Serration – The Open Mouth Of Infinite Destruction CD Chondritic Sounds 2020
Serration – Force of Damnation MC Total Black 2020
Serration have been on a bit of a roll in recent years with a slew of releases issued since 2018. If you have then heard any of Serration’s prior material, both of these new titles continue the established sound of brooding and militant industrial / heavy electronics.
Turning to The Open Mouth Of Infinite Destruction first, from the outset saturated synths lines waiver and dive-bomb in intertwining unison, while the heavily processed vocals are sonically smeared to elevate an urgent mood, yet being wholly unintelligible. Inexhaustible Conflict follows a similar vein yet takes a gradual step up with a wailing siren texture and its catatonic underpinning beat. A.P.C. embodies yet more tensile militant atmospheres, being a soundscape rather than rhythmic driven, and while the vocals subdued and spoken in delivery they are still heavily processed. The Storm Of Ash And Steel stands apart with what sounds to be a looped synth line replicating an orchestral tone against a backdrop of seething invasive mid-toned drones, and echo panned production, while the final track is a live recording of A.P.C. made in Chicago in March, 2018. Being slightly more hollowed in tone than its studio counterpart, given the noted absence of crowd noise it is clear this material is a recording taken directly from the mixing desk (if was not identified as a live recording, it would not be immediately apparent). At only 22 minutes length, this is a short and to the point release. Packaging is rounded out with six panel digi-pack on heavy card stock with, cleanly designed visuals.
Force of Damnation delivers a further five new tracks, also spanning around 22 minutes of material. W.I.T.W opens the tape where it is immediately noted that the vocals have been pushed to the fore and are all the more powerful for it, blended also with urban guerrilla battlefield type recordings and seething / brooding synth textures. March Of Lies makes great use laboriously intertwining synth layers, radio chatter and hefty processed vocals. Further vocal variation is noted on Survive_Comply where with reduced sonic treatment for the most part they are intelligible, while the backing is relatively subdued mid to higher toned synth drones and middle eastern derived crowd chatter. The tape then rounds out with Grease And Blood, another mid toned mass of seething synths, sonically charred vocals and and urban warfare / machine gun chatter. For the physical presentation a cleanly design cover rounds out a thus far consistent visual aesthetic for the group, in a limited edition of 125.
Although perhaps splitting hairs between these two releases, the production of Force of Damnation is wider in sonic scope given the separation of its tonal elements, while the mood ever so slightly more subdued. Yet more than anything this is an extremely minor observation, as both releases are high calibre and very worthy additions to Serration’s quickly expanding discography, which also functions to highlight why the group have been receiving positive accolades of late.