Citadel is the new project of LAW’s Mitchell Altum as well as the final release from Triumvirate, the label he founded. It’s also Altum’s most unique release to date. Boyd Rice influences are still present, but this time more in the background, emerging in the hints of distorted guitar on “Insurgence” and the distorted bass rumble of “Burning Fields.” Though the ongoing themes of nihilism and antinomianism are still apparent in the occasional snippets of spoken word, Altum seems less confrontational this time around, and the music benefits from this more subtle approach. “Sentenced” is some of the most organic and chaotic work Altum has ever produced, full of swampy mutterings and whistling teakettles, while the soft whirring and deep, rumbling drones of “Essence of Life” are reminiscent of Coil’s ambient minimalist period. Feedback is still in the forefront on such tracks as “Elan Vital” and “Summons,” but it’s a softer, more contemplative arrangement of noise than the in your face aggression that marked the artist’s earlier work, and it makes Citadel a bit less daunting – though no less challenging – than the albums he recorded as LAW. As if to remind us of his roots, Altum finishes the album with “Rhadamanthine,” which punctuates deceptively quiet dissonance with painful, high-pitched screeches. Though it’s less harsh on the surface, this album is anything but gentle. A fitting farewell to Altum’s label, one can only hope that this album is also a promise of even better things to come.
Visit www.citadel-gate.com for more information on Mitchell Altum’s various projects.
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