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Écorché Reviews

 

 

Deep In The Ground

(2015)

 

Merchants Of Air

 

Spanish: Black Metal Spirit 8.1/10

 

Cadaver Garden

 

The Sound Not The Word

 

 

Necrotic Minds

(2015)

 

Czech: Sicmaggot

 

Occult Black Metal 8/10

 

Spanish: Black Metal Spirit 7.8/10

 

 

 

 

Deep In The Ground

 

Merchants Of Air

 

One genre that goes a bit unnoticed on Merchants Of Air, much to my own disappointment by the way, is industrial metal.  I'm a sucker for mechanical precision, repetitive drilling drums and uncanny electronics.  Bands like Ministry, Treponem Pal or Fear Factory have always had their place in my ever-changing shelf.  Furthermore, I'm always amazed by acts like Author & Punisher, Limbonic Art and Samael.  These names don't come by accident, they rarely do in reviews...

An 'écorché' is a drawing of a human or animal figure without the skin in order to show the muscles.  This kind of drawing was first used in the Renaissance, introduced by Leon Battista Alberti. Later Da Vinci used this technique to make anatomic drawings of the human body.  Needless to say that these drawing have quite a morbid atmosphere, which today reminds me a bit of the Körperwelten-exhibitions by Dr. Gunther von Hagens.  If that seems quite sick to you, you should stop reading this writing now.

Écorché is a two-man band consisting of JGW on vocals, guitars, synths and programming and Wolfman on bass, synths, and samples.  Although 2014 stands as the official founding year, the act has been active in the world of old school industrial electronics for nearly a decade.  Yet, in 2014 the black metal elements were added, pusing the act in a completely new, and quite unique, direction.  Haunting, eerie and crushing music in the vein of the bands I mentioned earlier but completely different, that's what we get on 'Deep In The Ground'.

As far as imagery is concerned, this album evokes hallucinations of haunted buildings, chainsaw chases and rivers of blood and guts.  People are being nailed to the walls, dismembered alive and eaten by enormous maggots.  Deep in the dungeons, survivors scream and cry, constantly being tormented by their own dreams and memories of the terror above their heads.  Anyone who escapes, has to face a boobytrapped forest where the ragged bodies of past escapees dangle from the trees.

Musically, it's a highly confusing trip into a rarely explored region of extreme music.  Black metal riffs and a frightening atmosphere are being enhanced by distorted vocals and mechanical pounding of electronic drums.  Above all, the album is extremely noisy and intensely heavy, even in the melodic passages.  In some way it reminds me of The Kovenant but a lot grittier and full of angst.  Maybe in some aspect it even reminds me of the grotesque nature of Cradle Of Filth, dressed in a Whitehouse and Prurient sound.

My advice: listen to this.  There's a possibility you might hate everything about it instantly.  If so, listen again.  At least you will witness something unique, arguably even unprecedented.  On the other hand, you just might find a brand new source of inpiration for the future of extreme music.  In that case, you had a front-row seat to the pioneers of blackened post-industrial, or whatever term those strange music journalists come up with.

To end this review, allow me to mention that the CD is handmade by Emir Togrul who sprays the discs, cuts and inserts the prints for the jewel case, hand-paints the t-shirts and patches and everything this label comes up with.  That alone should gain your respect, it shows that the DIY attitude is not dead.

 

Serge

14.9.2015

 

 

 

Black Metal Spirit

 

Nueva entrega para los norteamericanos Écorché, concretamente su tercer larga duración. De todos es sabido el gusto de este dúo por los sonidos industriales, totalmente presentes en sus inicios, pero que de un tiempo a esta parte han sabido combinar con acierto con partes de black metal, para acabar por ofrecer un sonido muy experimental en donde la atmósfera de locura e inquietud cobran forma para acabar por sumir al oyente en un estado de esquizofrenia. La música es bastante variada, conserva un trasfondo industrial, sonidos disonantes y electrónicos, por momentos chirriantes se encargan de construir esa atmósfera cargada y casi que opresiva, Las guitarras se enfocan hacia la crudeza y los cambios de ritmos constantes, por momentos te sumen en el sopor de la repetición y el hipnotismo para otros virar hacia registros más rápidos y agresivos o más lentos. Las voces en líneas generales optan por una vertiente cruda, pero también aparecen gritos de desolación en un segundo plano, o algunas voces limpias. Un álbum interesante, que sobre todo va asentando el sonido de la banda y dándola a conocer como un referente dentro del balck más experimental.

