The Cold Spring reissue of Blood And Sand has been out of print for ages, but a very small quantity of these just turned up through one of my suppliers. Originally released on cassette on Old Europa Cafe in 1990 and then later on CD via Cold Spring early in the past decade, this is one of Grey Wolves most haunting albums. The original cassette was a collaboration with the obscure industrial project Shock City and acted as a commentary on the first Gulf War in the early 90's, but for this release, the Wolves remixed the recordings into a new, even bleaker soundscape, dividing the album into two half-hour tracks of extreme, radioactive ambience and released this just as the Iraq War began to get underway.
The first track "Desert Storm" is an arid nightmare dronescape, oscillating loops chopping through space like Apache helicopters cruising low over scorched sands, chopped and screwed news media samples and waves of radio interference, sounds of warfare blurred into a rumbling desolate ambience. Totally different from the early Broken Flag-style tape murk of their 80's releases, this is harsh and malevolent ambient sound that ranks as one of their best and most terrifying works. This apocalyptic vibe likewise runs through the second track "Gulf Breeze", which begins with some looped static evolving into a sprawling field of percussive noise and eerie drift populated with buzzing engines and howling choral synths, the sound becoming beautifully austere. Over the second half of the track, a simple pounding drumbeat enters, and here the duo lock into a motorik percussive throb that stretches outward for several minutes, before eventually returning to the chirping noise, delay effects, and murky sampled voices that make up the chaotic 21st century battlefield ambience that began the track.
Released in a limited edition of 1000 copies, and now completely out of print. These are the last copies that we'll probably ever haveÖ