Compulsion | PO Box 19577 | Kilbarchan |Johnstone | PA10 2WX | Scotland | UK

Allerseelen - Pedra

Naevus / KnifeLadder - Document 3

All the familiar motifs of the Allerseelen sound can be found on 'Steingeburt': Gerhard's distinctive delivery over massed drumming, hypnotic bass woven with samples from European movies. 'Steingeburt' bustles with a mesmeric pulsating bassline augmented by muscular drumming, to which Gerhard delivers a spoken vocal. A symphonic sample appears throughout. It's a tense and and raw track which echoes the earlier work of Allerseelen. 'Steingeburt' (Stone Birth) is dedicated to the actress and priestess Diotima in the film Der Heilige Berg. The following track, 'Krieger aus Stein' (Warriors of Stone), is an untempo jaunty rhythm with acoustic guitar and a weeping violin score. The voice of Gerhard here is whispered over the looping melody. Pedra closes with 'Unverändert', dedicated to the actress and stone witch Junta in the film Das Blaue Licht, to which Gerhard reads from Hermann Hesse over a backdrop of plucked strings and soft strings. The entire CD is inspired by stone megaliths, with accompanying photograph's from Gerhard's travels throughout Europe, but Pedra isn't really a patch on recent Allerseelen but a necessary addition to those who immerse themselves in the work of this Austrian researcher and musical alchemist.

Each group on the split Naevus / KnifeLadder disc offer three tracks apiece. Naevus offer a musical interpretation of 'Less Than Queer', a track written by US troubadour David E. Williams. Here in a musical setting utilising acoustic guitar and accordion it immediately reminds of Andreas Ritter's work with Death In June, with the addition of suitably twisted lyrics penned by Williams. 'Don't Boil (version one)' covers similar territory with the addition of treated electric guitar. There's an inherent power to the work of Naevus and nowhere has it been harnessed as well than on this CD. The second track herein has already become a firm favourite of mine. A spoken word piece of disjointed lyrics over a wandering bassline and skittering percussion and drum rolls, like some deranged waltz. Let's hope the newly issued 'Perfection is a Process' continues in this vein, as this is great stuff.

The trio of KnifeLadder tracks offer their trademark ritualistic beats and experimental sounds. The first KnifeLadder track is a reworked version of 'Retina', an early track that veers from formless noise into pummeling percussion over waves of atmospheric noise with vocals delivered by Andrew Trails. Sheets of searing noise, and low-end bass throb on 'Oblivion' in what is undoubtedly one of KnifeLadder's darkest and amorphorous pieces. The final track is an Antivalium remix of 'Faultline', here powered by a fluid backbone and cyclical percussion restraining KnifeLadder's more aggressive edge powering it for industrial dancefloors. These three tracks provide a useful entry point to those new to KnifeLadder as they focus on three different aspects of this Antipodean powerhouse unit.

These CDs were released to coincide and commemorate performances in Sinitra, Portugal, arranged by the Terra Fria organisation. Both CDs are packaged in DVD boxes in Terra Fria house style with picture booklets, ensuring Terra Fria becomes a label worth collecting. For more information go to