This lengthy split-CD unites two power electronics-acts from Lithuania. Whereas Body Cargo talks about the resistance put up by a Papua New Guinea's cannibal tribe, Pogrom focuses on Lithuanian guerillas' actions. The CD came as a pressing of 300 copies and is already sold out from the Terror-label, so you should act fast if you wish to find a copy of it being sold somewhere for a reasonable price. The eight-page booklet is a really stylish one as is the whole visual side, although there's a lot on it that I don't understand since I don't know a word of Lithuanian. Luckily the included brief "manifest" about the split's theme is written in English.
I had no previous experience with Body Cargo, which is a one-man act that seems to have put out a number of mid-length releases since 2010. His work on this split is full-on filth; an outburst of grainy destruction and decay. The songs are focused on mid- and low-pitch drones and rumbles, and although they are fairly lo-fi they still have a good amount of mass and texture. The dominant rumbles are accompanied by some harsh static on some tracks, and some downright tearing distortion on others. The layers of brooding decay mix with the more prominent frequencies, and together they create a solid foundation for some perversed samples (such as the tribal chants and -rhythms on "Gutpath") and heavily distorted vocals and other effects. These effects give the already powerful mass of sound its character and a final touch of personality, and make them more suitable to describe the acts of war and struggle.
The songs of Body Cargo are fairly passive, as they have a lot of characteristics of truly dark death industrial - it's just all been crammed through a filter of rust, mold, rot, and repressed wrath that slowly oozes out during the songs. Saying that they're passive doesn't mean that they're not effective, though; they just crave for your undivided attention to really get to shine, and to reveal their merciless and 100% serious sides. I've given these songs quite a few spins already, yet I still feel like I need to listen to them more and more to fully be absorbed into their world and moods.
Quality-wise the five songs leave absolutely nothing to complain about. They are massive, merciless and brutal in a honest, dedicated and non-flaunting manner. It seems that I'll have to keep an eye on the future releases of Body Cargo, hoping that they'll better open up the band's concept to me.
8 / 10
I've listened to Pogrom's "Multicultural Degeneration"-tape a few times, so I wasn't completely unaware of what the project's about. I wasn't too surprised to notice how much the five songs by him vary on this split either, as the aforementioned tape was stylistically quite diverse as well.
Shortly said, if Body Cargo's side sounded like brooding passive aggression, Pogrom's side sounds like unchained violence and murderous intents. The opening track's slowly progressing mixture of bass-rumbles and sharper analog synth-distortions with some pitch-shifted vocals doesn't seem that hostile at first, true, and for me it was more of an intro to Pogrom's side of the split. The second track's rhythmically waving and droning synths and warped shouts already seem more convincing, and when the warped vocals come in and I noticed that the songs was more composition-oriented, I was sold. A great raw power electronics-tune with a lot of depth, and one that sticks together and functions as a song despite its variation.
If you're into long-ish power electronics-tunes that progress slowly and containg enough aggression to fuel a small village into a rebellion, you might definitely be into these five songs. The songs have a lot of layers, but they're all distinctive enough to give them a lot of impact and to present many different aspects of harshness. There's enough structure to make the songs punch your face in, and enough surprising twists and screeches amidst the songs' flow to make you want to listen to them again and again. The various vocal styles give each song more personality, and the last song's looped chant combined with heavily distorted (what I assume to be) contact mic-action and the outro featuring some beautiful (and oddly familiar) piano-lines further convince me of Pogrom's skills and potential.
I have pretty much nothing else negative to say about these songs except the fact that they end to a sudden cut-out or a too fast fade-out. It might be an intentional trick to enhance the songs' brutal and hostile aspects, but I would've still wanted to hear some more thought-out endings.
9 / 10
Pogrom's sound is slightly clearer than Body Cargo's, and both of the bands are both similar and different enough to make perfect split-partners. If you are into harsh industrial filth and destruction, there's really no reason to not buy this CD. Recommended.