Recently I came across Canada-based label Burn Ward Records, a Noise / Ambient / Electro / Industrial label that releases its material on cassette edition only. I sort of ‘discovered’ this label, which gets run by Jordan Fillmore (he is active as musician as well in some project on his very same label; soon you’ll find a review on the newest Skeletal-release, a solo-outfit of Jordan), since they did release the tape edition for two Black-oriented projects, being Efferat (also this release will be reviewed and posted online in a very near future) and Aegorton. The latter is the solo-project of J. ‘Orthus’ Turner, a guy from the United Kingdom who recorded this new demonstrational material in his home studio during spring 2015. Initially Plaguelord was released independently on CD (though rather limited) and digital (somewhere in August 2015), but now there is a tape-version too, being extremely limited, i.e. 20 copies only.
Plaguelord consists of eight instrumental hymns that come, and I have to be honest, with an inferior sound quality. Recycled tapes ‘to give that old school feeling’, that’s one thing, but let’s be honest and admit that it needs improvement. Okay, a solution might be: turn on the volume knob… Yet still I think it’s my duty to add this info.
But when focusing on the material itself, undersigned is quite positive. The tape brings quite short creations that are totally rooted within the vein of the oldest school, or at least the low-fidelity essence of the earliest nineties, the origins and roots of the Second Wave trend. Actually, quite everything is said with the title track, which at the same time is the only lengthier piece (clocking five minutes). It represents the rawest yet mostly essential form of primal darkthronish, samaelian, ildjarny or burzumesque song writing, with a comparable sound, atmosphere and performance. The rhythm section is based on the nihilistic yet highly supportive tradition of heaviness and empowerment, strengthening the purest grimness and evilness of the raw yet well-balanced, then again simplistic melodious structures.
A couple of moments, like in the shorter piece Desolate, the sound does dwell within spheres of melancholy and epic too, being both integer and still expressively convincing. And the few solos have that certain hypnotic touch that surely gets adored by mentally-stubborn purists like undersigned. Then again, there is a certain lack of originality, of creativity, and of identity. I am afraid the few moments of harsh-noisy frenzy aren’t capable to save the inspirational nothingness.
This is a difficult one to be honest. At the one hand there’s the inferior lo-fi sound quality and the total lack of showing an own face, or even inspiration? At the other hand, this stuff represents the primal essence of the scene in every single aspect. So, is it a cheap expression of elementary tribute-the-scene, or a pure definition of honesty that might lack of that additional, needful identity and creativity? In any case, I hope the next effort is better, yet still rooted on these basics; just more convincing, more persuasive, more focusing on that final touch that is needed, heavily needed…