Sektor 304 – Soul Cleansing CD

25 March 2010 xdementia No Comment

Sektor 304 – Soul Cleansing CD


Here’s a little something different from the Malignant camp. Sektor 304 plays rhythmic industrial in the old school vein reminding me much of bands like SPK, Test Dept., and maybe even a little old school Skinny Puppy thrown in there. A lot of drum-machine type rhythms and beats but always on the more distorted and aggressive side of things. That combined with noise, subtle guitar layers, and plenty of synthesizers and samples create a densely layered and composed album.

Probably my least favorite track of the disc is the opener “Body Hammer” with it’s seemingly canned electric drill and breaking glass samples, and repetitive bassline it’s the closest thing to the “EBM” genre in Soul Cleansing. Luckily things just get noisier, dronier and more abstract as Soul Cleansing plays on. The rhythmic elements are ok in the bulk of the tracks and sound like they are mostly using kick and tom drum samples combined with a “machine” sound here and there. There are also moments like in “Voodoo Machine” that seemingly reference the sound of Swans a bit with it’s repetitive almost tribal rhythm section and rumbling bass harmonics.

By the time “Pulse Generator” rolls around I’m ready for something a bit less pounding and Sektor 304 delivers it. Pulse Generator is a great droning track that works up to much more subtle rhythmic elements then what came previously. Although Sektor 304 seems to use similar sounds for many of the rhythmic elements here they are always changing up the sound design elements that just grab at the fringes on Soul Cleansing. The drones and echoing high-pitched sirens in Pulse Generator is one testament to what they do so well.

The next three tracks “The Beast”, “Power Exchange” and “Blood Rush” really help bring the album even deeper into new and interesting territories. Where The Beast adds in the more EBM feel and combines it with the more ambient side of what Sektor 304 does, the following track Power Exchange is probably the nastiest and noisiest track on Soul Cleansing reminding me of something that could come from Negru Voda or possibly even Megaptera. Then “Blood Rush” begins an excellent tribal style build-up putting us in the land of the film Zombie Holocaust or something of that nature. The last minute or two being very effective with it’s floating, almost peaceful ambience and effective use of shifting choral samples.

Finally we’re into the 9th circle of hell on Soul Cleansing with “Death Mantra” a 9+ minute track of varying atmospheres. Building up to a crescendo with sparse heavy beating drums, and machines and noise that feature sweeping pans and morph into screeching beds of sound. Then dropping into a much more ambient/industrial space the track ends with an air of mystery only to be answered in desolate despair by “Final Transmission” an epic build up of cymbal-like metals and middle-eastern style harmonies buried underneath the noise. Finally the deluge breaks the melodies come to the forefront and offer some hope to the desolation that is the bulk of Soul Cleansing.

I don’t have many complaints for Soul Cleansing but to nitpick, the production is crisp, clear, but not necessarily full or harsh. The noisy parts aren’t earth shattering and many of the elements seem to mesh together a bit more then I would prefer. However, this does make the listener work a bit more on each consecutive listen because new layers and secrets are more difficult to notice. Also, the screamed vocals which appear in at least half of the tracks on Soul Cleansing are just a bit silly sounding, much more of a throat yell rather then a gut yell.

Soul Cleansing is a detailed album with a cohesive sound which will take the listener to various worlds of post-industrial and tribal atmospheres. The tracks are well thought-out, composed and the production values fit the aesthetics. If you enjoy more rhythmic and old school industrial then I suggest you check this out. For fans of SPK, Test Dept., Haus Arafna, and Negru Voda.

Composition: ★★★★☆
Sounds: ★★★★☆
Production Quality: ★★★½☆
Concept: ★★★½☆
Packaging: ★★★★☆
Overall Rating: ★★★★☆

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