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Human Extinction Engine Reviews!

26 March 2019 xdementia No Comment

The reviews have started rolling in. Here’s what the press is saying:

From The Doorway To:

This Split starts with Xiphoid Dementia and the best way to describe what I’m getting is Noisy Electro Martial Industrial vibe . I feel like a cyber war/nightmare is going on its very apocalyptic in presentantion and has the dark industrial deep drones and drifts mixed in. The percussion is just sinister and creepy in that Martial/warlike way adding to the power behind it. The sample / vocal part are eerie in good way I really hear elements of Sephiroth, Puissance and Arditi in this project but then really goes in Schloss Tegal and Von Thronstal at times too. I know I’m a bit over the place but these 3 tracks are impressive as hell. Lets be clear if you don’t know Bastard Noise by now after over two decades of making P.E. , Noise and Harsh electronics then i feel for you this is the Electro industrial side project of members of Man is the Bastard and now really legends in there own right. Harsh, Nasty , Frightening all with some level of mastery and order to the madness. Bastard Noise comes to kick you in the teeth and show you how to do it in a controlled manner. Harsh and guttural vocals and sonic nightmares that is all that is really needed to know They are The Agorphobic Nosebleed of the P.E. World high praise and fully worth every moment.

From Cody Drasser; formerly of Heathen Harvest

These two generally well-known acts have consistently delivered powerful, tense and noisy work within the post-industrial genre and their material rarely fails to deliver the expected force that they have become known for. For the uninitiated, Xiphoid Dementia inhabits more of a power electronics/death industrial – distorted beats, fractured rhythms, ominous vocal samples and bleak electronics sounds are some of the main tools put to malevolent use for the acts sound – while the more shape-shifting project Bastard Noise operates within more of an experimental noise sphere (on this release at least), incorporating all manner of strange sounds that aren’t always easily deduced in regards to their origins.

XD’s two contributions see more or less what we’ve come to expect from this name in the North American post-industrial underground. ‘Malevolence’ as the title suggest, is exactly that; a pounding, intense industrial-style rhythm drops us off into a literal maelstrom of dramatic and hateful sounds that immediately envelops the listener, whether they like it or not. A creepy and mysterious voice sample is the main attraction here, with the female speaker lamenting the horrors of her deranged child, “…talking all the time about wanting to die…he stabbed his stepfather with a plastic knife and drew blood,” “…poured boiling water on me,” and it successfully crystallizes the mood even further by cementing the title as an appropriately named track. Bombastic beats further pummel the listener following these eerie ruminations as the listener is further lowered into a stark and dreadful reality, a squeamish and uncomfortable track to be sure.

XD’s second track (‘Spirals’, something of a reference to the spoken samples utilized within the track) takes a more subtle approach, musically speaking, but the results show a pronounced and heightened sense of dread and anxiety. Showcasing XD’s excellent techniques of building tension through slowly evolving passages of dark, angst-filled sounds. No less fulfilling and powerful in comparison to the first track, it is however something of a palette cleanser in the way it comes on the heels of the more obvious and forceful opening track and shows a sublime sense of pacing in the way the two tracks work together.

BN’s contributions to the split LP show them, as ever, abusing sounds and noises to create more of an all-consuming audio environment than the moods showcased by XD’s two tracks. With song titles like ‘Avenge The Global Holocaust by Any Means Necessary’ and ‘Mandatory Human Exit,’ it’s not a far leap of logic to ascertain that BN is focusing more on a globally targeted, eco-terrorist noise angle. With their four tracks, the group are letting loose their profound hatred and disgust with the many terrifying and cataclysmic ways human beings have affected the environment for the worse. By conjuring up noises, sounds and strange reverberations (from who knows what sorts of pedals, effects and instruments), guttural cave man groans and agonizing screams, BN sets the tone and paints in atonal and ugly swaths of color end-time scenes of the ruined remains of the humanity that once plagued a thriving and beautiful world.

On a personal level, BN’s closing track ‘Extraterrestrial Spring Evening’ is my favorite of the groups offerings on this massive sounding split LP. The unique title, combined with the alien sounding tones somehow sets a deep, philosophical mood as well as creating an absolutely strange and mesmerizing environment of noisy shrieks, wriggling resonances and cold tones that transport me to an austere and windswept land on a foreign planetary shore where I, an alien creature of some sort, can only help but look up at the bleak and lifeless firmament above me and wonder what else might lie beyond my limited perceptions of the universe. Wonderfully engaging stuff, this.

Both groups here let loose a furious rage in aural form to express their own unnerving visions of a humanity that is too far gone to be saved. Whether it be XD’s more individualistic take on the matter, as evidenced by the spoken word samples of an exasperated mother tortured by her maniacal toddler, or BN’s worldwide rancor for all members of society, the ideas and sounds at work here are fittingly perfect and harmonious to the LP’s overall vision.

