[Reviewed by stark]
Oh boy, on the promotional tape it hasn’t been specified which side is which, so I hope I don’t screw anything up and mistake which segment of the release belongs to Les Hommes Chiens, and which to Spermicidal.
After such monikers I would expect a portion of noise or grindcore. While the first sounds, although disturbing, turn out to be quite subtle. It’s Les Hommes-Chiens I suppose. Drones slowly biting into the brain, accompanied by a pulsing bass part amplifying the tension. I sense here a certain affinity, perhaps an inspiration by Carmine Coppola’s soundtrack to Apocalypse Now, especially the sequence of the voyage into the green hell, when Willard is already on the verge of Kurtz’s realm. The fact that it’s released on cassette, so that inevitably the music does not sound a hundred percent clean and clear, only adds a dirty and slimy charm to this composition placed at the intersection of dark ambient, industrial and guitar drone / doom.
In contrast to the aloof Dog people, Spermicidal pounds the head pretty hard from the beginning, leaving no space for guesswork and divagations, offering a piece of suffocating doom riffs treated with rustling reverb, monotonously looped drums and strangely distorted vocals. This is the first part of the triptych “Arcanum”. The second is in total quite similar, although perhaps a little less shrill. All this is weirdly trippy, as if recorded in a not quite sober state of consciousness. As an experiment, I listened to every segment of Spermicidal’s side being specifically tipsy, and I can’t say I didn’t somehow feel uncomfortable, because although it is difficult to find any eminence on their side – this remark actually concerns the entire cassette – I have to admit that it can be suggestive. Perhaps because of its underground obscurity, its uncompromising awareness of defects and shortcomings in terms of sound and the ability to use them to your advantage. There’s no flirting with the listener, it has a “if you don’t like it then fuck off” attitude. And though I’ve grown out of this kind of attitude many years ago (or rather I wear it in a more cultural fashion now), it is difficult for me not to appreciate it ,and wish both projects all the best for the future. Or the worst if they prefer it this way.