This album, like Mitchell Altum’s previous work, is reminiscent of Boyd Rice, but this time around it’s the newer, kindler, gentler Boyd Rice who collaborates with Death In June and puts out feedback-free ambient records that won’t destroy your stereo. Don’t worry, though; even if “No One Will Find Them” features acoustic guitar strums, the spoken lyrics are still full of stark social Darwinism. The feedback and noise is in general a little more subdued on this album, with “A Place of Refuge, A Test of Commitment” evoking ocean waves and “Locked Down Solid” moaning like a melancholy foghorn, but this still a pretty far cry from elevator music even by the harsh standards of obsessive noise fans. “Fluctuating Tensile Strength” fills the quotient for grating distortion, while the slow martial beat of “Titan” is ominously martial. “Unknown Command” shows Altum at his most minimal – it’s just a low buzzing sound and some hollow, echoing reverb – while “You Have No Choice” is some of his most original and memorable work; starting off with waves of white noise and sustained bell-like droning, it builds into harsher layers punctuated by the occasional spoken nihilistic screed. Somehow both quiet and aggressive, this release is highly recommended for fans of dark ambient and should especially appeal to devotees of the more militaristic atmospheres of NON and Der Blutharsch.
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