Top Bar
Musique Machine Logo Home ButtonReviews ButtonArticles ButtonBand Specials ButtonAbout Us Button
SearchGo Down
Search for  
With search mode in section(s)
And sort the results by
show articles written by  
 Review archive:  # a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z

Earthenwom​b - Blueblood [Altar Of Waste - 2013]

Here’s a double cd set on Altar Of Waste, presented in the usual high standards of the label: quality colour printing throughout, in a transparent dvd case - guaranteed to turn heads. Earthenwomb is a name I’ve come across before, but somehow I’d got the idea that they were a black metal leaning outfit; “Blueblood” suggests otherwise. The cover has a group of men and women (the majority armed - though not necessarily soldiers) listening to Lenin orating, with Stalin stood behind him. The cdrs have images of royalty on them, whilst the inside cover has a painting of a dying monarch (one assumes). All these elements combine with the title to provide a clear theme, but a theme without any overt intended interpretation.

The first disc, “Blueblood”, contains a fifty-minute long track of static noise textures. The piece is built around a speeding wall, which layers quite crumbly mid-frequencies over a hard, dense low-end; this thunders along with no real development or change. Any mesmeric qualities, however, are complicated by the presence of a loop; buried just beneath the surface. I’m still not entirely sure what is being looped, precisely; initially I thought it might be gunshots of some description, but it remains unclear. Regardless, it adds a percussive, rhythmic element which somewhat confuses the track, for my ears: its neither strong enough to dominate “Blueblood” and make it a rhythmic piece, nor weak enough to be “ignorable”. The track is bookended (and split) by speech samples, credited on the inlay as being the voice of David Rothkopf (a quick internet search makes him a prominent thinker on US foreign/economic policy). The introductory sample concerns the future of the United States and is suitably vague, whilst the concluding sample talks about growing wealth inequality and the dangers of corporations acting globally. The “middle” sample, occurring halfway through the track, is unfortunately buried just out of earshot for me; I can make out some words, but otherwise it remains a mystery. This isn’t necessarily a criticism: the whole track is a bit of an enigma - not a bad thing.

The second disc, “That Rotting Ambition, That Extinguished Hope”, is very similar to the first; in that its also founded on speeding wall textures and it also has enigmatic elements. The wall here is more violent than “Blueblood”, more open and spitting. Its also considerably louder. A hard bass drone is to be found here, but the other frequencies are more savage and tearing than those on the first track. Around the eight minute mark, the hammer drops and the wall becomes obliterated; the mid-frequency elements becoming blown out. This has an interesting effect on the perceived speed of the wall, maintaining it but also smothering it at the same time. Throughout the remainder of the piece, this “blown out” wall drops in and out - heralded by the aforementioned “enigmatic” element: a strange “alarm-like” outburst. This synth “fanfare” punctuates the entire track, though to no rhythmic effect; its mixed quite loud in the wall, but its only “revealed”, free from the wall, at the very end. Like the looping element on “Blueblood”, the alarm sound raises more questions than answers; I’m really not sure what to make of it… The track finishes with more sampled speech, with someone threatening terror on the Earth.

This is certainly an interesting release, which presents a puzzle both sonically and thematically - and for that, I definitely applaud it. However, from a sonic view, I do think that the looping on “Blueblood” and the alarm punctuations on “That Rotting…” both detract from the effectiveness of the wall textures. This might just be a simple case of mixing levels, but, for me, neither work well. Nevertheless, the album marks Earthenwomb as a name to be checked back on.

Rating: 2 out of 5Rating: 2 out of 5Rating: 2 out of 5Rating: 2 out of 5Rating: 2 out of 5

Martin P
Latest Reviews

Earthenwom​b - Blueblood
Here’s a double cd set on Altar Of Waste, presented in the usual high standards of the label: quality colour printing throughout, in a transparent dvd case -...
051222   Christoph Dahlberg - Blackforms
051222   Richard Pinhas/ Merzbow - Coda
051222   Death Loop Faction - Max Carnage
051222   Opus Magorum - Opus Magorum
041222   RJ Myato - Doubtless Empty
021222   Ingar Zach - Musica Liquida
021222   Mattie Barbier - Threads
021222   Marcia Aitken & June Lodge - ...
021222   Arkheth - Clarity Came With A...
011222   Colossloth - Promethean Meat
Latest Articles

Dr Tom Whittaker - The notoriou...
Late last year Severin released Eloy de la Iglesia’s Quinqui Collection- a two Blu-ray set bringing together three brutal and provocative Quinqui (deli...
061222   Dr Tom Whittaker - The noto...
231122   Hastings of Malawi - Deliriou...
011122   Raffaele Pezzella - Pursuing ...
111022   Fouke - Bigfoot walled noise
150922   Joe Sherlock - The King of mo...
230822   Sdug Bsngal - Some Scars Run ...
020822   The Night Porter & Slowgurn p...
200622   The Worse Album In The World ...
240522   Noir On Powerhouse Films - Fr...
260422   Schloss Tegal - Back To The ...
Go Up
(c) Musique Machine 2001 -2017. Celebrating 16 years of true independence!! Mail Us at questions=at=musiquemachine=dot=comBottom