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Sonic Violence [reviews]
Jagd |Peaceville Records, 1990|

1. Saturation, 2. Crystalization, 3. Blasphemer, 4. Tortured [Dub], 5. Adrenalin, 6. Ritual, 7. Symptom, 8. Force, 9. Maniac, 10. Glory

The 90s British underground music still seemed to be based on dirty guitar riffs and punk spirit. It was also a reply to tough social life conditions as well as growing interest to industrial music.
Sonic Violence released two full length albums and broke up in 1993. Simplicity of their songs, heavy ‘weight’ of sounds, industrial add-ons associated to hard work of a man as a gear in a production machinery - they all may draw a picture of the band.
The songs of Sonic Violence don’t vary that much and seems this aimed monotony should satisfy the listeners with certain needs for ‘weight’ and composition structures however may sound boring to people looking for more entertaining tunes. That repetitive vibe based on monotone rhythm was introduced by Godflesh in the 90s which made their music as recognizable as successful.

When it comes to Jagd, there’s awesome cooperation between a guitar player, drummer and lead singer whose voice fits that style of music very well. It’s not growling or distortions though.
Blind spots of that album are the leaking drums. They sound like if every drummer’s hit evaporated the full tune. That flat sound may come from insufficient mastering as well, because 15 years after it could have been done with power and depth thanks to a use of improved technology.

I do enjoy the fact they didn’t use keyboards which could have caused their music mellow. Music stayed raw, rough, primitive, pagan and ritual without them. It gives me an idea they took some patterns from African, Australian, Indian or any drum kit based ethno music which repetitive rhythm causes falling into specific trance.
It’s not far from rhythmic ethno to industrialization seems so. The machines and sounds they create while working underline monotony, what effects a repetitive process of the whole activity, followed by stealing the listener’s attention almost unconsciously. Then trance comes.
Sonic Violence smuggled classical music into their songs as well like an intro to ‘Saturation’ and ‘Tortured (Dub)’.
Personally I liked ‘Ritual’ a lot thanks to some brighter moments and its repetitive rhythm. The same thing about ‘Glory’ where some signs of melodies come in by pitching the tones a level up.

If anybody prefers punk or even crust music should try ‘Crystalization’. One of the most recognizable songs on that album may be ‘Blasphemer’ with almost versus-refrain-versus structure, based on still heavy riffs and seemingly the only one to be played on more or less famous alternative music radio.

Jagd album was recorded with Andy Whiting (bass), Murray Blake (guitar), Elmer, whom nobody in the band knew under his birth name (drums), and charismatic Dave "Auntie" Godbald (lead singer, guitar) who looked like James M. Keenan (Tool, A Perfect Circle) or Jonathan Devoy (Jerk, Ink) in some pictures.

The band had all the features to become as famous as Godflesh but either didn’t try to grab listeners attention or any planned strategy didn’t work at the time. You’ll read about that story in an interview prepared by Fabryka Industrial Rock interviewers soon.

Peaceville, a label with ‘cult’ status, which was put closely to Earache (they are both British and successful with heavy guitar driven music like metal, hardcore, grind or crossover since the 90s) released that album, but looking back Earache could have been a better choice since they were offering wider distribution channels and extensive touring to their bands.

Both Sonic Violence and their Jagd album deserve wider publicity than they’ve gotten so far and so I do recommend to listen to them carefully. (NINa. Proofreading: Scott M. Owens. Must not be used for promotional or commercial purposes. See a Legal Note for the copyrights below)

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