[reviewed by / autor recenzji : A1D5B6 || ENG]
Trepaneringsritualen, a project of Swedish artist Thomas Martin Ekelund, made its first appearance in 2008 with the cassette “Ritualer, Blot Och Botgöring” and since then it became ‘infamous’ Most of the themes explored in the project’s releases deal with religion, magick and esotericism, but make no mistake, Trepaneringsritualen has no intention of leading its audience to the light, rather the opposite – and it seems that Ekelund accomplishes this task exceptionally well.
Surely all lovers of old school Death Industrial in the vein of early Brighter Death Now and MZ.412 will be more than pleased with this release. In “The Totality Of Death”, Trepaneringsritualen present 12 tracks of pure hate, desperation and mortality. This compilation album of rare and unreleased tracks has been released simultaneously in two parts by two different labels, the first part by Malignant and the second one by Silken Tofu – although it’s possible to buy both CDs as a bundle. The one reviewed here is the Malignant part.
The sound of Trepaneringsritualen consists mostly of draggy loops, mixed with bleak atmospheres and layered with heavily distorted and reverberating vocals. Tracks like “För Svears Väl”, “Edifice Of Nine Sauvastikas”,“Lord Of This World” and “The Birth Of Babalon” retain this brooding and ghastly atmosphere to the point that one gets the impression of being surrounded by the stench of an open grave, and that such noises would only be heard by leaning one’s ear against the cold ground of a cemetery, so that the screams and agony of the dead can become sensible to the perception of the living. On the other hand we have tracks like “Death Reveler”, “All Hail The Black Flame” and “Drunk with Blood” that utilize a most aggressive sound, based on repeating patterns of misty percussions, sounds of crashing metal, distorted bass guitars and hellish vocals. However the approach to the sound remains minimalistic, blending perfectly with the necrotic atmosphere of the rest of the album like two sides of the same coin.
The duration of most tracks is around 3 to 4 minutes long except “Edifice…” and “Van Zeven Manieren Van Heilige Minne”, as far as I can say my favorite track of the album, which in a period of almost 15 minutes evolves from a monotonous drone accompanied by distant sounds of metallic objects and bells, to a shamanic rhythm leading to an ominous ending. To me this track seemed as the perfect soundtrack to a necromantic rite.
The album ends with a cover version of the well-known Death In June track “C’est Un Rêve” (It’s A Dream), letting us all wonder if this is indeed a sick dream unfolding from the mind of Thomas Martin Ekelund to enshroud us all – or worse, just an ironic statement reminding everyone that the pure death and putrefaction that Trepaneringsritualen celebrate in their releases is nothing more than the underlying root of our reality. Surely one thing is certain, that this album is a release that should not be missed by anyone who wants to approach the project’s bleak world for the first time, nor by those already initiated into it.