Untergeschoss of Filth, Violence & Terror

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Sewer Goddess – Hymns Of Infliction CD Filth and Violence / Terror 2015

Snuff – III CD Untergeschoss / Filth and Violence 2015

S.T.A.B. Electronics – Born For Righteous Abuse / Temple Of Self-Disgust CD Untergeschoss / Filth and Violence 2015

With reference to the modern mantra that ‘nothing is shocking anymore’, Filth and Violence have seemingly taken this sentiment as a direct challenge to see how far they can push matters of unsavoriness and distaste within the underground (…or failing that, perhaps the agenda is more personal and is all about reveling in squalor and finding beauty in humiliation and depravity?). Regardless of the label’s motivations, here we have a few more examples of visual filth and audile violence from their roster, but with all of these albums’ having been co-released with either Untergeschoss (also from Finland) or Terror (from Lithuania).

‘Hymns Of Infliction’ from Sewer Goddess is up first and an intriguing listen given this recording steps back into the murky past of the project and when their sound was staunchly death industrial and essentially the solo project of Kristen Rose. This album represents the project at a time before an evolution into a full band formation to encompass a honed guitar/ drumkit driven death industrial approach (as showcased with scalpel sharpness on the latest offering ‘Painlust’). For this album the contents are derived from 2008-2009 and feature 8 tracks at a total length of 34 minutes. Dank and foreboding death industrial soundscapes are the central sonic preoccupation, driven by grim distortion, mechanized loops, dank pounding structures and smatterings of dialogue samples. Although vocals are not present on all tracks, where they do feature they range from wailing screeches and screams through to a more understated spoken drawl. Perhaps lacking the direct and focused impact when compared to current material, this is still a strong collection death industrial musings and far from being disposable ’throw away’ material.

Moving on to Snuff’s album, having not heard ‘I’ or ‘II’ from the group I am not sure how ‘III’ compares, although the group can easily be bracketed alongside the quintessential disturbing sounds and thematic visual approach of what might be coined as ‘Finnish filth’ which characterized a large bulk of Filth and Violence’s output. Generally speaking this is power electronics at its nastiest, based on rough, crude and overblown distortion. Likewise with the degree of erupting feedback and general sonic cacophony, it very much sounds like a live in studio recording derived from large banks of bass amps to inflate the distortion to extreme levels. Being relatively loose and unpolished in execution this has been performed in a way to create a sickeningly filthy atmosphere, which is accentuated by the ragged and gruff vocals, which here features the dual attack of two separate and distinctive vocalists, often repeating the same vocal lines. However for all its overblown intensity, a couple of tracks do take more subdued routes of stalking restraint. With this approach it delivers a disturbing and morbid tone, which is accentuated by the looped sample of a child’s voice speaking Finnish on the opening untitled track, or the a gruff male voice on the late album track ‘Driven’ which repeatedly states: “I can give you a ride” (…along with other statements which hint at far darker scenarios). Regardless of whether being in aggressive or restrained guise, Snuff deliver unhinged power electronics at its most depraved. You have been warned.

Up last and similar to the Sewer Goddess CD, the S.T.A.B. Electronics is a CD release of the two earliest tapes from the project. But following some background investigation it seems that ‘Temple of Self Disgust’ was originally issued in 2010 as a 12 track self-released promo CDr, which was then released as two separate tapes by Filth and Violence.  All 12 original tracks are featured on this CD, which showcases S.T.A.B. Electronics at a time when their sound and approach was being bedded down. With raw grit and general aural nastiness these noise infused power electronic recordings are notably less honed and focused than later albums.  As such the raw aggression and spiteful level of hatred displayed exceeds even that of later albums, which pushes the atmosphere here into all encompassing and emotionally draining realms. On selected tracks such as ‘Born For Righteous Abuse’ there is a rather large similarity to the works of Con-Dom, by featuring a bulldozing ‘barely structured’ noise-scape, coupled with whipping flange treatment of the vocals. So although later material from the group illustrates a more individually distinctive sound (both sonically and vocally), this album is still a strong early statement of intent and of clear interest to see where the project has evolved to from these early works.

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