Zyklon SS – Iron Division MC Der Bunker 2016
‘Iron Division’ has been recently released on the artist’s own newly launched label ‘Der Bunker’ and sees Zyklon SS operating in very direct and powerful style, which builds upon and steps up from the material which has preceded it.
By pulling back slightly on the junk metal sound of earlier releases, whilst also replicating the hallmarks of a mid-90’s German power electronics/ heavy electronics vein, this tape is without doubt an extremely powerful one. Drenched in analogue atmospheres, the end result is suitably punishing, whereas the sound production contains a clear tonal separation of its layers. Generally speaking the tracks are constructed with a straightforward but very effective approach, which include: slow thumbing ‘oil barrel’ type beats, crude loops, shuddering bass and interweaving/ wavering/ synth lines to create a broad battlefield ambience. Vocals also take a central role as proclamations with a slight flanged treatment and being mixed upfront, whilst samples scattered throughout also flesh out its themes of racial disharmony, conflict and oppression. Admittedly some tracks skirt quite close to an early sound of Genocide Organ, but when executed with such flair as is demonstrated here, this is no qualm at all. As for particular standouts, the queasy and drilling intensity of ‘Bring Back the Camps’ is one, as are ‘Urteil’ and ‘Devil’s Guard’, which feature variations on a militant attitude, with strong and focused tracks of wavering synths and percussive industrial thuds.
Given that ‘Iron Division’ features 8 tracks it amounts to a full length ‘cassette only’ album, but when of this calibre it is highly unlikely to remain on cassette only, as before too long surely someone will opt to press this on vinyl. (…here’s hoping).