In Slaughter Natives – Enter Now The World
It seems fair to say that Roger Karmanik’s Cold Meat release schedule has been somewhat uninspired as of late. Perhaps it is the usually unconvincing ‘apocalyptic folk’ albums being promoted or perhaps it is the inclusion of their mail-order service, which frequently promotes albums which are more compelling than their own, particularly from the smaller/independent labels.
Nevertheless, there is one bright star shining in the Cold Meat label, and that is In Slaughter Natives, one of the original bands to be signed to the label in the late 80’s.
In Slaughter Natives is one of the originator’s of the so-called ‘symphonic industrial’ genre. While many stylistic elements of this release can be found on their self-titled debut, “Enter Now The World” expands where I.S.N. began, adding many of the ‘symphonic’ elements which the band would become famous for. One of the most notable differences is that the more overtly ‘industrial’ elements of the previous album, such as the ‘almost funky’ beat on the “Napalm Death” song or the grinding metallic atmospherics of “Dusk Of Hope” (which sounds strangely similar to Decree’s second album) are phased out in favor of organic components. However, the gritty drumbeats are largely unchanged from the previous album, although there is quite a bit of variation within the album.
The album wastes no time getting down to business, starting with the track “Sacred Worms”. In similar fashion to the previous album (and industrial music in general), various samples are scattered throughout many of the songs. “Sacred Worms” quickly progresses into an ominous piece of synthetic horn blasts (the closest approximation I can use regarding the prominent synth), looming synth strings, a soaring set of male vocalisations, along with several chilling screams and vocal samples (an anguished individual screaming “Get him off of me, goddammit!”).
“Give me your flesh”. This command, spoken by what can safely be assumed to be a demon, starts the next track, the excellent “To Mega Therion”. Beginning with the omnipresent drums and marimbas, the instrumentation suddenly backs away to reveal a hazy ambient break, with a strange pitch-shifting screeching sound piercing through choir-like hums. Textually, it is hard to explain what makes this section so compelling, yet it one of those moments which can easily produce an emotional response from the listener, even if they are not immediately aware of the emotion being produced (they nonetheless know instinctively that it has occur ed). This is also the first track that features Jouni Havukainen’s vocals, which typically feature a rasped whisper which tends to be in the epicenter of the mix. Whispers and screams are also at times present within the song, making for a rather dense song structure (in a good way, as it is a compliment on Havukainen’s skill in production). The song also ends with an extended version of the break earlier in the song, with the oddly compelling screech fading into the background. Easily one of the best songs on the album.
“Beauty And Bleeding” takes a detour from the pounding industrial. Droning bells dominate, evoking images of fog-laden European streets in the middle of the night. Soon, bass hums, drum hits, church bells, descending synths, metallic shimmers, and horns become enmeshed into the mix, further evoking the sensation of wading through murky surroundings.
Continuing the trend of dark ambience (at least for a short period), “Angel Meat” begins with several hard-to-describe high-pitched whines and whistles before a steady drum beat, church bells, and vocalisations are added. Halfway through the song, the tone takes an interesting turn as the high-pitched noises are re-introduced, along with several sampled screams and a few unintelligible spoken sections.
The next song is more of a ‘traditional’ industrial song, with metallic clangs and hits providing the backdrop for a horn line, operatic female vocals, stabbing string hits, it quickly intensifies as a foreboding synthetic string line is introduced alongside the horn. Also, as is the case for many of this album’s song titles, “Skin Sore Eyes (Final Structure)” is a slightly silly name to use for a song. The only complaint I would point out is that, during the song, there is an annoying set of ascending noises present throughout the song. It’s hard to describe them in sufficient detail, except for the fact that they are rather annoying.
“Transcendental Carnation” stands out because of it’s various Eastern influences weaved into the song (mainly in the ‘mostly’ organic percussive elements, shimmering bells, and the sitar which features prominently).
“Saducismus Triumphatus”, alongside “To Mega Therion”, is one of the best tracks of the album (as well as, arguably, being the most ‘hellish’, for those who are keeping track or bother to care). Bells, distorted vocal samples, low-pitch singing, and unidentifiable noises echo endlessly over the prominent synth melody, itself a repeated motif only a few seconds long.
“Total Decay” features a strange hum (perhaps an electronic vacuum-cleaner or lawn mower of some sort) as well as an almost-danceable beat (similar to “Napalm Death”). A melody is also introduced halfway through the song, even though it takes some concentration to aurally observe it (due to the rather unconventional nature of the synths being used and the fact that the sounds themselves are undergoing various alterations even though the melody itself is not). Unfortunately, this song, while being one of the most ‘active’ songs on the album, also arguably has less variation within it than some of the other songs.
Similar to “Beauty And Bleeding”, “Human Ashes” is a short instrumental featuring a consistent drum beat, male vocals (ala those found in the Goldeneye movie), whispers, choirs, and low-end unintelligible samples. It also features the same note progression as that found in the beginning and the ends of “To Mega Therion”.
Finally, “Temple Of Flesh And Metal” ends the album as a dark ambient piece, with various clanking noises reverberating throughout. While it is a good song, it unfortunately ends the album in a very anti-climatic way.
In general, “Enter Now The World” is a solid album from In Slaughter Natives, which expands upon the vision set forth in their debut album, with the addition of various symphonic elements to augment the electronic bedrock of the sounds. While there will be infinite debate as to what the ‘soundtrack to hell’ will be composed of (as well as separate arguments arguing over whether such an argument is even necessary), “Enter Now The World” is as good a candidate as any. Recommended.