats start hitting on the offbeats, emphasized by the occasional open hats and claps. The track keeps a consistent tone throughout; the bass never really leaves us, and the kick stays roughly the same. However, evolving percussive elements - a faster high hat, a nice tom line - provide enough evolution that the track never gets boring to listen to.