CD: Steinklang SKD14 [2006]

The Third Secret
Nobody Knows
Forbidden Daughter Of God
Dark-Heart Procession
Angel Of Silent Heaven
Abode Of The Dead
Night Of The Skies
Enlightening Fire
False Hypothesis

At the last count (and this may be well out of date by the time this review gets posted) Atrox have amassed 24 releases on cassette, vinyl, CDR and CD. This doesn't include all the side projects the act has been involved in / with, nor does it include the many compilations they appear on. This is the first release I've heard by Atrox. How can it be so? Money dear friends. Money. The bane of my life - don't have enough of it - and the cause for mucho hair pulling, which I also have very little of... and despair in general. Nil cash equates to limited non existent purchasing power. Thus Atrox have managed to pass me by whilst other artists have profited from what little money I have had. A crying shame for sure for both Atrox and myself. Pass the tissues and shed your tears along with mine.

"Bremse Unbrauchbar" is a release based in the power electronics field of dreams. The six tracks from this enigmatic group of individuals (their website sheds no light on their identities) vary from the tuneful to the tuneless in the flicker of an eye. Hitting the button marked "we are a power noise unit so fear us" they are a conundrum of a group to review. Their electro Industrial noise, as on the first track 'Modularstrommodul' a genuinely pleasant experience. Then they go all sort of quiet experimental noise on the ass with tracks 2 - 4 with a display of playful disregard to electronic noise conventions. Power electronic music need not always overwhelm the listener, as is usually the case. But they do follow one convention by using samples, a staple to be found on the majority of power noise releases, and it adds greatly to the overall dynamic of the music. And just when you start to relax they go out with all guns a blazing - and boy do they kick serious butt. The 5th track 'Bremse Unbrauchbar' is a sub 25 minute assault on the senses, being an unholy racket of excruciating electronics and scrunched up vocals. Immense and terrifying it seems to go on forever. And ever. And ever. Recovering from that epic piece they end on a high with a rhythmic beat interrupted by spoken German(?) words over almost dark ambience electronics. Freaky and quite surreal it seems to sum up the whole ethos of this release. Always expect the unexpected.Which is what I found. Unexpected musical changes at every turn that when put into context actually worked for the recording.

Listening to the music of Atrox, on this release anyway, it seems harsh to tag them as just "power electronic merchants" as their music was diverse and highly entertaining - something that can't be levelled at other similar artists. Whether this approach to music typifies all their recorded output I wouldn't dare say. After all this was my first encounter with them. I'll make sure though, money provided, that it won‚t be my last. Perhaps you would all like to follow my lead in this endeavour?


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