PREDOMINANCE: DARK STARS UNFOLDING
2 x CD: Loki Foundation 40 [2005]


Archivum
Unconscious Ruins
...After The Holocaustwinds
Nails Of Christ
Dogs Of Doom
Thermonuclear Winter / Final Chants
South Saturn Delta
Quantum Statics
The Polar Stargate

Live
Expanding Universe
Aurora Borealis
Astral Communications
To Tame A Land
Arrival Of The Violet Demons
Vector Equilibrium
Luftschiffe
Under The Blackened Sun
Hellbound

Wolverine: Jesus Slaves (Ex.Order & Predominance Remix)

After 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 2# 2001).

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.


RJS

[Predominance] / [Loki Foundation]

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