Thursday, 18 February 2016

Billy Bao - Communisation

'Communisation'
Billy Bao
2015

(Band Submission)

Review by Joey

Genre/s: Noise Rock, Industrial, Power Electronics, Noise
For Fans Of: Cosmonauts Hail Satan, Premature Ejactulation, Twin Stumps, Skullflower

Everyone at FBN is a huge Billy Bao fan, I'm talking geek status; so when I saw Mattin sent us an email, giving us a heads up about the new 12" (which I actually knew about, as it was one of my most anticipated and favorite releases of 2015), I practically jumped out of my chair. I actually wanted to post this when it came out in December, but couldn't, because it wasn't up for free download -- but now we've gotten the green light, so here we go.

Those of you who know Billy Bao should have an idea of what to expect; on Communisation, they are doing what they do best. Those who don't, you're in for a ride. Billy Bao is notorious for their ability to create some of the most jarring and uncomfortable noise and noise rock, by not only combining the most abrasive elements of both instrumental and electronic noise; but also by turning those combinations into horrifying sound collages though the use of musique concrète techniques to play around with their mixes. Communisation sees them utilizing this style over the course of two tracks. The first is somewhat in the vein of their May 08 LP; it's 10 minutes of noise rock interspersed with power electronics and occasionally random instrumentation, field recordings, piercing tones, and sounds that make you think maybe something is wrong with your speakers (or headphones or whatever). The second reminds me of their Urban Disease LP; the track is a 20 minute sound collage which focuses on field recordings, tape loops, power electronics, and occasional instrumentation (mostly percussion). Trust me, it doesn't get boring at all, it's fucking terrifying and it's fucking awesome. This LP is a great addition to their already fantastic discography (which I obviously highly recommend).

Here's the short version: if you want noise -- and I mean more than just power electronics or monotonous repetition, I mean shit that is genuinely challenging and out there -- then Billy Bao should be your first stop. Smash that download button and get fucked up.

Tracklisting:
1. Debt: The Crisis To Come
2. Communisation: The Revolution Of Our Times

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On a related note, Mattin also sent the Lagos Sessions 2xLP which I'll be reviewing for Cvlt Nation since they don't want the recordings out just yet. So keep a lookout for that.

Sunday, 7 February 2016

IT'S FINALLY HERE + I CAN FINALLY PUT THIS UP (DOUBLE POST): COLUMN OF HEAVEN / SUFFERING LUNA - SPLIT LP + COLUMN OF HEAVEN / WOLVES OF HEAVEN - PRECIPICE CS

'Column Of Heaven / Suffering Luna'
Column Of Heaven / Suffering Luna
2016

Review by Joey

Genre/s: Grindcore, Deathgrind, Blackened Death Metal, Sludge, Doom, Industrial Power Electronics, Death Industrial, Noise Rock, Noise
For Fans Of: Gasp, Knelt Rote, Dead Body Love, Man Is The Bastard/Noise

I have been waiting close to two years for this split to come out. While I wish it had come out earlier, it was so worth the wait. Holy fucking shit. I'd heard the demo version of Column Of Heaven's material on the Precipice tape (which I'm including in this post since Andrew Nolan said to hold off on putting it up here until the final split came out) and of course it was amazing on that version, and is still amazing in its revised form. Suffering Luna's material is all new to me, and I am so blown away by it, even more than I expected to be.

I don't want to just rehash my review of Precipice for Column Of Heaven's side, because it definitely is not the same. For example, the opening track, Nothing, has been changed from a 10 second burst of grind to a 35 second burst of pulsing power electronics that sounds like something you'd hear from Anenzaphalia. Another big difference is that the mix is much cleaner (not necessarily a bad thing, although it took a bit to adjust to, since I was used to the Precipice mix) and so everything that's going on is out in the open, actually giving this an ominous, overwhelming feeling equal to what they accomplished on the Mission From God LP (and really everything they've put out). And, since that LP, Column Of Heaven have been integrating black/death influences into their music; and its usage has gone from tinges to being the core of what they are doing here. The material on the Demonology tape (later on the split 7" with Radioactive Vomit) had heavy black/death leanings, but this material pushes it even further to the point that I'd risk saying they are primarily playing black/death. They are totally bestial here, and their bludgeoning assault isn't stopped by their integration of terrifying, intense power electronics tracks; it's made even more punishing. I'm so sad that this band is no more, they were truly one of the best and I seriously consider myself ridiculously lucky to have gotten to see them. I've heard that Andrew Nolan's new band is even filthier and possibly better than Column Of Heaven (how does he keep doing it?), but I have yet to hear it for myself. So here's to hoping a demo surfaces soon.

