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Philistine : Black Hymnal

Mixing Industrial Rock/Metal and Doom/Death isn't something we see often, and I can't think of another band than the french P.H.O.B.O.S.. That was before discovering US-based one-man band Philistine, who brings us today his first record.

The Industrial part is here deeply rooted in the 80's, so you won't get groovy stuff a la Ministry or Nine Inch Nails. No, it's the cold urban decay and violence of Big Black, The Swans (wonderfully covered at the end of the album), Skinny Puppy or M├ętal Urbain that is displayed here (with a bit of Godflesh for good measure). As for the Doom/Death parts, it all bows down to none other than Disembowelement, with the cold and ethereal riffs being followed by ultra-crushing parts.

And the mix is damn well done. You could have thought, by reading the description above, that Philistine was yet another bedroom project loosely produced, and even more loosely performed. It is not. Everything just stands at its right place, even the ultra mechanized drum machine which brings an even more deep coldness to a music that already wasn't really a definition for 'happiness'.

My favourite parts being the vocals, which range from hateful shrieks to calm and stressing spoken parts. While listening to the album, you get the feeling to be lost amidst the ruins of modern civilization, running under a lead-grey sky and rain pouring down, hunted by whoever could have survived all this decay. And they're hungry!

This is the music that captures at best the gloomy feeling of god- and man-forsaken industrial landscapes, and the befallen doom.

As original as it is well-performed, Philistine discharges here a new stream of murky waters that will no doubt slake the thirst of every Extreme Doom fans looking for something new. 'This audio program can be interpreted as an analysis of suffering' can be read in the booklet : never has an artist so perfectly described what you're about to enter when you'll press 'play' on your stereo.

Fucking great record, and don't you come complaining : you've been warned.

Reviewer's rating: Unrated


Tracklist :
1. Dybbuk
2. Kaspar Hauser Safe In The Arms Of The Blue Fairy
3. The Citizens Of Oran
4. Human Nature Reflected In The Semantics Of Apocalypse
5. Iron Is Earth, Sword Is Man
6. Haruspex
7. Genovese Syndrome
8. Strigoi
9. Job (the Swans cover)

Duration : Approx. 43 minutes

Visit the Philistine bandpage.

Reviewed on 10-06-2010 by Laurent Lignon
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