LP: Steelwork Maschine [2006]
Black x 93, Yellow x 357, Subscribers Ed x 50

Your book is full of killings
Bad Tape
Crystal Sierra
Godriders (in the sky)
Number 17

Radio Apocalypse
Privièt Tibie (hurrah)
Simstim Christ
"La dernière charge de la morve d'or"

Up to date
Rotta Flammis Circumsepta


Okay, don’t let the crap artwork put you off this one, and seriously, it is crap, but maybe it’s that whole cheerleader thing, but for such a dark ambient/industrial opus one expects some aesthetics – though if you need aesthetics, trundle off to the Steelwork Maschine website just to know they’re not kidding around.

Cheerleader 69 skewers itself somewhere under the oscilloscope’s gaze of ambient to industrial music, though the ‘scope can’t quite figure out the irregularities between the pair and finds itself strobing in sequence to the minatory effects. Silted drones undulate a carpet, a bed of apprehensive melody, squeals, and noise that loom like storm clouds creeping ever closer on tendons of electrical light. Bleating horns wail peculiarly to depredated vocal bubbling, but it is not until the title track that full percussion unleashes, a Valkyrian dirge rimming with female samples, Lisa Gerrard sawn in half. It lashes columns of gloom that approach moments of In Slaughter Natives. There is great variety in the tracks yet the album flows like one massive sojourn, arrays of electronic generators form the bulk of the sound-forms yet vx69 (the man holding the knife behind the pom-poms) finds gentle moments of lulling respite to insert more organic mimicking with dulcimer bed-time nursery tunes. Cheerleader 69 evinces an intimacy with symphony and industry from opening moments till end, including the bonus three tracks, though it is these three tracks that do break the mold by not continuing the dark dissertation, embalming itself into an orchestral nightmare that ISN fans would easily enjoy, with the vocals of vx69 for the first time being heard in these darker more martial stomps.

An excellent album requiring exigent purchase, but whatever you do, don’t look at the artwork which is a garish montage in putrescent orange of some 80’s attempt at design… and calling it design is a stretch, it’s just plain revolting. And oh… those cheerleaders…


[Steelwork Maschine]

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