Thursday 18 June 2015

Review: MZ. 412 - 'Hekatomb'


The sounds contained within the bloodstained walls of Hekatomb were captured from a performance at the Cold Spring Records 21st Anniversary event at The Garage, London, March 2011. It is appropriate that the tracks are titled as acts 'I' through 'XIV', being a manifestation of an aural Grand Guignol. The relentless barrages of filthy white noise, grinding bass, manipulated beats and obscure vocalizations conjure in the mind macabre tortured puppets, still painfully alive.

What makes the whole of Hekatomb more effective is that it's not a monolithic barrage from start to finish, but subsides into melodic and spoken parts, as in the end of 'Act X', where a voice recites words in a looping fashion in a manner that accentuates the hypnotic effect. In 'Act II' the track is carried by an ominous riff played with a brass patch on synth with the notes doubled two octaves below. Around this structure the electronic noise creeps and oozes like an approaching storm of mechanical insects. 'Act XIV' is at points downright symphonic in a pulsing, ritualistic mode, other points pounding and throughout remains positively demonic.

There is a beauty in the way MZ. 412 create such dense sonic sculpture though a method if minimalism. Every sound is placed and directed with the sure hand of confident creators. Three malevolent beings gathered and concocted this magickal brew, managing to convey a glimpse into the Abyss that is crystal clear and precise even as what they illuminate is pure chaos. With feet planted in industrial and a spirit that goes back to the misanthropic aesthetic of the start of the second wave of black metal, these XIV Acts of cruelty should make you want to dance, damn you. The demons just beyond your sight surely will be when you play this release.

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