Der Blutharsch and the Infinite Church o - The Cosmic Trigger Re-Triggered [WKN - 2019]
Der Blutharsch are an Austrian industrial/neofolk band formed in 1996 by multi-instrumentalist Albin Julius. The band’s sound is diverse and goes way beyond the industrial/neofolk tag, incorporating influences from kosmische music, dark ambient and psychedelia into their sound. The Cosmic Trigger was originally released in 2013, however this version has been revisited, rearranged and reconstituted for a modern audience.
Opening track "Follow Us" Instead is a slightly off-kilter electronic industrial track with a repetitive 80s synth drum track that all seems at odds with the odd vocal track. "Desire" is up next, and one can’t help but feel reminded of a more industrial sounding Soft Cell but with Marc Almond’s raw, sensual voice replaced by the slightly otherworldly sounding vocals of Albin Julius. The title track follows, after an opening that includes some pretty interesting church style organ it eventually settles into a Tubular Bells style keyboard, however the 1980s electropop vibes remain an integral part of the band’s sound and those otherworldly vocals remain. "Flying Through the Exit" picks up the pace and is once again reminiscent of the sound of early Soft Cell and The Human League, with mostly spoken lyrics. Hold On continues the primitive analogue synth sounds, this time a little more reminiscent of early 1970s pioneers like Kraftwerk, there is also something of a John Carpenter sound that permeates the track.
"Walking in Straight Lines" is the album’s centre point, a fairly straight forward industrial track with spoken words that sound more like soundbites taken from movies. The next track "Sacred Mountain" comes on like a giant slab of gothy synthpop, an uncanny chill seems to pervade the whole track giving it the feel of something you might have heard in the Bat Cave or limelight. "Cosmic Trigger Mk2" sticks with the 80s synth vibes sounding like some weird mash up of synthpop and industrial. "Hopeless" like much that’s gone before has that 80s electronica vibe, but with an added sense of the wyrdness associated with much modern electronica. "Terrible Place" features some pretty prevalent guitar riffing over a motorik beat with more of those slightly off-kilter vocals that are predominant throughout the album. The album closes with Zero, a repetitive instrumental that seems to serve merely to close the album.
Overall, The Cosmic Trigger Re-Triggered is a fairly enjoyable slab of kosmische tinged industrial music. Cold and murky, the album hints at the work of synthpop pioneers like Soft Cell and The Human League as well as kosmische legends Kraftwerk and there’s even a little John Carpenter worship in the mix too. Whilst it never quite reaches the heights of those other artists, it remains an interesting and well put together album that may get the odd spin in the weeks to come.