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Dødsmaskin, "Ødelagt"

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cover image The enigmatic Norweigan duo of Dødsmaskin made the decision to intentionally split the sound of Ødelagt into two distinct types on their first vinyl release.  The first half showcases their more structured industrial tendencies:  surges of noise, harsh abstract rhythms and rumbling bass synth passages.  On the other half there is less structure and more flow:  melodic passages that drift like a harsher Tangerine Dream and a sound that is dark, but not oppressive.  Taken separately both are great, but paired together it makes for an even better release.

Malignant

The first half of Ødelagt clearly emphasizes the duo’s indebtedness to the Cold Meat Industries variant of industrial music:  harsh distortion, massive reverb, and an omnipresent sense of evil.  "Svart Tundra" opens the side via cavernous echoes, nonspecific crunching sounds, and spiny metallic rattles.  These distinct sounds are layered together, building a heavy, dark atmosphere that is eventually paired with some distant noise surges.  The piece transitions to a simmering grind, full heavy pounding noises, but has a distinct sense of composition and structure to it.

For "Jernguden," the mix is a bit tighter from the onset:  reverberated squeaks and noises create a menacing ambience that is fleshed out via some wonderfully heavy bass synthesizer work and heavy delay.  There is a bit more of discernible keyboard sounds that are prominent here, giving a slightly more conventional edge throughout.  Even with this bit of normalcy, it is still largely an intense, harsh work with an admirable sense of restraint keeping everything in check.  There is a multitude of feedback and percussion on "Det Som Ødelegger," heralding something dangerous that is filled out with increased distortion and some machine gun like outbursts.  Surprisingly, the mix becomes lighter and more spacious towards the end, resulting in an almost beautiful conclusion.

Over on the other side of the record, the duo works more with lighter, echoing electronics and the occasionally melodic sequence.  For "Isolasjon," the structure is looser compared to the first half, and the sound continues to expand and flow throughout the composition.  This more fluid structure and ambient opening does not indicate a transition to softness, however, and there are some heavily distorted blasts later on that are noisier than anything on the first side of the record.

On the whole, concluding piece "Kaldere Nå" is the least aggressive work to be had here.  Opening with an almost guitar-like bit of melody within the spacious reverb, it is a surprisingly peaceful opening.  It might be a lighter start, but things do turn dark, if perhaps less dense overall.  There is a shift to the aggressive as it goes on, but kept at bay and far off, keeping the menace in play, even if it is not as overt.

The way in which Dødsmaskin split the styles of Ødelagt makes for an excellent way to clarify the complexity of their music, but it does so in a way so that the styles compliment each other.  The ambience that appears in the more rhythmic, structured first half is nicely spotlighted on the second side, while those harsher moments that pop up during the more ambient excursions have an even greater impact.  It is hard for me to pick a favorite since I am always down with dour, heavy industrial sounds, but the less structured pieces have some great shifts in extremity from calm to harsh and back again.  Coupled together, it makes for an exceptionally strong record.

Samples Available Here

Last Updated on Monday, 02 September 2019 16:07  


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