Various Artists — Flowers Made of Snow
(Cold Meat Industry CMI130, 2004, 2CD)
by Paul Hightower, Published 2006-05-01
Cold Meat Industry is a label out of Sweden that caters to those who enjoy “the evolving sound of someone else’s nightmare.” The 23 tracks spread across these two disks offer plenty of variety, from the dreamy and ethereal strains of “Sleep Now” (All My Faith Lost) to the dark ambient drone of “Mouldering the Forlorn II” (Raison d’Etre) to the Edgar Allen Poe-influenced dark poetry of “Into Empty Depth” (The Last Hour), to the tuneless industrial noise of “Death Posture” (Nacht). Pervading it all is a heavy gothic atmosphere that can be downright creepy at times. Many of the artists here seem to delight in pushing the limits of the human psyche by tapping into deeply rooted fears and anxieties that can be truly disturbing, even when translated into music. At its most benign, the listener is offered songs like “The Sin Eater” from Sibelian that merely comes off as an Enigma knock-off, while at the other extreme are ragged, tune-less screams of noise as in Nacht’s “Death Posture.” Personally, I’ll take the former any day, though one can’t help but be impressed by the entire collection’s ability to continually challenge how we relate to dark and foreboding concepts through music and voice. Most of the groups hail from Scandinavia or Europe, though English is the primary language of choice, even when pushed through massive filters as in Brighter Death Now’s “While You Sleep” (that, like several tracks, includes snippets of recorded spoken word to further enhance the unsettling undercurrent). Any way you slice it, what CMI has assembled here will evoke some kind of reaction out of you – unless you’re already dead.
Related artist(s): Various Artists
Ginger Baker RIP – Legendary English drummer Ginger Baker has died at the age of 80. After coming to fame with Cream in the 60s alongside Eric Clapton and Jack Bruce, he became one of the most recognized and influential drummers of the rock era. On September 25, his family announced that he was critically ill, and on October 6 his death was confirmed. » Read more
Alex's Hand Seeks Spa Treatment – American / European band Alex's Hand has a new album in the works called Hungarian Spa, which looks to be their biggest and best yet, featuring a large roster of guest musicians. They're seeking funding to take the project on the road, and are looking for help from the crowd of wisdom. » Read more
Legendary Co-Founder of The 13th Floor Elevators Passes Away at Age 71 – Sadly, Roky Erickson passed away on May 31, 2019. Known as the father of psychedelic music and co-founder of the ground breaking 13th Floor Elevators, Roky had a profound influence on music from the 60s to today. Plagued by his own personal demons, Roky had a difficult life and is now free of these burdens. » Read more