 

8.1/10

 

Fran Rocha Fernández

9.9.2015

 

 

 

Cadaver Garden

 

If for whatever reason you want to feel like you’ve completely lost it there are a couple of things I suppose that you can do, one of which is taking copious amounts of drugs and the other is listen to Ecorche. Ecorche is from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and play one of the most intriguing styles of black metal I’ve heard. Not only are they black metal but they incorporate completely raw, unfiltered industrial elements as well. But the wild twisted ride doesn’t stop there, in fact that is pretty much only the beginning. Ecorche mix all of this with horror as well creating a soundscape that is entirely unnerving and hair raising. Not only can you not just go through the album once and call it a day, “Deep in the Ground” makes you take the fifty minutes out of your day to listen to it thoroughly and then when it’s all over it pulls you back in for more. Ecorche are captivating and almost mesmerizing in a very creepy way.

 

To start off all of this horror is formulated by just two guys. And the music that they make sounds like you’re listening to the thoughts of deranged serial killer. Over the fifty minute run time you get subjected to abrasive noises, horrifying screams, and overall just a well put together horror fest.

 

The music itself is poisonous and does a great job of infecting your mind making it memorable whether you want to remember it or not. “Deep in the Ground” grabs a hold of you in its talon like clutches and doesn’t let you go until the ride is over. While the album has you tightly in its grasp it takes you over dark and dismal scenes of your nightmares coming to life.

 

Ecorche paint a truly terrifying picture of desolation and fear. Adding all of the industrial elements that they do to their music it really creates something unique and thought provoking. “Deep in the Ground” displays a mixture of industrial music with atmosphere so that it doesn’t sound like a mashing of metallic machinery but instead they make it sound oddly mystifying.

Frankenstein’s monster I feel is a good comparison to this music only because he was stitched together to be one big behemoth much like Ecorche stitches completely different elements together to create their truly disturbing music.

 

The music itself is like watching a symphony of chaos form before your eyes. The erratic behavior of the music itself that is coupled with the dark black metal stylings as well as the abysmal atmospheric industrial textures creates a head spinning ride. The vocals twist and contort into different sounds all the time. They can be high pitched black metal shrieks which are filtered through a voice changer, or they can even sound more robotic and dissonant, they can be a growl as well as a creepy kind of singing. And those are just some of the styles that are offered.

 

Vocals are only a piece of the blackened puzzle however. The riffs are nice and dissonant as well and the drums are all over the place never staying in one spot long enough to truly work out where a beat begins and where another starts. Thrown into the mix is a pretty thick bass to back the riffs and the drumming up. With all of that comes the industrial synths and the odd samples. The industrial aspects make the music hit harder than it normally would if it were just a straight shot of black metal and mix in the samples of screaming, flies buzzing among other things you get a sonic wall of of pitch black metallic noise.

 

There is a lot that is going on with “Deep in the Ground” and they cover a lot of ground within the album. Even though the run time is about fifty minutes it doesn’t seem as though it is fifty minutes. Ecorche have an innate ability to suck you into their twisted world making you forget all about time. I’m positive there is some stuff that I may have forgotten to mention about this album in this review, but with something like this it may be better to leave it up to the listener. However, as my final statement about this album I will say that it really is intriguing and it is an interesting listen. You may not get nightmares from it, but it is the stuff nightmares are made of.