Packaged in a sleeve with hauntingly appropriate photos of a dilapidated and no-longer-in-use machine of human origin to represent the bygone age of a cancerous populace, a ruinous looking brown marbleized vinyl and information sheet. “Human Extinction Engine” is a high quality release from some of the most respected names in the power electronics/death industrial/noise genres and certainly worthy of owning a copy and will yield many repeated listens for the serious fan and collector.

From Hatred Means War Zine:

This is a review of a split album between Seattle, Washington’s Xiphoid Dementia and Bay Area, California’s Bastard Noise called “Human Extinction Engine” which will be released in March by Scry Recordings and we will start off the review with Xiphoid Dementia a solo project that plays death industrial with some ambient, martial, drone and harsh noise elements.

His side of the split starts out with some brutal death industrial sounds along with some drones and elements of harsh noise, Spoken word samples are also added into some parts of the tracks along with some martial sounds also being utilized at times and a great amount of programmed beats can also be heard quite a bit throughout his side of the recording.

Elements of dark ambient and atmospheric soundscapes can also be heard briefly while one of the tracks is very long and epic in length. All 3 of the songs also sound very different from each other along with some synths also being used briefly. The production sounds very dark while the song themes focus on the psyche.

In mt opinion Xiphois Dementia is a very great sounding death industrial solo project and if you are a fan of this musical genre, you should check out his side of the split. RECOMMENDED TRACK “Spirals”

Next up is Bastard Noise a solo project that plays a very harsh form of noise.

His side of the split starts out with some harsh noises while also bringing in some atmospheric soundtrack music elements. A great amount of power electronics and underground industrial music sounds can also be heard at times as well as a brief use of demonic voices.

When high pitched screams a re utilized they bring in elements of grind and noisecore onto the recording along with a touch of black metal. Programmed beats can also be heard in some parts of the music, The production sounds very dark while the song themes focus on dark, metaphysical and political topics.

In my opinion this is another great sounding recording from Bastard Noise and if you are a fan of atmospheric and harsh noise, you should check out his side of the split. RECOMMENDED TRACK “Extraterrestrial Spring Evening”.

In conclusion I feel this is a very great sounding split and I would recommend it to all fans of death industrial and harsh noise. 8 out of 10.

From Musique Machine:

Human Extinction Engine is a twelve inch vinyl release bringing together two American acts that sit in the more noise-bound end of the experimental genre- Bastard Noise and Xiphoid Dementia.

Bastard Noise are really veterans of the experimental and noise scene. This project was launched in 1991 as a side project by members of the power-violence project Man Is The Bastard. From 1991 until today, Bastard Noise has released 58 albums, 34 singles and EP’s, as well as a small number of other recordings. Xiphoid Dementia is a younger experimental project formed in 1999 by artist Egan Budd. In 2002, the debut mini-album was released, and since then the project has recorded 5 full-length albums and 4 albums of a less large format.

Human Extinction Engine is a joint, release between three US labels: Scry Recordings, Existence Establishment, and Phage Tapes. It comes in the form of multi-coloured LP. This edition is available for ordering on the sites of labels, as well as on the sites of artists.

The cover is a photo of an old rusty metal structure consisting of pipes. Most likely, this is part of an abandoned factory. The photo is mirrored horizontally, which gives the picture an interesting symmetry. In the middle of the cover is a geometric symbol consisting of a hexagon and a triangle. In the triangle is a photo of human skulls against a tunnel of human bones. Just below the symbol are the names of the projects, written side by side in a rather large font. Bastard Noise is written in black, Xiphoid Dementia in white. just below, on a small white plate, by a dirty font that looks like a stamp, the title of the album is written – Human Extinction Engine. It seems to me that the cover is made in a too industrial style, which does not quite fit the musical component of the split. However, it should be said that the work is done professionally, although it felt somewhat devoid of more creative ideas.

The album, with a total duration of thirty five minutes and fifty seconds, consists of seven tracks. Since this is a split LP, each side belongs to one project.

The first side is Xiphoid Dementia with three tracks. The first track, called “Malevolence”, begins as Power electronics, but then increases its intensity and becomes entirely based on the rhythmic part of the processed drums, which felt close in sound to Japanese Taiko Drums. This is a very powerful and energetic track with a distorted wall of sound. The second and third tracks, called “Spirals” and “Fangs”, respectively, are made in a more ambient and industrial style. They are not as intense as the first track. “Spirals” seemed a little flawed to me. It sounds more like an intro than a full-fledged composition. “Fangs” is replete with orchestral melodic elements along with the industrial part. In each composition, there are samples of the female voice.

The second side with four tracks belongs to Bastard Noise. The tracks are called “Avenge the Global Animal Holocaust by Any Means”, “Mandatory Human Exit”, “Cries from the Pterosaur Graveyard”, and “Extraterrestrial Spring Evening”. Since I felt the Bastard Noise side seemed to me more solid and more thoughtful than the Xiphoid Dementia side, I will not dwell on the description of each track separately. Bastard Noise presents us with a unique sound picture, based on sounds, as it seemed to me, of analogue synthesizers. This is the case when synthesizers are used to reproduce rather chaotic noise in the spirit of Harsh Noise using effects that can be called ‘cosmic’. As a result, we have a very original sound at the junction of Space Ambient and Harsh Noise with a small amount of psychedelic elements. The tracks also feature vocal elements, which are best described as black metal vocals. All this creates an amazing atmosphere. Despite a large share of noise, the tracks sound, in my opinion, very thoughtful and intelligent.

