This double-cassette compilation from Phage might not be very long (each artist's side only features one track), but they make up for that with this assemblage of top-notch material from everyone involved; in fact, I think that this set is one of the heaviest fuckin' death industrial/PE releases that I've heard all year. With exclusive stuff from Nyodene D, Gnawed, RU-486 and Disgust, this gives fans of extreme electronic violence a cross-section of some of the heaviest and most potent artists working in this grimy corner of the industrial noise underground.
Disgust start it off with a fearsome blast of black electronics titled "Mercy", which begins with a long ominous sample from a news report involving murder, then erupts into a massive distorted synthesizer riff that's so blown out and crushing that it almost resembles a doom metal riff being filtered through throat-clogging amounts of speaker howl, black ash, and cranked over modulation. The harsh, layered vocals are treated with heavy amounts of delay but are carefully preserved in all of their larynx rending hysteria, producing one hell of a heavy, metallic take on death industrial. I'd never heard this project prior to this compilation, but now I'm a confirmed fan. On the other side of this first tape, Gnawed shambles out of the feedback-filth with "Kill What I Eat", another concrete slab of looped noise and amp-scream sculpted into crushing industrial grooves that roll like spiked tank treads on a gore-splattered half-track rolling across the corpse littered wastes of some nightmare deathworld. And just like it did on that amazing cassette Devolve that also came out on Phage, this evokes this previous unheard fusion of extreme industrial-sludge heaviness with demonic power electronics like nothing I've heard before. This is one of the heaviest, most savage projects in the Phage catalog, without a doubt.
Tape two leaves you with little pause for breath, though the distant thunderblasts of klaxon synth and the crunch and scrape of shoveled grave-earth creates a more subdued atmosphere of dread on Nyodene D's "The Measure of a Man". This newer PE project has made an impression on me as of late with his deft use of black ambient sound and pulsating drone within the structure of fairly traditional power electronics, and this piece is of the same level of quality and seething malevolence. And last up is "Kathoey" from RU-486, who has at least one other recent release on this week's new arrivals list, part of a fairly prolific year of output that's continued to deliver some really nasty rhythmic death industrial from the Mississippi based outfit. The core of RU-486's sound is a massively distorted PE assault formed upon thick, bone-rattling layers of synthesizer drone, guttural vocals and lyrical observations of sexual debasement that bears a strong resemblance to older Prurient, but this sound is joined by abrasive junk-metal textures that transforms it into an ugly, ear-grinding beast of it's own. Great shit.
Like all of the other stuff that I've gotten from Phage, the packaging and presentation is great; the pro-made tapes are housed together in an oversized plastic case with a three-color screen printed cover insert (which includes lyrics, thankfully!). It's extremely limited, of course, released in an edition of one hundred and twenty five copies. I really can't recommend this enough if you're a fan of the heaviest strains of American PE.