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Review from NONPOP.

HELDENTOD: The Ghost Machine

Genre: Martial Industrial
Label: Cold Spring
Distributor: Cold Spring
Release Date: January 2012
Medium: CD
Price: ~13,00 €
Purchase at: Label shop

You always can, and should, debate band names, but why someone would come up with a rather embarrassing name like HELDENTOD is not entirely clear to me. So be it. Musically, we are find ourselves somewhere at the intersection of Martial Industrial, Dark Ambient, and Power Electronics, which is this project's official debut after a handful of CD-R releases.

It starts with the title track and somber, electronic pads, over which a female voice recites before ending with light sprinklings of scattered noise. Approximately the same line — this time with male vocals — is also suggested by the oppressive "In The Company Of Pure Cold Wind". Another focus of the album lies in structures that are aimed towards power electronics, such as the nicely rolling "Betrayal", or structures that sometimes emulate Galakthorrö patterns, such as "Incorruptible." Fairly clearly stated, however, is the dark ambient related work. In "Encystment Process", which features a pulsating beat and samples, the whole thing moves to the edge of Martial Industrial. "Revenant" and "The Sentient Darkness", on the other hand, have more to do with rather dirty and gloomy dark ambient — partially with vocals.

On the whole, one can say that it is reasonably good, but compared to other bands of the same type — especially HAUS ARAFNA and GENOCIDE ORGAN — this would be a mistake. Sonically HELDENTOD is a world apart from those bands. No analogue, vicious live sound, but rather digital-sounding, relatively clean pads set the scene. Also the mood is rather cool, aloof and distant to describe, whereas in the aforementioned bands a consistent atmosphere — although sometimes subtle — simmers. Nothing like the restrained but effective melodies of HAUS ARAFNA are heard, as it relies instead on the effect of the sound space. The often relentless, harsh rhythms are also missing. Therefore, one has to regard "The Ghost Machine" as a very interesting album, with thrilling moments here and there, and the calm might yet convince with a little more energy and force.

Tony F. for nonpop.de


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