|Ambience, Black Metal, Industrial
January 25th, 2011
Release length: 1:03:43
What Radikale Randgruppe comes down to is the band’s ability to take Industrial Black metal, and simply make it fit an Ambient mold. As one would expect, it doesn’t work well at all for them. You can’t really tell if the production on the album or good or bad, as pretty much the entire album is mostly noise created through overly distorted guitars to the point where you can’t tell they are guitars half the time unless higher pitched chords are played. This is the case of “Me Ne Frego” where much of it just sounds like additional Industrial sounds and effects latered into the general slow paced and overly simply drum beat that doesn’t necessarily reflect Black Metal, but rather a repetitive loop one would expect from a drum machine. Of course, when you pick out the differences with the instruments, the guitars do start to come through but it’s nothing too spectacular. Unfortunately, the opening track “Nuclear Catharsis” is actually worse, taking all of this a bit too far to the point where it just sounds horrible. But, none of this really gets any better either.
As you continue, there are times where the songs become a little more engaging. “Triarii” is a stronger track that seems to lay back on the Ambient effects, taking the material into a stronger Industrial Black Metal approach then anything, and becomes something many fans would come to expect. The guitars are just deeper on this track, not really utilizing a heavy distortion. The drumming on this track isn’t all that great either, and actually manages to make the song sound more like a twisted nightmare Rob Zombie might record if he were drugged and having a bad reaction during the time of recording the first Hellbilly Deluxe, or even early White Zombie material such as some of the moments on “White Earth”. The vocals can become aggrivating at times on the recording as well, often making you strain to know if there actually are vocals in the track, or if it’s your imagination, simply due to how far in the background they are. Sometimes, again, like in “Triarii”, it works and adds to the Industrial ideas of the song, but it doesn’t quite affect the music as strong as one would expect. For the most part, the instrumental tracks on thsi release are the ones that stand out more, but not by much, as many of them are butchered by a lack of an appropriate atmosphere, or, in the case of the long winded “The Empire”, are simply loops on repeat for an extended amount of time that were boring past the two minute mark, left alone by the fifteen minute mark.
When the band’s material stays away from just making pointless Noise, leaving the songs to feel empty and without atmosphere other then a feeling that it was made to specifically give you a migraine through the Industrial sounds used such as “Nuclear Catharsis” and the more Techno-sounding “White Earth”, they manage to create some intimidating Black Metal tracks. But, that’s about it. Some of the songs have a nice intimidation factor, but there really isn’t anything else. Many call this a cold, grim, or melancholic album, full of hostility, and after one listen, it’s enough to make one question whether those people saying this are brainwashed, or paid off. There may be intensity in the music, and some tracks do have some hostility, but there are moments where the album made me want to get up and dance, and that’s something I simply do not do! Not the Hardcore dance, we’re talking glowsticks at a rave dance. Atop that, there’s never a cold, grim, or melancholic moment to be found on here outside the insanely loud and generic sounds that start “Oath of Blood” that I can’t decipher between a piano, or plucking on a guitar to give an atmosphere of a showdown in a spaghetti Western. In fact, half the time I can’t tell if I’m gearing up for a shoot out at the O.K. Corral while stuck in an old Black and White film with cheap music dubbed over with wretched audio you would find a DVD at the local grocery store for fifty cents (US currency), or whether I was gearing up to enter the Matrix and help Neo take down some baddies in my stylish new black shades and trench!
If you come into this release expecting some solid Black metal of any kind, then you’re going to be greatly disappointed. If you can muster up enough of an open mind to see that this band has clearly departed from their grim Black Metal roots, then chances are good you’ll find some decent tracks on here that set an ok Industrial Ambience. Sadly, even if you can accept that fact, chances are good there’s nothing here that will genuinely stand out. The music itself becomes atrocious over time, and the decent tracks eventually feel drawn out and more repetitive then an Ambient release should be. The atmosphere’s set on the release are very few and far apart, often conflicting many times over with each new song, giving the listener whiplash as he or she is transported through polar opposite states of mind with each passing track. While there are a few songs that seem to show a concious mind at work that is growing with each song, as many of the tracks past the title track begin to push forward to one common concept and become more then just migraine enducing noise, it’s just too late at that point to save the disc, leaving Radikale Randgruppe a total clusterfuck of Ambient Industrial Black Metal concepts and more accessable Industrial, and even Techno ideas brought to a more intense level that even die hard Techno or Industrial fans would pass up on after over sixty minutes with this neck-jarring creation.
01. Nuclear Catharsis – 2:03
02. Me Ne Frego – 6:18
03. Triarii – 6:33
04. White Earth – 6:12
05. Oath of Blood – 6:20
06. Radikale Randgruppe – 3:20
07. Soldier of the Black Sun – 4:47
08. The Golden Age – 8:00
09. Exile – 5:06
10. The Empire – 15:04
|Initial Pressing Score: 2.5/10
Digital review copy of this release provided by ATMF Records.