Feuersalamander Auf Abattoir - Commentary on the Apocalypse [Reason Art Records - 2017]Commentary on the Apocalypse is a C30/digtital download that sits somewhere between active textured noise study, searing walled noise, and violent improv. It’s the first, and thus far only sonic fruits from Feuersalamander Auf Abattoir- which brings together respected Italian noisemaker Lorenzo Abattoir(Nascitari, Tomorrow I'll Shoot Myself In The Mouth, PSICOPOMPO, Lach) & Austrian based Christoph F.( Feuersalamander auf Marzipan, Fall Into Dry Lungs, Dry Lung Records).
The release appeared in late 2017- with the physical version taking a decidedly arty & colourful packaging. The off white shelled cassette comes in a pro-printed card fold-out sleeve- this features a reproduction of brightly coloured old print in yellow & red- which takes decapitated bodies, dead animals & a long snake under a star-studded sky. I’m guessing this is from a very early bible or laminated text book- and it’s most effective. The tape also features labels designed with a similar colour scheme & look. The tape appeared in an edition of 23 copies, and seemingly (and surprisingly) the label still has copies left.
The release features just two self-titled tracks, and the whole thing was recorded live in 2017 at 1140 in Vienna – with the pair unitizing a mix of Zither, Synth & Effect pedals. As you’d expect there is a fairly lose/ jam feel to proceedings, though there are certainly some appealing textural blendings along the way.
Side ones track begins with uncertain rushers of hissing cascades & more thicker rip bound pile-ups, by around the second minute we get a selection darting & uneven plucks appearing mixed in with the shift textural washes. By around the fourth minute we’ve moved into a mixture of sudden roasting sustains, splayed meshes of crackle, skittering mids, and borrowing cable meet thigh jitter pelts( this last is most effective)- by this point, the shifts are getting fairly often, and this is edged by a feeling taut-yet-playful noise artistry. In the last quarter, we get fleeting darts of graceful choral sampling added in beneath the noise, and this of course nicely nod back to the cover design.
The second sides track opens in a more subdued & moody manner- with a slow build mesh of choppy buffeting & feasting static; which all rather brought to mind the sound of an advancing rain storm. By around the fourth minute, we getting these great denser banks of static feast building up & slowly shifting across the wall- and this once again is done in a most skilful manner. By around the midway point you think things have pared & thinned back a little, but this break is fairly brief as we once more move into a fairly active flow of shifting noise textures. In the last quarter we find moments of effective harmonic discord, as you get this brooding clunking keys appearing through-out the rushes of noise. I’d say this is my favourite of the two tracks here, as there are more formal wall moments going on- but really both sides have their moments of greatness.
I’ve followed Lorenzo Abattoir work since the early & thickly brutal days of his Nascitari project- so I’m always keen to hear any new project he’s involved in, as he really is a very talented noise maker. Feuersalamander auf Abattoir is certainly another great project from him- and lets hope that Commentary on the Apocalypse- is not the one & only release, as this pair really do work well together to create a fairly active & original sound.Roger Batty