Flesh Coffin/Spermicidal – Split (C42, Idrone Park)

Flesh Coffin has been reviewed quite heavily here on Memory Wave Transmission, and the reason is that Andreas Brandal is a fairly prolific artist. His blend of dark ambient harsh noise certainly highlights horror atmosphere, and it fits in well with Cathal Rodgers project Spermicidal and his industrial black metal noise. This untitled split, with all untitled tracks, features two from Flesh Coffin and three from Spermicidal for a bleak, harrowing listen.

Flesh Coffin starts things off with a track of junk noise and atmosphere. A sustained drone fills out the background of this track, wavering slightly here and there and also crescendoing at times with train horn trills but ultimately setting the tone for utter blackness. Clicks and clatters fill the foreground, adding texture that comes and goes as the drones escalate and shudder into a blast of static and unyielding harsh noise that effortlessly incorporates those early clicking textures. The second untitled track plays with searing high-pitched sounds, sometimes even so overblown that the noise drops entirely. But there are swirls of the usual windswept deep tones, with just a bit of crunchy static thrown in, that keep this track grounded in the Flesh Coffin ouvre. Both tracks are very much par with the canon of his noise, and good additions to it.

The Spermicidal side features three tracks of industrial black metal, sitting somewhere in between the traditional nature of the black metal genre and noisy power electronics. The project uses what sounds like programmed drum beats to add percussion, and amid the howling vocals, swirls of noise pepper the background. The first untitled track starts off with a lot of noisy sweeps of sound as the drums lead in to the more musical aspect of the track; echoing vocals and reverbed chords create an industrial surge that works well, often clouding the whole track in a haze.

It’s a technique Spermicidal uses throughout his three tracks, reappearing again with the downtempo second untitled track, swirling with droned and distorted chords and lots of layered fuzz, and then similarly in the final track. The one thing that feels somewhat overused on this side of the split is the drums, because they tend to feature the same type of rhythm in each track. It causes these songs to blend in a little too much, in the same way that industrial act Godflesh often suffers from the same standard percussive elements on every song.

Other than that, though, this split tape from Flesh Coffin and Spermicidal is deserving of your time and money. Brandal’s project consistently delivers moody harsh noise, and Spermicidal seems to have a good handle on the industrial black metal he’s delivering.


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