Thomas Mortigan, a very active individual with his fingers embedded knuckle deep in both the experimental and extreme Metal undergrounds with various projects and a profilic record label. RU-486 is his central endeavour and has been around for some time now, exploring a multitude of various sounds and approaches within the Noise / Industrial and Power Electronics realms. Personally I’m only really familiar with the harsh noise and scrap metal abuse sounds found on the fantastic “Iron Empire” release that came out on No Visible Scars some time ago, and “Filth Fantasies”, a short but face tearing slab of rough Power Electronics out on the artist’s own label. Here with “Romanian Abattoirs”, Mr Mortigan shows his attentive audience a new dynamic in his art, accompanied by a few of his affliates from Slogun, Lussuria, Black Leather Jesus and Awen making appearances, respectively.
Whilst I loved the earlier material I have heard, this debut full lengthier displays a much more thought out and compositional demeanor in comparison. “Romanian Abattoirs” really took me by surprise, this was not what I was expecting at all. These songs may not be as violent in delivery, but the intent is still very much there. Gone is the abrasive cacophony and confrontational menace of past recordings, in it’s place is brooding synth pulse and militant rhythmic sections that could bring to mind some of Europe’s Industrial pioneers (one track in particular reminds me in parts of Rasthof Dachau’s “Blut Und Boden”). Hell, on occasion you could even compare this to some of the more known Industrial acts from the 80’s and 90’s. Refer to “Live To Make War” to see what I’m talking about.
The addition of clear, almost sung vocals is welcomed and a very innovative step for the genre, although admittedly it did take a few spins to get used to them. The peculiar way that they’re sung on some tracks can leave the listener feeling quite unsettled, hardly an easy feat for the seasoned genre buff. “Hook And Barb Pt. II” is the perfect example. The thematics here are fresh, original and require some research to get a firm understanding of, but I’ll leave that to the reader’s discretion.
Lock, stock and barrel: here is a fine Industrial album that will appeal to many. Definitely worth that 12mm of space on your CD shelf.