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Shub-Niggurath - Live CD (album) cover





2.63 | 10 ratings

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2 stars Although I admire what Shub Niggurath are doing for modern experimental rock music, in an aesthetic sense, I do feel sometimes they do over-reach themsleves and find themsleves in gratuitously pretentious waters. As on Live. Although I must confess, I do not know the other works of theirs, and I have heard some other Lp's are meant to verge a little bit towards more orthodox stylings (relatively speaking), for me Live is just a little too formless. I have always thought the best, most effective avant-garde works have been those which make some concessions to the mainstream - (i.e Penderecki's St Luke Passion is much better than his earlier threnodies because he takes avant-garde techniques and conflicts them with more strucutred forms exploring the interesting tension between populism and the experimental) No such luck with Live. Unremittingly formless, this live LP would work much more succesfully, I think, if it was broken down and used as cinematic sonic expression. Although, immediately powerful (and I think its fair to say that this is a live gig and as such is meant to be expereinced most effectively in concert) it soon grates. There comes a point - 6 minutes into the cacophony that is Side Two's "Variation" when one thinks - well your not saying anything more than you did at the three minute mark with this. Unlike Univers Zero's "Heresie" - a classic of sinister rock which retains some sense of structure - Shub Niggurath overstate their case. There are moments - Side One's "Promethee Foudroye" - when an operatic vocalist reminscent of Diamanda Galas adds some texture and atmosphere - of a (slightly) gentler nature. The opening power of "Ocean" is something to behold - atonal, foul, and eldritch, cosmic sounds (its based around Lovecrafts writings) that group into a kind of Ash Ra Tempel ur-riff - but of course it all breaks down into ridiculus trumpet farta, and squeaks. More in line with the RIO movement than with classic "zeuhl" - ultimately Shub Niggurath lacks the avant-garde nous of Faust and Univers Zero in that they simply don't know when to hold back. Having said that - this is an isolated review of one LP - and not an attempt at delineating their whole oeuvre, which probably still warrants further investigation. I'm sure it was a lot more effective also if you were present at the gig, which I wasn't. It's seems odd they haven't been involved in more soundtrack work as they seem more suited to this sub-field.
mandrake2 | 2/5 |


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