Transmissions From The Chemical Land |Van Richter, 1997|
1. Chemical Land, 2. Climbing, 3. Regenerate, 4. New Vision, 5. Machine Altar Transmission, 6. Corrosive Constant, 7. Light The Torch, 8. Infantry, 9. Can You Change?, 10. No Place For The Cross, 11. Staircase Repetition, 12. M1911A1, 13. Chemical Land (Showdown Version)
Transmissions From The Chemical Land was released thirteen years ago, but regardless of the time that has passed by its topics are still up to date. The sky has been polluted and there’s those who control the weather utilizing so called chemtrails; controversial trails left by planes in which both governments and scientists don’t want to reveal publicly. A new war with the use of nuclear weapons is still a threat while treaties and negotiations are renounced often. Moreover, we’ll hear about the first expeditions to Mars and the Moon soon to build settlements, factories and to explore a variety of natural elements including radioactive ones.
The world is still fascinated with post apocalyptic movies and video games; a threat of complete destruction, a selfish decision of a madman or a corrupted political group subversive to its citizens. Followed then by a laborious, lasting reconstruction spanning a thousand years merely to yield some late respect given to pre-destroyed Earth values and its precious welfares of the past.
Finally, chemicals mean drugs, alcohol and medicine, the last one tested on men, overdosed by men and offering nothing better than a placebo effect or harmful side effects for high purchase prices.
Musically, DHI preferred dry rhythms and fast changing samples mixed with aggressive guitars. Their music was typical for the late 80’s and the early 90’s coldwave style. DHI musicians - Vicar, Max and Graf were attaching the whole spectrum of samples to their songs, patterned on heavy industry sounds, seemingly fascinated with sounds of manufacture and noise blaze caused by working or dysfunctional machines. Their music recalls the echoes of early Nitzer Ebb, Frontline Assembly, Front 242, Chemlab and Ministry tunes but other references are noticeable too. Undoubtedly, they were an inspiration for a wide range of techno, aggro, electro and EBM bands later on, including the electronic rock scene which demands guitars according to its “rock” directive.
Transmissions From The Chemical Land contains the songs which were previously released on Machine Altar Transmission (1992) and Chemical Land EP (1991). Both are out of print these days, however the same songs were remastered and re-released in 2008.
I find “Can You Change” to be the best of all thirteen songs. It delivers the most “rock” sound as well as catchy, repetitive lyrics reminiscent of songs by Testify (another Van Richter band).
Also, “Staircase Repetition” sounds good, however modern dance floors would need a song format somewhat cleaner and improved with a deeper beat (in fact, it looks like the newest remastered version of the song has been cleaned up, but the beat remains the same).
The third song I paid attention to was an instrumental named “M1911a1”. It brought about much more positive moods compared to the other songs on this album.
This kind of music would sound even better if attached to visualizations, especially if they were dark, industrial animations or short movies. Nevertheless, DHI music with or without the images should be suggested to all fans of simplicity and industrial vibes first. Other listeners should be in a special mood to accept the sounds as they are. The album is definitely worth listening to.
(Katarzyna 'NINa' Górnisiewicz, 07/06/2010. Proofreading: Scott M. Owens. Must not be used for promotional or commercial purposes. See a Legal Note for the copyrights below)
| Van Richter Records