 

viralstampede

8.9.2015

 

 

 

The Sound Not The Word

 

It’s fair to say that I don’t care for experimentation for its own sake. It’s all well and good being creative and trying to push boundaries, but ultimately, the quality of the music is what counts; anything else is a bonus. It’s with this mindset that I approached Deep In The Ground, the latest album by the very active American duo Écorché (four releases thus far in 2015, including two albums).They’re not exactly black metal, nor are they really industrial metal, but they fit in reasonably well with both scenes, as well as having darkly gothic touches and a strong experimental vibe. And yet, for all the different influences at work on Deep In The Ground, it’s a very grounded listen, with well-crafted songs; and it’s that fact which makes it such a success, albeit an imperfect one, which is only enhanced by how creative a record it is.

It’s not the kind of album that really has a single genre remaining dominant throughout – to describe it as, say, black metal with industrial influences would feel wrong. Whilst it’s possible to clearly pick out, for example, the black metal guitars, or the industrial rhythms, to do so is to miss the forest for the trees. Instead, the diverse influences all come together to create something fairly unique; even if the building blocks aren’t exactly strangers to one another, the way they are put together is quite special. And whilst it may feel slightly pretentious at points – as with the background poetry of “My Dead Lover” – it’s the kind of arrogance and sense of grandeur that only enhances the record, giving it a feeling of confidence that is needed to make an album like Deep In The Ground work.

 

Such confidence also compliments the devilishly ominous feel that runs throughout the entirety of the album, right from the martial beginnings of opener “The Grotesque II: In The Cold Ground”, that doesn’t let up until the end. There’s a sense of drama and story-telling that keeps things moving forward too, even if each song deals with a different subject to the others (for example, “LV-426” gleefully references the Alien franchise; “Field Of The Impaled” is more a traditional, Vlad Tepes affair; and the aforementioned “The Grotesque II: In The Cold Ground” is the tale of a gravedigger who takes pride in his work).

 

The production is absolutely raw as fuck, to the point where things are almost unlistenable at times, especially when the bass is more prominent. But it works perfectly, enhancing the atmosphere of the record immensely, and whilst it will inevitably put some off, I’m a big fan of how crude and rough it sounds. When the band throw everything at the listener, as during sections of “I Am In Hell Help Me”, it is a remarkably intense assault. That said, there is still room for small details to come through, such as subtle bass turns during “My Dead Lover”, or what sounds like sitar in the background of parts of “I Am In Hell Help Me”, so it’s not all brute force and volume. Closer “The Grotesque III: A Pulseless Mould” also has to be given special praise for bringing to mind the more daring instrumental tracks on Nine Inch Nails’ The Fragile, combined with the self-destructive nature of The Downward Spiral. 

 

If there is a complaint to be made, it’s that Écorché perhaps try to pack too many ideas and diverse styles in to the Deep In The Ground, meaning it ends up feeling more like a collection of songs than an album. The shift from the more quiet-drone ending of “LV-426” in to the straight-forward riff and keyboard melody that opens “Godcrow” is slightly jarring (though it must be said that the melody in question is quite a delight). Likewise, the (relatively) spacious first half of “Field Of The Impaled”, which places the percussion right at the front and uses guitars relatively sparingly, saps some of the momentum the preceding tracks created so well – though the later half of the song, following the Dani Filth-esque narrated mid-section, is wonderfully dark and morbid. A touch more editing in terms of song length may have helped, too; “I Am In Hell Help Me” is several minutes too long, its extensive repetitions going from captivating to exhausting around the six minute mark.

 

This criticism must be taken in context, though. Écorché have attempted to make something very daring and creative, with no real regard for genre rules or conventions, and on the whole Deep In The Ground is a success. Yet it feels more like part of a learning process rather than the finished article, which is both criticism and praise, because if they can refine and improve upon what is presented on Deep In The Ground, then Écorché will end up producing something very, very special indeed.

 

6.9.2015

 

 

 

 

Necrotic Minds Reviews

 

 

Sic Maggot

 

Nechoďme tentokrát kolem horké kaše ani kolem jakéhokoliv jiného teplem prohnaného pokrmu a řekněme si to hned na rovinu. Écorché je záležitost určená těm z vás, kdo si libujete v pořádných hudebních zvrácenostech. V případě, že jste teď hned nedostali chuť si to poslechnout a pokud vám pojmenování „hudební zvrácenost“ obecně nezní příliš lákavě, pak máte oficiální povolení zavřít okno prohlížeče i bez dočtení recenze do konce.

