Heldentod - The Ghost Machine
Industrial, Power Electronics Everybody has his own ghosts that try to hunt him down, maybe not always physically, but it is a very common idea in unexplored world of unconscious. Today, Heldentod present their ghosts that hunt them recently through the fourth official album called 'The Ghost Machine'. Hailing from a distant California and being active for 8 years, this is the band's first record that finds home at some big and well-known label, three previous albums were kind of self-released.

From the first tunes of the cd, Heldentod try to prove that they are on familiar terms with the nature of fear and terror. First track of the same name as the album title is a preface where a woman voice tells a story of ghost experience, guided by a wavy machinery pulsation and a drilling background, creating a constant pressure of oppressiveness, pushing me towards the second one "Incorruptible". By a big surprise this composition becomes a total copycat of Haus Arafna, where Heldentod steps into the unsteady field of so called "angst pop", which is more often, covered my Galakthorro label. Minimalistic soft drilling gives a little bit of rhythm, the atmosphere is powdered with an airy crackling, the insinuating male vocal session chants in background. Everything seems to be in its specific place, but I am not convinced with this piece of music, because the images of November Novelet, Haus Arafna, Herz Juhning and etc. are too strong; and "Incorruptible" couldn't refresh anything in those images. The vocals sometimes are too faded and apathetic, and even the injection of power electronics energy doesn?t wash away the taste of averagism. The next track "Encystment Process" changes the mood into more ritualistic, using techniques which were already explored in the past by the bands like Endvra, but adding a little bit industrialism into them. Looping mysterious melody flows forward together with sampled voices, when splashes of noisy scratching appear from time to time as well.

The fourth composition "In the Company of Pure Cold Wind" again changes the mood bringing a solid piece of power electronics which reminded me of a mixture between Indigo Larvae and Haus Arafna; more aggression, more depression and desperation projected through violence of sound, this what the album exactly needed to fill it with a shine of torment. Dirty and dense machinery drilling, plangent hum and restless atmosphere transferred also into the next one "Revenant", rising shadows and darkest thought from the deepest corners of imagination.

Once again the album proves its diverse content with a good cinematic track "The Sentient Darkness", creating thick layers of haunted house full of mystery, where ghosts hide in each corner reaching out their hand to grab incautious explorer and drag him into the abyss of a deepest misery. As things turned out, this atmosphere didn't last too long and ended synchronically with the end of this track. "Betrayal" and "Kindermorderin" come to raise ghosts once again; and the ghosts of Haus Arafna in the first place with the same minimalism, the same tones of grey color and the same atmosphere.

After spinning this cd again and again, I still remain very confused. I tracked the information about the band and the specific album in the internet and I came over few reviews with huge praises. But unfortunately, I cannot share the excitement of others and I am here to raise my concerns. On one hand, everything is highly professional and diverse. Each track has its own face; all the tracks have a really balanced running time to keep them right to the point, the band tries different techniques of power electronics, dark ambient, industrial and "angst pop", mixes them together and the product is stable and smooth. But on the other hand, they keep being so much "look like others" that the professionalism loses its advantage, and I cannot fire myself up to enjoy this record as much as it was conceived. Anyway, with 'The Ghost Machine' Heldentod made a good move and joined the family of Cold Spring label, and I hope that their potential together with labels' support will raise them to a new level of creativity.
4
Brutal Resonance

Heldentod - The Ghost Machine

Everybody has his own ghosts that try to hunt him down, maybe not always physically, but it is a very common idea in unexplored world of unconscious. Today, Heldentod present their ghosts that hunt them recently through the fourth official album called 'The Ghost Machine'. Hailing from a distant California and being active for 8 years, this is the band's first record that finds home at some big and well-known label, three previous albums were kind of self-released.

From the first tunes of the cd, Heldentod try to prove that they are on familiar terms with the nature of fear and terror. First track of the same name as the album title is a preface where a woman voice tells a story of ghost experience, guided by a wavy machinery pulsation and a drilling background, creating a constant pressure of oppressiveness, pushing me towards the second one "Incorruptible". By a big surprise this composition becomes a total copycat of Haus Arafna, where Heldentod steps into the unsteady field of so called "angst pop", which is more often, covered my Galakthorro label. Minimalistic soft drilling gives a little bit of rhythm, the atmosphere is powdered with an airy crackling, the insinuating male vocal session chants in background. Everything seems to be in its specific place, but I am not convinced with this piece of music, because the images of November Novelet, Haus Arafna, Herz Juhning and etc. are too strong; and "Incorruptible" couldn't refresh anything in those images. The vocals sometimes are too faded and apathetic, and even the injection of power electronics energy doesn?t wash away the taste of averagism. The next track "Encystment Process" changes the mood into more ritualistic, using techniques which were already explored in the past by the bands like Endvra, but adding a little bit industrialism into them. Looping mysterious melody flows forward together with sampled voices, when splashes of noisy scratching appear from time to time as well.

The fourth composition "In the Company of Pure Cold Wind" again changes the mood bringing a solid piece of power electronics which reminded me of a mixture between Indigo Larvae and Haus Arafna; more aggression, more depression and desperation projected through violence of sound, this what the album exactly needed to fill it with a shine of torment. Dirty and dense machinery drilling, plangent hum and restless atmosphere transferred also into the next one "Revenant", rising shadows and darkest thought from the deepest corners of imagination.

Once again the album proves its diverse content with a good cinematic track "The Sentient Darkness", creating thick layers of haunted house full of mystery, where ghosts hide in each corner reaching out their hand to grab incautious explorer and drag him into the abyss of a deepest misery. As things turned out, this atmosphere didn't last too long and ended synchronically with the end of this track. "Betrayal" and "Kindermorderin" come to raise ghosts once again; and the ghosts of Haus Arafna in the first place with the same minimalism, the same tones of grey color and the same atmosphere.

After spinning this cd again and again, I still remain very confused. I tracked the information about the band and the specific album in the internet and I came over few reviews with huge praises. But unfortunately, I cannot share the excitement of others and I am here to raise my concerns. On one hand, everything is highly professional and diverse. Each track has its own face; all the tracks have a really balanced running time to keep them right to the point, the band tries different techniques of power electronics, dark ambient, industrial and "angst pop", mixes them together and the product is stable and smooth. But on the other hand, they keep being so much "look like others" that the professionalism loses its advantage, and I cannot fire myself up to enjoy this record as much as it was conceived. Anyway, with 'The Ghost Machine' Heldentod made a good move and joined the family of Cold Spring label, and I hope that their potential together with labels' support will raise them to a new level of creativity. Nov 22 2012

Andrew Dienes

info@brutalresonance.com
Writer and contributor on Brutal Resonance

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