Bleakscape boss and sole Derelict Sermon member Martin Daniels put together this compilation featuring a variety of oddball sonic extremists, electronic terrorists and abyssal gazers, all of whom have a connection to the Bleakscape label in one form or another. It's an interesting mix of sounds that Daniels has assembled here, ranging from brutal power electronics to shadow-world electronics to crushing industrial sludge metal.
In fact, several of these projects come from Daniels himself: "Regina Filomena Rachid" is an old recording from 1997 from his short-lived industrial/power electronics project Survivalist, here taking shape as a lunatic frenzy of looped laughter and sinister low-end rumble, bursts of harsh feedback and distortion and chirping mechanical rhythms. Short, but unsettling. Melrose Ave opens the disc with a suitably bleak mixture of cold industrial drone and ominous spoken-word material called "Franklin Bollvolt The First"; this duo features Daniels unleashing a rumbling black hell of monstrous low-end drone and crushing distorted synth, a heavy duty death industrial assault that echoes some of the heavier works from Megaptera and Steel Hook Prostheses. And the tracks "As I Seep Out (Black Wolves In My Mind)" and "Poison Gas World" from The Terror Couple (another project from Daniels, here teaming up with Leoncia Flynn) is an interesting bit of dreamy dark ether, a combination of ghostly electronic soundscapery, distant hymns, eerie Dead Can Dance-esque vocals and surreal spoken word readings. But it's Daniels's main project Derelict Sermon that really crushes, with a weird industrialized sludge-metal workout titled "Theme To Black Communion" that combines more swirling spacey keyboards and cosmic electronic whoosh with his intense screaming vocal attack and blown-out, angular metallic crunch. A strange, chaotic confluence of sounds.
The other bands featured on Poison Gas In The Living Room include the likes of Mahler Haze, whose "The Curtains Are Twitching" is a gorgeous mass of glimmering kosmische electronics, darkened space-music set adrift over strange electronic noises and percussive detritus, a riff on the deep-space void meditations of Zeit-era Tangerine Dream steeped in hypnotic, rhythmic throb and distorted synthesizer loops. The Dirty Brothers mix up mournful rickety folk music and creepy electronic fuckery and noise on their two-part "Those Friends Of Ours", the resulting din of sad harmonium melodies and withered strings and witch-like shrieks, weirdly resembling a jug-band performing for an Inquisitor's torture session. The grinding industrial of Imprint's "Feedback" might be a little too Metropolis Records-friendly for those of you with more extreme tastes, but the teenage rivethead in me really dug this band's brand of distorted female singing, pulsating rhythms and buzzsaw synthesizer melodrama. More of that classic kosmische synth sound returns on Bad Blood's "Night Lands", again hinting at a vintage Tangerine Dream influence, but mixing those gleaming glacial synths with a fog of fractured distorted electronics and almost Tim Hecker-like gusts of granular static. And the disc closes with the only other band I was previously familiar with, the mighty UK hate-squad Bagman who delivers another burst of venomous power electronics via "Penance", a pulsating mass of cancerous electronics and fluttering noise that absolutely oozes with a weird detached sense of dread.
An interesting collection of sounds crawling around in this one little corner of the UK underground. Comes in a gatefold sleeve, and extremely limited, with only one hundred copies produced.