40 Octaves Below - Serketre
This review was commissioned through Ko-fi. However, it bears no weight on the score or decision. All reviews are written from an unbiased standpoint.
40 Octaves Below is an industrial, gothic, and electronic musician from Vancouver, British Colombia in Canada. His debut album “digital fracture” came out on May 29th, 2019 and was thirteen years in the making. Shortly after, he put out a digital remix / collaborative piece to “digital fracture” titled “digital resurrections”. His next album took a similar approach to his debut; “dead silence” came out on February 1st, 2021 with the remix / companion piece “auditory inoculations” releasing four months later in June. For about ten months after, 40 Octaves Below was silent as he worked on his next big piece. That piece being ‘Serketre’, a single which is but a taste of their forthcoming album “MetaVersUs” which is due out later this year. Dubbed an industrial-horror track, ‘Serketre’ is a lovely electro-industrial track filled with ominous beats and machine precision.
A crying, deep synth takes us into the song as booming percussion rocks in a few seconds later. 40 Octaves Below takes no time in introducing other samples and noise elements into his track, keeping things fresh from start to finish. The backing ambiance and synths are always moving, rarely staying consistent except during chorus segments – which is expected. But the amount of diversity that 40 Octaves Below puts into his track within three-and-a-half minutes is impressive. The vocals fit the genre, going for that strained-vocal presence so many industrial artists use. However, his voice can sound tinny at times especially during the opening of the song.
The single also comes with four remixes in total from Angelspit, Anthony (H), Di Auger, and Live Evil Productions. Angelspit gives it an electropunk / glitch edge which is something I expect from the producer at this point. Anthony (H) plays with the club elements and transforms ‘Serketre’ into a dark electro track, though the drowned-out effect placed on the vocals didn’t suit me well. Di Auger gives ‘Serketre’ a raw EBM makeover, but I wasn’t too huge on the mix. I felt as if the mixing was off as certain elements of the remix remained washed out over others. Coincidentally, my favorite remix on the EP comes from Live Evil Productions. They take the original track and transform it into a noisy stomp number. If Noise Body Music was a thing, then this is what it would sound like.
While it’s much too early to judge 40 Octaves Below’s debut album (considering that I haven’t heard it), I can at least assume that it will be just as or even better than what has been offered on Serketre. The complaints are minor and while some of the remixes weren’t to my taste in full, what was presented is solid musicianship and an understanding of the dark side of electronics. Seven out of ten.
Apr 16 2022
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I've been writing for Brutal Resonance since November of 2012 and now serve as the editor-in-chief. I love the dark electronic underground and usually have too much to listen to at once but I love it. I am also an editor at Aggressive Deprivation, a digital/physical magazine since March of 2016. I support the scene as much as I can from my humble laptop.
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