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Reviews of Niellerade Fallibilisthorstar/Green Army Fraction “Westerbotten” CD

5 January 2011 8,446 views No Comment

From Musique Machine/R Batty:

Westerbotten is a cluttering, brooding and ill-at-easy meeting between two Swedish projects Niellerade Fallibilisthorstar & Green Army Fraction. The album sits in a grim gully between bleak noises simmer, pungent & earthy ambience, crashing/ murky gamelan discord & the odd wonder into sludge doom tone

The albums gray, malevolent and dammed air very nicely fits the eerier & old black ‘n’ white pictures of brooding landscapes, hunters & fishermen of the cover & inlay artwork. And often while playing the album ones mind drifts towards tales of murder, mayhem & torture in a time before the automobile, TV & the microwave. Back to a time of sleazy séances, dodgy land deals that land up with bodies being buried in quick lime, or murderous spouse in rage killings that then eat their partners lovers in ripping and tearing monitions.

The tracks often open with banging and clunking cymbals that are slowly but surely been buried & muffled by droning, grey & ugly analogue electronics, which are surrounded by clunking chains, sludgey & ill bass lines, & general dense & very unwell sonic brewing. There is zero hope or pleasure here; this is a clunking greyed & morbid hell that that brings one listening space & mood right down into the gutter & beyond

A truly nasty, ugly & dammed collaboration which will appeal to those who enjoy the swampy nether lands between noise, greyed ambience and general sonic displeasure/ grimness.

From Plague Haus/Jeff Colwell:

Green Army Fraction has long been one of my favorite Power Electronics acts, and having recently been completely taken with the Ambient Industrial project Niellerade Fallibilisthorstar, I was thrilled to hear of this collaboration. It seemed like months passed from the announcement until I held the final product in my hand, but it was well worth the wait. From the small bit of research I did, Westerbotten is also know as Västerbotten, a small province in the North of Sweden that up until the turn of the Finnish War during the 17th century also included a small part of Finland. I had no idea that two of the countries I worship musically had actually fought a war. That’s shit they don’t teach us Yanks in school.

While the oft done split is a fairly easy venture, you do your thing – I’ll do mine, collaborations are sometimes a tricky affair. Remixing another’s work or merely throwing addition sounds into an all ready established piece may technically fall under the definition, but to be involved in the creation as a single entity to me is the true act of collaboration. Now who am I to say how this was actually done? I have know idea, but listening to the end results of these two Swedish projects I have a good idea.

The first thing I noticed when the disc begins was how HUGE it sounds, like it was recorded live in a massive hall. Factory noise, metal clash and clang accompanies ominous synth. This is Industrial music in its purest form, but ‘traditional’ instruments are used as well, though not in any traditional way. The violent pluck of a guitar string, chimes ring, the subtle tapping of a snare gives way to cymbals that crash and roar under ambient synth lines. Mechanized buzz and hum over vocals screamed from the distance. Imagine a more aggressive Halo Manash. I’m lulled by flowing, cavernous tones and then jarred by cascades of metal noise. The thing that really amazes me about this album and leaves me slacked jawed and starry-eyed is the perfect balance of the electronic and the organic. Whether it’s rehearsed or improvisational, these gentlemen definitely know how to play off of one another without ever sounding forced. At it’s most vicious, everything just flows perfectly.

The packaging is as perfect as the sounds within. A beautiful dual plover cardboard CD wallet houses the disc and a lush 18 page booklet, both with black, white and silver artwork printed in metallic inks. Each track is represented by a photograph accompanied by a small write up. Since I don’t read Swedish, I have no idea what it says but it doesn’t really matter. The booklet itself is a work of art. It reminds of the catalogs you can buy at gallery shows. This disc has been one of my favorites for this year and is a definite must have. Sound samples and ordering info are available at the label website.

From Heathen Harvest:

This is a collaboration between Swedish band Niellerade Fallibilisthorstar & Green Army Fraction.

Power electronics considering Noise as an expression for Dark ambient is what we got here and then a real symbiotic participation where the term “Collaboration” reports a greater and bigger significance in what refers to work, preparation and result. Both participants are countrymen, both also share affinity for sonic alchemy but at the same time both distance in their own vision and aesthetics, while Niellerade Fallibilisthorstar is a band with some transcendency into Dark ambient and Field recording ambient-noise and has received some recognition after three full lengths dealing with this subject, Green army fraction remains brutally submerged into the extreme that represents Power Electronics, presenting political incorrectness subjects for almost a decade now. Westerbotten represents a new branch in the apotheosis of extreme sound lead by two ensembles with distinctive aural personalities. Prepare for the unexpected.

Artwork concept, unusual package, the silver grey issued to print the booklet and cover and the impressive pictures inside can be considered as a whole a surplus and a well conceived element for the forthcoming development of the sonic journey this work is destined to offer. The album touch a regional issue dealing with the famous war between Finland and Russia where a portion of Swedish territory was finally ceded on the Russians after an armistice, Finland born after this agreement and the decision came after the Västerbotten (Westerbotten) battle. The Lapland was virtually taken away by Russia and part of the Swedish soul went to form their vicinity. An historical concept we have in here and there is surely strong sentiments involved for sure, this is obviously appreciated in the music. The work presents a particular sonority administered from entrance to exit. Clearly aided by old school Industrial-noise experimentation concepts where found textures coming from splattering metal cans and all sort of metallic materials (including some instruments, allegedly cymbals, drums and an abused electric guitar) conforms the rhythmic heart for the ensemble, these rhythms are basically administered in order to follow the tapestry of analog distortion and the harsh noise reverberation that adverts the evident presence from power electronics.

As principal characteristics we could rapidly find the incredible amount of volume conceded to the production giving the harsh noise textures and the monolithic clangour a monumental exposition, almost like orchestral in a way. Aperture and clear sonority demark the structure, actually allowing the listener to perceive the most minimal details from the noisy textures and the metallic tonality source from the rhythms. Monumental sound limited by the violently metallic resonance from the rhythmic accompaniments constituted in metal clangs, metallic rasping and furious hits on diverse materials of the same natural origin. These rhythms are not disposed chaotically though, they guard a coherence with the atmosphere they do follow within the noise. At times it reminds of Militia and the precision given to the metals triggers some Einsturzende Neubauten flashbacks.

Track two could constitute an excellent example on mutual sonic understanding and cohesion and a perfect example on the apotheosis of sound they try to bring, expanding the cacophonous virulence to the size and form of an orchestral thunder.

I don’t quite understand how they conceived this collaboration, if it was mixed which would be the easiest way, the mix then would be great, administering a great synchronicity between the two ensembles. Now if they just speculated sonically and improvised to create this then their understanding on coupling is simply astonishing, the balance created between organic sonorities and synthetic distortions, instrumental apparitions versus noisy mechanical structures is impressive. Worth checking for all those noise lovers wanting to find higher thrills and even more extreme sonorities, these two bands have created something to extremely reverb on.

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