So, we have a split of two projects with a completely different approach to writing experimental music. Since this album is a split, I decided to evaluate the performance of each project separately, and then give a total score. The work of Xiphoid Dementia seemed to me to be quite good, but not well thought out. There are good sound elements here, but in general, I would like to hear more originality. I give 3 points. The Bastard Noise side is, to some extent, unique material. Some of the sound elements for me were a revelation. All four tracks are integrally and create a unique atmosphere. I give 5 points.

In general, Human Extinction Engine is a rather serious and strong split album from two great projects. I will look forward to new works from these artists.

From Raben Report:

Eine Split ist es in vorliegender Angelegenheit, welche vorrangig Freunden des harschen Spektrums vorbehalten ist. Auf “Human Extiction Engine” treffen nämlich zwei keineswegs zartbesaitete Projekte aufeinander, wobei mir eines davon bislang kein Begriff ist/war. Der Auftakt gebührt dabei XIPHOID DEMENTIA, sicherlich vielen durch das Album unter Malignant Records bekannt. Mit mächtigem Death Industrial schafft es Egan Budd sofort zu punkten, den der rhythmische Brecher “Malevolence” gräbt sich schlagartig ein, was dem schön markantem Aufbau geschuldet ist. Mit “Spirals” zeigt uns der Musiker hingegen eine andere Seite, die von ruhiger, aber dennoch irgendwie düsterer Natur, und von dunklem Ambient gezeichnet ist. “Fangs” ist dann das dritte und zugleich letzte Stück von Xiphoid Dementia, mit dem man abermals eine völlig für sich stehende Vertonung präsentiert. Schlagwerk und Bläser lassen da durchaus Bezug zur Neoklassik aufkommen, und letztendlich präsentiert sich Egn Budd von einer sehr variablen Seite. Hut ab! BASTARD NOISE ist ein Soloprojekt von Eric Wood (der mit Man Is The Bastard einst in Erscheinung trat), unter dessen Namen in den vergangenen Jahren Unmengen an Tonmaterial veröffentlicht wurde. Keine Ahnung, ob da auch schon diese stilistische Seite gewählt wurde, auf jeden Fall ist das Material in diesem Fall nicht von leichten Eltern. Bereits der erste Track, “Avenge The Global Animal Holocaust By Any Means Necessary”, schafft es mich mit seinem pseudo-spacigen Noise zu langweilen. Ich ahne Böses, und genau, warum nicht den Rest auch so gestalten. Bastard Noise nervt, langweilt und glänzt lediglich mit belanglosen Bauten, wo sich den meisten Hörern wohl die Zehnägel kringeln. Anderseits macht man seinem Namen alle Ehre, Struktur und Wiedererkennungswert sind Fremdkörper, und ich hab keinen Bock mehr auf solchen Müll.

Fazit: XIPHOID DEMENTIA erfüllt meine Erwartungen, weshalb das Projekt auch im Beuteschema bleibt. Variable Kompositionen garantieren da ein interessantes, wenn auch leider recht kurz geratenes Lebenszeichen, welches mir trotzdem 8 Zähler wert ist. BASTARD NOISE hingegen ist pure Zeitverschwendung und nagt mächtig am Punktestand, den für solchen Blödsinn gibt es bei mir nur 1 Gnadenpunkt. Fertig.

From Metalhead.it:

Due nomi dall’estetica musicale contorta e insolita. Xiphoid Dementia di Egan Budd, tre composizioni in tutto, è l’espressione di industrial corrotto dal noise e dall’elettronica con tagli space ambient. I suoni sono alterati, trattati, si sovrappongono e il tutto risuona nelle orecchie dell’ascoltatore come il boato di una distruzione imminente. Progetto condotto da una sola mente che fa del caos controllato la propria arte. Drone, industrial, macchinazioni e bordate sonore creano un universo oscuro sin dal 1999. Progetto nato nel 1991 da una costola di Man Is The Bastard, Bastard Noise è pilotato dal solo Eric Wood, salvo partecipazioni ed ospitate varie. Tre composizioni che mostrano rumore, sperimentazione con alti e bassi, estremismo elettronico, pilotato da oscillatori e sequncer manipolati con fin troppo divertimento da Wood. Bastard Noise è una forma di suoni e di vero caos, si pensi che c’è un largo uso del rumore bianco nelle composizioni di Wood. “Extraterrestrial Spring Evening” si distingue per uno scenario tra space noise e psichedelia. Drammatico, pomposo a volte ma al contempo con le intenzioni di costruire dei tratti melodici e di atmosfera Edgar Budd, mentre Eric Wood fa un discorso estremo e decisamente sopra le righe. Ad ogni modo entrambi hanno nelle intenzioni un concetto artistico preciso.

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