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Gam - Eiszeit CD (album) cover





4.43 | 55 ratings

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5 stars "I watched a snail crawl along the edge of a straight razor. That's my dream. It's my nightmare. Crawling, slithering, along the edge of a straight razor - and surviving."

These are of course the mumbling raving insanities coming out of Colonel Walter E. Kurtz' mouth during a radio broadcast from Cambodia. Perhaps one of the finest movies on the Vietnam war, Apocalypse Now sports an immense portion of quotes flirting around with a horrendous version of pseudo Zen. Yet somehow, you get the feel of what war is about - the mental corruption of it all, although handed over to you through these loose fragmented souls of misfortune.

Eiszeit reminds me of the movie. It's as if the cold stark ambiances were made for the thick sun blocking canopy of the South East Asian jungle. Music is strange sometimes, because the feel of this album is very icy, which again aptly echoes the name of the thing: Eiszeit - meaning ice age. But there is something unnerving and unwelcoming about this thing - much like you'd expect an American soldier far from his home in Alabama - sifting through this dark menacing forest - always on the look-out for the ghost enemy. You can almost sense the iceberg of fear docking inside him, even though he's surrounded by the infernal warmth and moisture of the fiery wooden embrace. Such is the feel of this album - cold at the heart surrounded by arms of fire.

The music itself is like a dangerous and edgy Neu!. Imagine the experimental swaying of Neu! - that frivolous and almost naive approach to music making, and then add a ton of razors - an enormous ice- cube of serrated edges slicing its way through the airwaves like a sonic samurai on the loose.

There's a motorik engine running things here, which oddly enough stems from the echoing mantraing guitars of Günther Schickert. Schickert went on to utilize the same spiralling guitar patterns on his solo album from 1979 called Überfällig, but on here it feels like genesis - and the manner in which they propel this venture forth - strictly and firmly, again hints back at the soldiers marching through thickets of rainforest. Here the actual forest is comprised of something completely different - something that counterpoints the staccato and grounded touch of the pulsating rhythm guitar. Synths. Airy and floating - weaving about like frostbitten flocks of seagulls - emanating an unwillingness to let the music get boxed in by the earthy and almost conform result of those guitars. They feel like a million glass splinters in a whirlwind - small sharp droplets of fluent knives - or maybe just a stroke of the unforeseen in the regular straightforwardness of the lone soldier's march.

There's a punk attitude in here as well. The hard edged surface of production here takes the overall ambiances of the thing - including those floating synthesizers and coats them in a wild and metallic dressing. It snarls like a frightened cat - even when it's at its most beautiful and serene, which it also gets from time to time. Some times you get hit with sections that truly defy description, and the hypnotic beats of the drums suddenly transform into a trance inducing hypnotic ritual on which you freely let yourself go on some untethered and far-sweeping synth runs that truly feel like flying carpet rides - high over the treetops of war.

Kurtz' dream may not be one of Hollywood splendour and feel good vibes, but you can't deny the simplistic beauty of such a sentence - in all of it's brutal essence. There's something about the way it counters every fibre of humanity in us, yet somehow it also appeals to that lost and most reviled animal portion of self within us. The one that keeps you from death in times of blood and guts - the one standing triumphantly over the enemy with his warm stinking guns still smoking. I get the same desolate experience with Eiszeit - just handed over in music that could slice you open like a slithering sharp snail.

Guldbamsen | 5/5 |


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