 

Écorché je duo (alespoň tedy v současné době duo) ze Spojených států amerických, konkrétně z Philadelphie. Nejedná se o nijak starou formaci – její první počiny se začaly objevovat teprve v loňském roce, přičemž ten úplně první sama kapela nazývá „accidental release“. Od té doby však Écorché nezahálejí a mají už na kontě tři řadovky, dvě EP a jeden singl. Počin, o němž si dnes budeme povídat, se jmenuje „Necrotic Minds“, vyšel letos v březnu a jde o druhou dlouhohrající desku formace. Jen pro pořádek dodejme, že ono třetí řadové album nese názvem „Deep in the Ground“ a vyšlo v červenci – a pokud se nestane něco nepředpokládatelného, tak i na něj se někdy v dohledné době v recenzi podíváme.

 

Nyní však hurá na „Necrotic Minds“, které nám zároveň zodpoví kruciální otázku, co za muziku že to ti Écorchévlastně hrají. Všeobecně je to nazýváno experimentálním black metalem, což vlastně docela sedí, jelikož produkce Američanů je rozhodně zakořeněná v black metalu, ale úplně stejně rozhodně jde o tak pošukanou formu, že je myslím na místě tomu říkat experimentální. To možná nezní nějak extrémně neuchopitelně, nicméně realita až takhle jednoduchá není. „Necrotic Minds“ by totiž šlo rozdělit na dvě poloviny… i když, ony to moc poloviny nejsou, spíš části, protože ta první zabírá cca 16 minut a ta druhá takřka 27 minut. A jak už asi tušíte, jen na jednu z nich lze vztáhnout onen před chvílí popsaný model.

 

Možná trochu paradoxně je ale black metalová ta kratší část desky „Necrotic Minds“. Ale i když říkám „black metalová“, nezapomínejte na onen experimentální přívlastek, jelikož ten black metal v podáníÉcorché není zrovna vrchol normálnosti nebo příkladná ukázka standardní žánrové formy. Sound Američanů je na jednu stranu špinavý a syrový, ale úplně stejně také zvláštně hrubý, což dává dohromady jakousi nečitelnou nepřehlednou masu zvuku. Jakkoliv to ale může znít jako protimluv, minimálně rytmika je stále poměrně čitelná a lze ji pod tím humusem úplně v pohodě slyšet, čímž jsem vlastně nepřímo řekl, že se o onen brajgl starají především kytary.

 

Do toho všeho navíc Écorché dokážou nacpat i klávesy, letmé náznaky elektroniky, parádně jeté kvílivé melodie a zejména nádherně vymaštěné vokály, přičemž obzvláště ty mě na „Necrotic Minds“ strašně baví. Najde se tady vysoký jekot, hrubý extrémní vokál, ještě hrubší murmur, který jako by vypadl z nějakého fekálního grindu, brutálně zefektovaný hlas, a aby toho náhodou nebylo málo, tak jako perlička i vysoké „fistule“ v „The Apostate“. Hádám, že to už asi zní trochu víc nenormálně, než když se jednoduše plácne do větru, že to je experimentální black metal, ale věřte tomu, že i navzdory možným očekáváním ten binec parádně funguje. Nemůžu si pomoct, ale mně se to fakt líbí a má to výtečně hnusnou atmosféru.

 

Nicméně, stále ještě nejsme u konce – nezapomněli jste doufám, že tu máme ještě tu druhou a odlišnou část „Necrotic Minds“, že ne? Ta nabízí dvě (cca) 13minutové písně, které se nesou v docela jiném duchu – jak vůči začátku alba, tak vůči sobě. Ta první, skoro-titulní „A Necrotic Mind“ je pak dokonce naprosto suverénním vrcholem celé nahrávky. Po trochu experimentálnějším industriálně-noisovém začátku totiž tenhle song začne tepat nečekaně chytlavou elektroniku se skvělou atmosférickou melodií, aby se ve druhé půli zvrhl v regulérní dark ambient a nakonec vygradoval až do hlukové stěny. Poslední „V“ pak na finále„A Necrotic Mind“ navazuje v podstatě plynule a nabízí jednu dlouhou noisovou masáž.

