REVIEW: Various Artists - "Enochian Dissonance Volume I"

By Wilde

Chain Border

This disc is only technically a compilation. Consisting of D'hiver Mort, a couple of their side projects, and two other bands, one of which has a sit-in D'hiver Mort member, this is almost purely a vanity piece. D'hiver Mort ("the cult of winter death") and their side projects Disintegration Chamber and Slave to Synthea lead off this CD, with other tracks from Integrity 236 and Ursula-X. Like most industrial music, almost all the vocals on the CD are completely unintelligible.

D'Hiver Mort, a Huntsville, AL based band which has been going for roughly a decade, consisted at the time of this disc's recording of Synthea Dreamsinger on guitars, keys, and programming; Samedi Bloodletter on keyboards, vox, and samples; and Dianavere on bass, keys, and backing vocals. Dianavere has since been replaced by Fearsore. D'Hiver Mort got together when Synthea and Samedi decided they were tired of doing black metal and wanted to try industrial music. Disintegration Chamber is Samedi's side project and Slave to Synthea is, well, Synthea's. A lot of their music clearly displays their black metal roots. This is the second disc they've appeared on, the other being a single (Elegium in Obitum Veris). As to why they've been operating for a decade with very little recorded, well, it's this reviewer's understanding that there really isn't much of an industrial fan base in Alabama.

Disintegration Chamber, Samedi Bloodletter's side project, has a demo out. No other information is publicly available.

Slave to Synthea, Synthea Dreamsinger's side project, also employs Asarualim Darkdancer (programming, engineering), Dianavere ("etheric melodies"), and Syntherzukal ("inspiration and evisceration"). Synthea covers guitars, keys, and vox. They have a demo, Goddess, available.

Integrity 236 is Travis Rainey, also of Huntsville. Not much information seems to be publicly available on this outfit. Rainey's music reminds me of a cross between Massive Attack and Nine Inch Nails, but slightly quieter.

Ursula-X is another Huntsville industrial artist. Almost no information on her is available. Musically, think Marilyn Manson meets Dick Dale by way of GodHeadSilo.

As for the tracks:

Disintegration Chamber (D'hiver Mort side project)

Undead - This track features heavy beats, low, gurgling black metal style vox and Twin Peaks-reminiscent synths in the background.

Before the Light - A silly vampire track, Before the Light is almost black metal in slow motion. Heavy Cradle of Filth-style synths combined with slightly off key GWAR-style vocals make this track sound like a modern B-horror soundtrack. Dirge-O-Matic, dude.

Nightmares - This track, like the other two from Disintegration Chamber, seems to display a serious flesh eating fixation. The sense of being in a haunted dollhouse is provided by background tinkling, absurd, off key vocals, and the obligatory echo effects and gurgling whispers. Let's just say that Disintegration Chamber should never be listened to through headphones unless one is a vampire fan or has a really good sense of humor.

D'Hiver Mort

Angel - Chock full of odd vocal effects, pounding beats, chanting, fuzz guitar, organ synths, and electronic chirps, this track is very dancy-butt in a vaguely Leather Strip manner. It'd be a lot better if they weren't trying so hard to be self-consciously eee-vil on the vox. "Naughty cheerleader" type samples abound.

XXV (xtian xponential value) - RevCo meets the Melvins, XXV is total sludge, with a slow distorted rock beat, lots of synths, and alternating female and male croaking vox. D'Hiver Mort is one of those bands where it's hard to tell if they're even close to being in key, or whether or not it matters.

Fall, Winter - Folky, then dirgey, then straight into stock hyperactive black metal. Peter Steele type croaking mixed with radically off-key female vox are the rule here, mixed with Castlevania-style synths.

Falling Angel - This track is a little more ambient than the others. Dominated by pounding beats, various blatantly electronic effects, and sporadic heavy bass, Falling Angel seems to be as close as D'Hiver Mort gets to proper industrial.

Slave to Synthea (D'hiver Mort side project)

Mirror - Driven by phat bass synths, Mirror starts out with a bit of a Legend medieval vibe, then goes pure industrial with pounding drums, distorted, KMFDM-like vox, and various moaning samples.

Hydroflouric Acid Conspiracy - The predominant riff reminds me of the temple theme from Conan the Destroyer, vaguely tinkling and medieval-sounding. Lots of low-mixed samples here, next to no vox, and extremely electronic-sounding synths. This track is a bit too bouncy to be really depressing, but not quite bouncy enough to be really danceable.

Lover (Syntherzukal 1999) - Low aquatic pounding and more low-mixed samples here, with lots of buzzing synths and vox so low as to be nearly drowned out. Goes into fast Front Line Assembly style percussion near the end.

Integrity 236

To Be Immortal - With heavy distorted beats, reverberating distorted guitar, and distorted vox, this track is all about distortion. It has an odd beat structure. That's all there is to say about this one.

Hopeless - Monster bass synth riff on this one. This is a rather slow paced track, with guitar samples and whispered vox. Not particularly technically interesting, but groovy.

Maybe 2K - Featuring fast, ragged beats, low, growled vox, and occasional guitar spikes, this track has a very NIN vibe to it, but more low-key. Various quiet electronic squonks, beeps, etc. abound.

Tick (1999 Version) - This one has a slow heavy beat, really low guitar, and growled vox. Percussion alternates hi-hat with just low toms. Midway through the song, a heavy echo effect cuts in and doesn't go away. Not bad, but not great.

Ursula-X

Saturn - Tribal beats and distorted rhythm guitar here, with heavy vocal distortion. The vox are reminiscent of a cross between GodHeadSilo and David Yow of the Jesus Lizard. Bit of a surf feel on this one, as there's an overlay of slightly overdriven Dick Dale-sounding guitar.

Controlling/Uncontrolling - Similar mix on this one, minus the surf guitar and with more of a Marilyn Manson vibe.

All in all, this disc offers a fairly decent, if not particularly stellar, sampling of Alabama industrial. The production is quite good overall, although the density of the mixing make it sound a bit amateurish. Enochian Dissonance Volume I, while more than a bit cheesy, might just make a worthwhile addition to the cosmopolitan rivethead's collection, particularly if one is heavily into Leather Strip and black metal.

Contact Information:
D'Hiver Mort Web: http://artists.mp3s.com/artists/42/dhiver_mort.html
Deadworld Records Web: http://atsila.com/deadworld/

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