Nyodene D – “Bound Oak and Ashen Grain” – [Self Released]
An aural tribute to history geekdom and environmentalist hipster rage. ‘Bound Oak and Ashen Grain’ is a compilation of two previous Nyodene D releases: the ‘Atop Masada’ cassette and ‘Mouths That Reap the Harvest’ LP. We currently have neither.
Sida A deals with honour and rebellion during the First Jewish-Roman War, with emphasis on the Sicarii and their weird obsession with killing people to spite the Romans. Side B is about humans (represented by rats) plundering Earth out of greed, and how they will inevitably get the devastating end they have coming to them. It also has an Elder Futhark runic divination theme. Lyrics for both sides are printed on the insert.
It’s death industrial: too structured for noise, too pretty for power electronics. Our test group described it as sounding like ‘being tuned between stations’ and ‘applause, but far away’. Long tracks, distorted dirge vocals, a little bit of melodic sensibility, and a preference for analog noise-tools and unusual instruments (Side A makes use of a mellotron, B3 has a trumpet).
Side A is the the more ambient of the two, and the long track lengths (about fifteen minutes each) allow enough time for sinking in, one way or another. They have a slow, sort of pulsing structure and crumbling, smoldering feel that can pull you in or make you sick. A2 (‘Sicarii’) is my favourite of the two.
Side B is a little angrier and ritualistic with its war-drums, layered vocals and shrieking synths, but it also feels more focused (and is preferred by yours truly). B1 clocks in at about 14:27, but B2 and B3 are more manageable at around seven minutes each. B2 has guest vocals by Stephen Petrus (of Murderous Vision) and employs the classic ‘we raped Mother Earth’ imagery loved by angry hippies across the musical spectrum. Again, B3 has a trumpet on it. Respect the trumpet.