Trepaneringsritualen – Ritualer, Blot & Botgöring Infinite Fog Productions 2014 Trepaneringsritualen – Veil The World CD Cold Spring Records 2015
Noting the limited and obscure nature of much of Trepaneringsritualen’s (TxRxP) earliest output, coupled with increasing interest in the project in recent years, there has been obvious label interest in re-releasing this material. Hence Infinite Fog Productions and Cold Spring Records have been good enough to give the first 2 releases from TxRxP a repress in a less limited CD format.
Although the debut tape ‘Ritualer, Blot & Botgöring’ from 2008 had already been repressed on vinyl in 2012 (in an edition of 275 copies), ‘Infinite Fog Productions’ has issued this new edition on CD with the inclusion of 2 bonus tracks. Given I have already reviewed the LP version previously (reviewed here), I will focus this review on the additional tracks. ‘Death Is Your Friend’ is the first bonus offering and originally featured on an obscure 2008 compilation cassette ‘White Nights’. This piece is rather straight forward in structure, which means it deviates from the main bulk of sprawling death industrial soundscapes. Here rough and forceful grinding loops blend with overblown distortion, while garbled vocals and voice snippets are wrapped up into a dank muffled production. The second bonus track is ‘Seeing What I Suffer’, which delves into a militant occult sound, featuring ritualistic drones and heavy militaristic drumming, all the while the vocals pushing it into the song oriented approach of recent material. This particular track is of epic proportions (even by TxRxP’s standards), and whilst ‘Death Is Your Friend’ is a relatively stock standard offering, ‘Seeing What I Suffer’ is a fantastic bonus and conclusion to the expanded album. The packaging for ‘Ritualer, Blot & Botgöring’ is rounded out with slick 4 panel digi-pack with new inner panel imagery of trepanning to match that of the cover.
In its original form ‘Veil the World’ was issued in 2011 in an edition of 40 tapes and housed in an embossed and varnished box including art prints and rusty nails, and so as to keep some visual continuity with this re-release, images of nails feature prominently on the 6 panel digi-pack. In reflecting today on the music featured on ‘Veil the World’, on selected tracks it demonstrates the gradual move of TxRxP towards more structure focused realms. Also although 6 of the 9 original tracks of ‘Veil the World’ were featured on the 2 compilation CD’s titled ‘The Totality of Death’, it is nevertheless great to have the original collection of tracks together under the proper release banner (…but to add an element of confusion, the original 7th track ‘Field of Blood’ has been replaced with another track ‘Akeldama’ and the order of the last 2 tracks switched).
‘Cherem’ opens ‘Veil the World’ as a ominous ceremonial soundscape which paves the way for the title track, and when it comes roaring from the speakers it is in the guise of pounding tribal militancy, resplendent with the now trademark croaked vocalisations. Alternately ‘Lightbringer’ has a more a slow burning feel, with droning beat and vocals sitting amongst swirling layered noise, while ‘Drunk with Blood’ is another focused rhythmically swaying offering (here the rhythm is based on looped mid-range distortion and shuddering sonic textures). This focused piece is followed by a triptych of tensile death industrial soundscapes (‘Nekyia’, ‘Akeldama’ and ‘Invocation’), each featuring disembodied vocalisations or invocation focused dialogue samples for good measure. The final of the 9 album tracks is ‘C’est Un Reve’, which is technically a Death in June cover song, where the chanted vocal line is yelled here over a repetitive, lurching and relatively up tempo militant death industrial backing. In truth this is virtually unrecognisable as a cover song, meaning TxRxP have absolutely made it their own and in the process providing a forceful conclusion to the album.
Given the limited nature of original versions both of these re-releases are worthy editions to TxRxP’s discography, and functions to showcase the early evolution of sound and differing approaches the project has taken within a Swedish death industrial framework.