If you buy this with circumspection that it’s truly going to be able to take you into the realms of Dante’s Inferno, think again.
Opener ‘Hades’, let’s you know exactly where we’re going. There is no doubt. Deep into the abyss with glowering sub-industrial noise and ominous atmospherics. It’s like staring into a vat of molten lead in a post-Lenin, Soviet metalworks whilst rattling gunfire echoes in from afar.
As luck would have it I was watching an Adam Curtis documentary featuring Three Mile Island and Chernobyl before sliding this into the player. I can’t think of a better soundtrack to a doom-laden, metallic, ever so slightly radioactive demise than this. The Angels of Mercilessness gathering around your ears, watching and waiting to finish you off.
This is a very good thing.
‘Eternal Dust’ brings in the beats and howling, screaming wind and we’re off. It ain’t high paced but is hugely kinetic. If this album gives you anything it’s a disorientating powerhouse of alarming moods and lurking, undisguised threat. Some, like ‘Immolate’, bang the drums heavier than others but the stand out impression is the sheer menace of the thing. ‘Absences’ in particular sounds like a robotic dragon waking up from its pit and considering what part of you to chew off first.
A couple of years back Jeff Mills did a live cinemix to a Fritz Lang classic [Girl in the Moon, if memory serves] in Glasgow. Mondkopf operates in the same milieu (albeit without the occasional 130bpm kick drum thrown in) though arguably would have a better shot at ‘Metropolis’ by the self same director.
This is deep, brooding but forceful electronica. Depending on how much you value your soul, you may wish to think carefully about any invites to a party being sound-tracked by ‘Hades’. Me, I’d be in there like a shot. Dive in kids, the water’s toxic. Free mutation with every cocktail.
God I love this record. Scary yet occasionally, strangely plaintive. If indeed this is playing come the personal apocalypse I’ll not be arguing. Sod all this ‘Always Look on the Bright Side’ bollocks. Accurate impressions and all that. I’ll wriggle about my coffin clawing at the lid with steam coming out me ears. Though that might be the furnace I’m being fed into right enough.
‘Hades III’ brings us to a bedraggled close with an early morning, trumpety salutation, oddly reminiscent of Robert Owens’ ‘I’ll Be Your Friend’. Like the intimidating ‘Hades II’ halfway through it has moments of optimistic top end, pulling us towards the light but the blackness and mist wrap their clammy hands around our souls, refusing to let go. Think we’re escaping? No chance. ‘I’ll Be Your Malevolent Enemy’. A thunderous hand clap and growls from the bowels of Hell see to that. You reside here now. Enjoy your stay.