Staalkracht - A Means To An End
Death Industrial, Noise The number of bands that are machinery inspired grows from day to day. They continue to breed constantly, giving the whole genre more accessibility for random listener that seeks more diversity for his musical taste. While twenty years ago heavy industrial bands could be count using fingers of one hand, or maybe two, without being too critical here, but nowadays I discover new names very frequently. Meantime, the old bands continue to inspire the newcomers, giving them food for personal creativity, but they still dictate the rules and try keep the level high enough, setting certain standards.

It is always hard to judge about the quality of death industrial / power electronics acts, while they usually express abstractive images, being a projection of persons' inner world and special experience. While the expression itself usually carries the certain messages and energies, they can be solved and comprehended according to listeners specific taste.

And today I came over the project that I had never heard before, that's why I willingly concentrate my ears and open my mind to absorb the latest album from Jim Breedveld, which hides behind the code name Staalkracht. The themes that Jim exploits in 'A Means To An End' are not new, they had been always discussed by lots of artists on the scene,- depression, abuse, violence, those emotions are frequent guests inside the personality of everybody positioning himself through the prism of heavy industrial music.

What do I have on this record is a poisonous mix of different extreme genres, creating a sonic soundscape of industrialized world. The tracks are kept in the same mood without manipulating with emotional background. There is no light in Jims' world, all the structures are totally gloomy, and darkness creeps out of them reaching out its rotten hands towards listeners' inner world, trying to drag it into the deepest holes of desperation. "There is no Way to Happiness" is the name of the second track, and it correctly describes the feelings risen during the listening. Looping background hum is guided by heavy distorted industrial noises, drilling sounds and radio interferences. "Agoraphobia" is a less violent track that has a very concentrated droning origin, the sound is dirty on the level of simple white noise, nothing special happens to wake it up or bring any refreshment into the monotonous structure. The fourth composition "Desecration of the Body" suddenly transforms into dark ambient track, flavored with lots of occasional field recording samples of splashing water, tweeting birds and blowing wind.

It became very popular to insert political themes into death industrial music, and Staalkracht didn't remain in debt with the fifth composition "A Tale of American Culture", where a strong noisy background is mixed with the sound of a working plant. "Infant Joy" continues what was started in the previous track, raising the noisy level a little bit. I didn't understand exactly, why it was needed to separate those two, shapeless layers wrapped into machinery effects are almost the same on both of them with a little difference is in the tonality, which is almost not significant in this case. Anyhow, the record continues with "G.J.Schaefer", started on low level of white noise and a voice speaking something, which progressively develops into a more violent and intense picture of destruction. The album ends with a plangent composition "Social Stigma" that captures my attention with its again monotonous, almost hypnotic atmosphere, definitely a good way to finish this journey.

As my feet touch the surface of everyday life back again after listening to this creation few times in a row, I can state with confidence that I didn't discover anything new for myself. I cannot point on something specific that detracts from the dignity of this record, but the feeling that called "I've heard this before" remains strong enough. Most of the passages are predictable even when they are carefully arranged and have a lot of thought behind them. But at least most of them have their own face and don't turn this album into one monotonous piece. Despite the obvious shortcomings, 'A Means To An End' still shows that Jim has a good potential for the future as long as he stops to fall into the lake of averagism.
3
Brutal Resonance

Staalkracht - A Means To An End

6.5
"Alright"
N/A
Electroracle
Released 2012 by Peripheral Records
The number of bands that are machinery inspired grows from day to day. They continue to breed constantly, giving the whole genre more accessibility for random listener that seeks more diversity for his musical taste. While twenty years ago heavy industrial bands could be count using fingers of one hand, or maybe two, without being too critical here, but nowadays I discover new names very frequently. Meantime, the old bands continue to inspire the newcomers, giving them food for personal creativity, but they still dictate the rules and try keep the level high enough, setting certain standards.

It is always hard to judge about the quality of death industrial / power electronics acts, while they usually express abstractive images, being a projection of persons' inner world and special experience. While the expression itself usually carries the certain messages and energies, they can be solved and comprehended according to listeners specific taste.

And today I came over the project that I had never heard before, that's why I willingly concentrate my ears and open my mind to absorb the latest album from Jim Breedveld, which hides behind the code name Staalkracht. The themes that Jim exploits in 'A Means To An End' are not new, they had been always discussed by lots of artists on the scene,- depression, abuse, violence, those emotions are frequent guests inside the personality of everybody positioning himself through the prism of heavy industrial music.

What do I have on this record is a poisonous mix of different extreme genres, creating a sonic soundscape of industrialized world. The tracks are kept in the same mood without manipulating with emotional background. There is no light in Jims' world, all the structures are totally gloomy, and darkness creeps out of them reaching out its rotten hands towards listeners' inner world, trying to drag it into the deepest holes of desperation. "There is no Way to Happiness" is the name of the second track, and it correctly describes the feelings risen during the listening. Looping background hum is guided by heavy distorted industrial noises, drilling sounds and radio interferences. "Agoraphobia" is a less violent track that has a very concentrated droning origin, the sound is dirty on the level of simple white noise, nothing special happens to wake it up or bring any refreshment into the monotonous structure. The fourth composition "Desecration of the Body" suddenly transforms into dark ambient track, flavored with lots of occasional field recording samples of splashing water, tweeting birds and blowing wind.

It became very popular to insert political themes into death industrial music, and Staalkracht didn't remain in debt with the fifth composition "A Tale of American Culture", where a strong noisy background is mixed with the sound of a working plant. "Infant Joy" continues what was started in the previous track, raising the noisy level a little bit. I didn't understand exactly, why it was needed to separate those two, shapeless layers wrapped into machinery effects are almost the same on both of them with a little difference is in the tonality, which is almost not significant in this case. Anyhow, the record continues with "G.J.Schaefer", started on low level of white noise and a voice speaking something, which progressively develops into a more violent and intense picture of destruction. The album ends with a plangent composition "Social Stigma" that captures my attention with its again monotonous, almost hypnotic atmosphere, definitely a good way to finish this journey.

As my feet touch the surface of everyday life back again after listening to this creation few times in a row, I can state with confidence that I didn't discover anything new for myself. I cannot point on something specific that detracts from the dignity of this record, but the feeling that called "I've heard this before" remains strong enough. Most of the passages are predictable even when they are carefully arranged and have a lot of thought behind them. But at least most of them have their own face and don't turn this album into one monotonous piece. Despite the obvious shortcomings, 'A Means To An End' still shows that Jim has a good potential for the future as long as he stops to fall into the lake of averagism. Nov 07 2012

Andrew Dienes

info@brutalresonance.com
Writer and contributor on Brutal Resonance

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