Last Dominion Lost ‎– Snowdrops From A Curate’s Garden


[Reviewed by: Iaha Crax]

This Australian industrial unit has been a veritable discovery when I attended their show in Wroclaw Industrial Festival in 2015. They displayed a phenomenal presence by exploiting much of the characteristics taken from the golden era of industrial music, while conjuring up a broiling flavor of the eschatological libido of the present time. Their manufacturing skills are no surprise since their roots are to be found in the industrial brand SPK, gathering on this live album Jon Evans (synths and samplers, vocals, treatments, tapes), Julian Percy (guitar, keys, electronics, percussion) and John Murphy (drums, vocals, electronics). “Snowdrops From A Curate’s Garden” is a live recording from Kalyug Festival 2011 (Germany) mastered by James Plotkin and released by The Epicurean in 2015.

Last Dominion Lost makes use of source materials and treatments that sonically and physically encompass features one can find in every wave of industrial music and its sub- genres. The opening track, “Shell In The Chamber”, mixes guitar, processed tapes, percussion and noises with effects familiar to noise-rock as well as junk-noise. Particularly during this performance they seem to have a fondness for metamorphosing savage sounds and heavily corrupted source material into a pensive audio experience. “Junk DNA” plays on the repetition impulse of aboriginal music, translated into a sardonic allegory of musical and physical exploitation.

In fact, the recurrent theme of their Kaylug Festival performance is built on musically illustrative images with tribal ceremonies, slaves and chains, night emissions, obvious on “Wolfsquinte”. This peripatetic layout, a wandering of harsh noises and sometimes hazardous percussions, which are nevertheless very well integrated into the general panel, follows a kaleidoscopically rendered picture that is being revealed in a strenuous progress. “Speed Racer”, with hints of viscous power electronics, takes the listener deep further into the dungeon that the musical development is digging up. The vibrant noise slashes cut through the primitive voices, while the textures take a more schizoid turn. It is a metaphorical transition to the madhouse institution which is being materialized on the stage by the bias of industrial sounds.

The title “Erbkrank”, a genetically sick person, relates to the history of Australians, descendants of an alcoholic Adam and a depraved Eve, and “Ritual In The Dark” evokes hideous practices in the sanatoriums, by using the same recurring tape source-sound, pummeling percussions and abrasive feed-backs. This plunging into the dark corners of the mind brings together and offers on a dissecting table for an unpolitical correct examination the archetypal subconscious of the indigenes: aborigines, criminals, unwanted deportees. The early beginnings of Australians as a penal colony and the primal outcomes sketched on the savage piece “Abjection”, are an occult history of depression, alcoholism and mental-illness, manifested in a life of misery and atrocities. “Perdue” is the final track of the record, a bedlam enveloped in the mystic solfeggio of a national anthem dirge.

In the same manner as the book “Snowdrops From A Curate’s Garden”, written by Aleister Crowley, with the aim of parodying Victorian erotic literature and poetry, this collection of unreleased tracks assembled under this same title by Last Dominion Lost removes the veneer of social goofiness (pointing at their own history) and unravels mundane residuals of the subconscious.

Last Dominion Lost ‎– Snowdrops From A Curate’s Garden
The Epicurean, cure.8
LP/Digital 2015

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