discovering Loki Foundation quite some years back now, I have always had
fetish for what the label has released - with this being no exception.
Although the Predominance project was terminated back in 2002 they were
one of the earliest groups on the label and released some fantastic material
on various formats (tape, vinyl & CD). When I first heard their dark
sonic-scapes, they flawed me with their a unique take on a heavy electronics
/ death industrial sound: the droning layers, grinding textures and muffled
pounding percussion all evoked an atmosphere that seemed to allude to
a dark core of spirituality, whilst ritualistic vocals gave cryptic clues
to the project’s modus operandi. It was indeed a shame to hear of
their demise, but with a recent re-release of the classic "Hindenburg"
LP onto CD format (with bonus material), "Dark stars unfolding"
goes further to draw together various pieces of the Predominance puzzle.
Obviously in such a context this DCD is a posthumous release, with the
archivum disc consisting of selected tracks from earlier releases, hard
to find material & a couple of unreleased pieces, whilst the live
disc is preoccupied with presenting material that has been reconstructed
from two German performances (Collapse Festival 2000 & Consumer Electronics
For the "Archivum" disc, where ‘Dogs of Doom’
was a highlight of the "Obliteration" LP, it is again featured
here, containing a fantastic piece of clever vocal sampling, lifted from
the Led Zeppelin song ‘No Quarter’ and set to a dense
wall of sweeping synth textures. An unreleased track ‘South
Saturn Delta’ taken from the "Hindenburg" sessions
veers into more spacious territory, thus moving away from the suffocating
atmospheres of earlier material and hinting at the wider universal themes
that would later dominate the "Nocturnal Gates of Incidence"
album. ‘Quantum Statics’ seems to be the very last
track recorded by the project in 2002, and was originally featured on
the "Ironflame: Statement 1961" compilation, where in my review
of that item I stated: “Predominance's track 'Quantum Statics'
is atmospheric as much as it is intense. Monumental in its sonic breadth,
the spoken vocals act as a perfect accompaniment to the morphing soundscape”.
In many ways the "Live" disc is even more powerful then the
"Archivm" disc in that it amounts to a collection of intense
live versions of the most powerful material from the group. ‘Aurora
Borealis’ is a prime example of this, featuring Predominance
at their most composed, where heavy and vast synth melodies are offset
with vocals that boarder just on singing, whilst keeping the trademark
deadpan delivery. Another absolute classic Predominance track ‘Luftschiffe’
is reinvigorated in the live setting, with its slow pounding beat and
ominous tune, where Led Zeppelin’s ‘No Quarter’
is again utilised for inspiration, except here the entire lyrics are used
& sung in Predominance’s monotone style. Another track from
the same period, the live version of ‘Under the Blackened Sun’
has swirling intensity and pounding might, that seems to constitute an
arcane transmission from the abyss, while ‘Hellbound’
has an absolute blowtorch intensity with incessant throbbing bass kick
that falls just short of a power electronics tone.
Apart from the stunning array of tracks, the visual enhancement of the
two disc set is completed with a gorgeous double gatefold digipack, rounding
out what is yet another highlight from the Loki Foundation camp.