This release is first time I have heard Will Over Matter, an power electronics/noise/industrial/experimental project by Harald Mentor, man who heads Bestial Burst, Ride For Revenge and Flooded Church of Asmodeus. I was attracted by the atypical artwork and themes of the music, in contrast to most other power electronics bands. Bizarre Uproar on the other hand is one of the Finnish power electronics pioneers, blending it with harsh noise and themes of bdsm/filth & violence.
Despite the name of the track it is a long anti-islamic wall of noise. The track begins with islamic chanting, distorted with the song slowly gaining background noises eventually ascending into a frenzied wall of noise. The biggest problem I have with this track is that it takes really long time of gaining momentum and building into a real wall of noise. For most time it is minimalistic sounds of chanting and few electronics on background, some vocals thrown in. When the track really kicks in it's almost over and simply stops suddenly, leaving one feel like it was just part of a longer piece that was cut to fit the vinyl format. My other problem with the track is the production. While the track sounds harsh it lacks low-end and feels quite one-dimensional. While good compared to most generic noise this isn't Bizarre Uproar's best offering by far.
Will Over Matter
Will Over Matter offers two tracks on this split LP. First one begins with slow drum machine beat, distorted and pushed to the low-end. Slowly but surely the track builds momentum, adding synths to the background, becoming heavier and darker. Eventually the track reaches its course, screamed, distorted vocals finally coming into the mix reaching a climax of ritualistic darkness. The track is build very well with tension building constantly until the climax. As the track ends, it feels like it has ended just where it should have, not ending too abruptly or going for too long.
The second track is based of a heavy wall of noise, rumbling, rattling on the background as some person is fanatically telling in Finnish how antichrist is coming and how the number of the beast is included in our social security number and so forth. First all sounds funny but as the track goes on, the frantic, fanatic style of speech combined with the wall of noise and subject of matter make the track really creepy. One is left with a feeling that the person talking is not right in his mind, sounding more like a man holding a sign on a street corner yelling about demons than a convincing preacher. Certainly the high point of the split.
This side of the split is extremely well produced. Unlike most noise/power electronics I have encountered, Will Over Matter seems to put more weight on the lower end of the mix and slow building of tension, resulting in a record that sounds quite unlike anything else I have heard. There is deep warmth on the recording but not so that it would reduce the impact of the noise itself, quite contrary. All the sounds are balanced well, everything is heard clearly and nothing stands out and buries other sounds underneath but not reducing the impact of the individual sounds and the whole record.
The packaging of the album is quite interesting. Instead of normal covers where everything is printed directly to the covers, this split came in two black slipcases (I use word slipcase because I have no idea what is the word for the protective slipcase with middlehole), one of normal paper and one of heavier cardboard. On top of these, the front cover was printed on another piece of paper in size of the 12" cover with little slip on the right side with (minimal) information about the release. I figured that I was supposed to put the slip into the cardboard slipcase, holding the front cover on place and put the vinyl in the paper slipcase into the cardboard slipcase. I have no idea if this is how the packaging is supposed to be build but at least it works.
The cover artwork in itself is fitting to the record, with biggest piece being a red hued picture from space on background. On top it there is a collage of black and white pictures, band logos and a strange picture of hand coming through door and smoke wall towards the viewer. The two black and white pictures represent the bands quite well, one being of Hitler speaking to someone and another of some alchemistic drawing. The cover artwork represents the music well and works well with the music itself. I noticed that the cover artwork has some strange stains but I prefer not to speculate and dwell on the subject.
While Bizarre Uproar doesn't have the strongest output on this split, I recommend this to anyone who is into noise/power electronics/experimental just because of the Will Over Matter side which is miles above many other bands working in these genres.