But don't forget this is a split LP. When I heard that there was going to be a split between Column Of Heaven and Suffering Luna, I was in disbelief. Two absolutely incredible, powerhouse, out-there as fuck bands on the same record? Sign me the fuck up. Suffering Luna's side holds its own against Column Of Heaven's, which should come as no surprise to anyone familiar with them. Their split with Dystopia is legendary, even though most people (wrongly) tend to only pay attention to Dystopia's side; their split with Gasp is truly deranged and weird in a way that hip glove wearing punks can only dream of touching (then again, I think listening to grind and noise isn't cool for them anymore). On this split, Suffering Luna goes all out (as they are wont to do), entwining filthy riffs with power electronics and samples, somewhat reminiscent of later era Man Is The Bastard (see: Thoughtless) but with less prog riffing and more jamming and their trademark heavy reliance on samples. Oh, and I guess I should mention that their side is only one track, and that the track is over 17 minutes long. Some people might be deterred by that, but trust me, this track is paced perfectly and when it's over you'll probably wish it wasn't (that's how I feel every time I hear it, anyway). This shit is totally fucked in the way that only a band like Suffering Luna could hope to achieve. Now hopefully they'll tour someday.

For those of you who saw this review and thought "tl;dr" here's a more concise version: fucking download this and listen to it because I can guarantee that it is without a doubt one of the best things 2016 has to offer. Official seal of approval from me, the internet's #1 punk bully and hater of fun. Also, I split the tracks since Nerve Altar's bandcamp has all of Column Of Heaven's side as a single track. Okay, I'm done, have at it.

Tracklisting:
1. Column Of Heaven - Nothing
2. Column Of Heaven - Hopeless
3. Column Of Heaven - Joyless
4. Column Of Heaven - Loveless
5. Column Of Heaven - Worthless
6. Column Of Heaven - Faithless
7. Column Of Heaven - Everything Is Fine
8. Suffering Luna - Near Death (Can't Put Down The Pipe)

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'Precipice'
Column Of Heaven / Wolves Of Heaven
2014

Review (mostly rehashed) by Joe McManamon-Simon

Genre/s: Grindcore, Deathgrind, Blackened Death Metal, Industrial, Power Electronics, Death Industrial
For Fans Of: Knelt Rote, Blood, Skin Crime, Skullflower

Andrew Nolan made me take this down (not really, he actually asked very nicely) until the final versions of these tracks were released on the split with Suffering Luna. So, since nobody has uploaded another rip anywhere (to my knowledge), I am again taking matters into my own hands. I managed to get a copy of this tape when I saw Column Of Heaven with Full Of Hell (fucking finally, I had wanted to see Column Of Heaven for quite some time and they did not disappoint; plus Full Of Hell are always great and it's nice to see them), but from what I've heard it sold out pretty quickly.  I assume one of the big reasons that there aren't any rips of this out there (besides the band not wanting it out) is because the tracks all bleed together, making it harder to split them (this does have split tracks, don't worry).

Precipice was meant to be a promo for Column Of Heaven's split with Suffering Luna, which (I think) was supposed to come out in June of 2014. And, after almost two years, it's out. However, this tape has a B-side with material which is exclusive; Column Of Heaven covers black/death band Ride For Revenge, and Wolves Of Heaven deliver two horrifying tracks, one of which is reminiscent of bands like Skullflower, who combine instrumentals with power electronics; and the other being horrifying ambient, similar to something you might hear from Cicciolina Holocaust. So what about the A-side? It's basically a rough demo of the material on the Suffering Luna split LP. There are a few differences, in both production and content, so you can decide for yourselves which version of the material you like more. I can assure you, however, that both are fantastic and worth listening to.

This tape -- like everything else the people behind this band have put out -- will knock you on your ass. You should have already expected that, though.

Tracklisting:
01. Column Of Heaven -- Nothing
02. Column Of Heaven -- Hopeless
03. Column Of Heaven -- Joyless
04. Column Of Heaven -- Loveless
05. Column Of Heaven -- Worthless
06. Column Of Heaven -- Faithless
07. Column Of Heaven -- Everything Is Fine
08. Column Of Heaven -- Eternal Woman (Hell Of Your Love) [Ride For Revenge]
09. Wolves Of Heaven -- Love Is A God From Hell
10. Wolves Of Heaven -- Hell Is A Love From God

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