 

Ani tahle zdánlivá roztříštěnost však „Necrotic Minds“ nijak nezabíjí a zrovna v tomto případě mi ten vývoj alba smysl dává – především proto, že mě ten počin jako celek baví takovým způsobem, že jsem to vůbec nečekal. A tím pádem mohu „Necrotic Minds“ směle doporučit dál – nejsou-li vám cizí pojmy jako experimentální nebo noise, pak to za slyšení určitě stojí. Na druhou stranu, vzhledem k tomu, kolik toho užÉcorché stihli za tak krátkou dobu vydat, se trochu obávám, aby neupadli do stereotypu a nezačali bez rozmyslu pálit jedno bordelové album za druhým. Hodlám ovšem chrabře zjistit, jestli se tak stane (stalo?) nebo ne, takže někdy v dohledném budoucnu u recenze na „Deep in the Ground“ nasečtenou…

 

Jan "H." Zachrla

31.12.2015

 

 


Occult Black Metal

 

Ecorche  are  a  duo  from  Pennsylvania  that  plays  an  experimental  and  industrial  form  of  black  metal  and  this  is  a  review  of  their 2015  album  "Necrotic  Minds"  which  was  released  by  Merdumgiriz  Records.

 A  very heavy  industrial  influenced  guitar  sound  starts  off  the  album  along  with  some  blast  beats  that  also  takes  the  music  into  a  faster  direction  as  well  as  adding  grim  black  metal  screams  unto  the  recording  and  some  parts  of  the  songs  also  bring  in  a  small  amount  of  clean  vocals  and  when  guitar  solos  and leads  are  utilized  they  add  more  melody  onto  the  recording.

  Spoken  word  parts  can  be  heard  in  some  parts  of  the  songs  and  the  tracks  also  bring  in a  great  mixture  of  slow,  mid  paced  and  fast  parts  and  you  can  also  hear  all  of  the  musical  instruments  that  are  present  on  the  recording  while  the  faster  sections  also mix  in  more  of a  raw  style  of  black  metal  and  a  couple  of  the  tracks  are  very  long  and  epic  in  length  and  some  songs  also  bring  in  a  small  amount  of  clean  playing  and  the  music  also  mixes  in  elements  of  experimental  and  noise.

  Ecorche  plays  a  musical  style  that  has  its roots in  black metal  and  also  mixes  in  elements  of  experimental  and  industrial  to  create  an  original  sound  of t heir  own,  the  production  sounds  very  dark,  heavy  and raw while  the  lyrics  cover  anti  religion, nightmares  and  psychological  themes.

  In  my  opinion  Ecorche are  a  very great  sounding  mixture of  black  metal.  industrial  and  experimental  and  if  you  are  a  fan  of  those  musical  genres, you  should  check  out  this  band.  RECOMMENDED  TRACKS  INCLUDE  "A  Vast  Frozen  Hell"  and  "Nightmare".

 

8/10

 

John Larsen

4.8.2015

 

 

 

Black Metal Spirit

 

Segundo larga duración para el combo estadounidense, un álbum que se caracteriza por entregar un black experimental gracias a la inclusión de elementos industriales y del dark ambient. Cinco temas engloban el álbum con dos partes bien diferenciadas, en la primera parte que consta de tres temas podemos encontrar un black metal de sonido crudo, con unos buenos riffs de guitarra, con un marcado acento en la batería de ritmo casi que marcial y unas voces estridentes, todo ello aderezado por sonidos de sintetizadores que lo acercan a terrenos industriales. Los dos últimos se internan en terrenos del dark ambient, sensación de soledad, melancolías, ruidos extraños..., muy en la línea de bandas como Gnaw Thier Tongues. El álbum se va hasta los 42 minutos, pero realmente contiene elementos bastante antagónicos que pueden agradar a diferente publico, siempre y cuando este pertenezca a la vertiente más experimental y vanguardista del género. 

 

7.8/10

 

Fran Rocha Fernández

3.8.2015