CD: Ant-Zen Act 163 [2003]

Nightmare Machine
Cloud Eye
In Ruins...
Gateway Rite
Night Swallows Day

This album is hard to define. A couple of tracks in and I still wasn't convinced I was actually listening to Converter. A brilliantly-diverse album with a couple of essential rhythmic noise tracks for the die hard fans. With quite long tracks it makes for a confident, evolving sound.

"dronr(itual)" features slow, dark, glitchy electronics with some guitar and synth washes and distorted vocals. Reminds me of labelmates Vromb. "Bloodsex" mixes slow, repetitive dub rhythms with a light synth melody. Heavy and densely-packed, without vocals. "Nightmare Machine" opens with clangs of metal and a barely audible drone. Really reminds me of "Reolution" from "Blast Furnace" with the wails and samples. Tribal, metallic drumming. Slowly additional rhythmic samples brought in, fleshing out the track. Quite industrial and primitive. "Cloud Eye" is light and airy to begin, with spacey electronics (polished)...then straight into the familiar Converter hard, pounding, rhythmic noise you were expecting! I can't help but feel this track is actually the track "Conqueror" from "Broken Meat", slightly rehashed, it sounds so similar. "In Ruins..." is dense and uncomfortable, with a two-key electronic backdrop. Some harsh electronics over and deeply distorted vocals, continuing into some pretty intense, harsh rhythms, getting faster and even more dense. It still holds some rhythmic elements but is not for the faint heated. Pounding, brilliant rhythms to end. "Order/Creature" utilises funky, catchy, rhythmic noise in the way of Sonar or Hypnoskull and is bound to be a floor-filler (though it has quite a harsh edge to it)."Gateway Rite" starts off spaced-out; then bouncing electronics over lots of echoed samples. A chilled out track with some quieter moments. "Soulstealer" has reverberating, sweeping noise with industrial samples over. It actually reminds me of NIN "Fixed" - it feels quite spaced out, then dense, rumbling electronics and 'click and glitch' samples. Then commences a journey through screeching electronics, dense rumbling, metallic beats, clicks & glitches. The track always threatens to end and is maybe a bit on the long side. "Night Swallows Day" has to be the best track on the album. It begins with a high-pitched drone with harsher electronic washes over but with no real rhythm. Reminiscent of Inade. Then a reverberating rhythm breaks the concentration. The next step up is a densely-packed harsh noise assault with waves of electronic samples over, reverberating and fluctuating. Really quite beautiful. The final piece "Fallen" involves drones with clicks and bumps and some samples sneak in for a moment then are gone. A strange analogue voice then mid-tempo fluctuating rhythmic electronics and faster erratic metallic samples. Other samples find their way in and out. A pretty hectic affair. Similar in places to a cut & spliced Imminent. Strange, trippy female voice to finish.

Highly recommended!


[Converter] / [Ant-Zen]

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