Preemptive Strike 0.1 – Pierce Their Husk 7″ (2014) – As part of a new label called Sonic Hell Records (dealing with dark ambient, ritual, industrial and dark electronic albums) this 7″ release from dark electronic veterans Preemptive Strike 0.1 (dark electronic fans should be well aware of them, they have had four albums to their credit and some of those were released on electronic/industrial/goth heavyweight Metropolis Records) contains several compilations from members of the black metal scene, to create the sort of electronic black metal release that even I myself have given a shot a very long time ago in a project called Ebon Etheric (Don’t listen to that stuff – It’s terrible, but some people like it) but they’ve done it much better than my little tinkerings. At any rate, the first piece features Niklas Kvarforth of Shining on vocals, which seems to be a dream for me as I’ve always wanted to hear an actual black metal vocalist do this (as opposed to Grendel, even though I really like his older material) even though it’s about fighting giant bugs, which is hopefully a reality that I never have to face in my lifetime. Because bugs should never get that fucking big. The first version of the title cut (4:21) is definitely the norm for this style of dark electronic music, but the Skiltron NV101 (members of black metal acts Enshadowed and Vulturine) remix (4:36) is much better and it’s definitely my favorite track on the album. Using actual guitar sections and even some saxophone, this really seems to be the definitive version of the track. “Interstellar Threat 5:04” also seems to come off rather well, with its fierce guitars and scowling vocals courtesy of Norwegian metallers V28. This track absolutely slaughters, mixing both elements together much better than I would have expected. These Greeks definitely know what they’re doing and this record proves it. Nyne (live guitars for SepticFlesh) changes the format of the song even more as it pounds in some sections and fills with beeps and bloops in others. The lead melodies are also quite memorable, as are Nyne’s vocals which make for another great track on what is shaping up to be a really stellar album if you love electronic black metal as much as me. “The New Era Of Immortality 3:58” features Lyfthrasyr (who you may remember getting a spotlight back on the old blog) alongside Preemptive Strike 0.1 and it definitely makes its presence known. Both bands are known for their use of electronics, so the track came off just as one might expect and shows off the best qualities of both bands, albeit with a more electronic fare than Lyfthasyr’s normal material. “Insects Intrude/The War Against The Bugs 2:55” was remixed by industrial metal legends Vigilante and it comes off rather strong, but I wished there was a bit more to chew on in that respect. The final track here is “Interstellar Threat 4:29” which still features V28 but has been remixed for the club scene by Nano Infect and Degenerated Sequences. It turns the track into pretty much standard-fare for the genre and give it a dance quality that you wouldn’t expect and that some black metal fans will not be into that much at all. But you’ve got to be a brave little kvltist to get into something like this to begin with. It’s definitely a massive undertaking with hits and misses, but comes off ultimately potent and quite memorable in the end. Just another reminder that bugs should never get that fucking big and hopefully these gentlemen will be on the frontlines if they ever happen to do so. Rest assured, I’ll be cheering on Mr. Kvarforth from the comfort of my (undamaged by giant space bugs as of yet) own home.
(7 Tracks, 29:00)