From Terror Noise Audio:
The latest release from FITH is a brutish, painful collection of filth-encrusted industrial rhythms and pure white noise, angry sounds designed to scrape your inner ear clean and maybe even shut your eardrums down forever. Looped electronic sounds, harsh distorted vocals, noise-encrusted drones, and other overamplified acts of sonic destruction come together in an attack hearkening back to old-school power electronics (think Con-Dom, Sutcliffe Jugend minus the misogyny, and other pioneers of the junk-noise power electronics aesthetic). This is loud, aggressive material steeped in a misanthropic distaste for the more sordid and hypocritical elements of the modern world, with a sound designed to intimidate and horrify.
From Crucial Blast:
Up until now I've been more familiar with Michael Page, the figure behind the death electronics outfit Fire In The Head, through his other project Sky Burial. Sky Burial released a self-titled CD-R a while back on Housepig that I thought was fucking great, a heavy, rhythmic dose of formless drone heaviness that channeled as much the UK noise/drone rock vibe of bands like SKullflower, Sunroof, and Vibracathedral Orchestra as it did the rhythmic crush of Godflesh and the abyssal drift of classic dark ambient. With his Fire In The Head project, though, it's a totally different headspace; The Remedy Has Become The Affliction, the latest full-length from the project, rocks an album title and that feels like it belongs to some classic anarcho-punk outfit. That's no accident, as it turns out that several of the artwork pieces that were created for this album are from Gee Vaucher of Crass, and the brutal, scathing Industrial violence on this disc seems to be influenced by the accusatory tone and apocalyptic outlook of anarchist punk while transmitting its nihilistic visions through terrifying collages of strangled feedback and roaring
distortion, brain-scraping static frequencies bent into sinister codes,
cascading sheet metal, flocks of metallic chirping, brutal distorted
vocals, death metal vocals, and charred electronic melodies. What sets Fire In The Head apart from most of his PE peers however is the amount of structure and composition that is contained in each track. Fucking fierce power electronic violence, like a composite of Masonna, Whitehouse, Ramleh and Yen Pox; the disc also includes remixes/reconstructions from Guilty Connector and Hum Of The Druid, as well as an interpretation of the song "Wash" by D.C. post-hardcore legends Swiz !? Released in a full-color digipack in a tiny edition of 300 copies.
From Blood Ties:
Yes, F/I/T/H is back with ultimate brutality. “The Remedy Has Become The Affliction” is of course not the latest from the ultra-prolific M. Page but it is the latest incarnation under his Fire in the Head moniker, which mostly deals with heavy industrial and power electronics, sometimes dipping his tendrils into the black tar of dark ambient. You get a little bit of all of them here, and just enough to satiate my appetite for all those styles.
I have been following most of F/I/T/H output since his debut on RRRecords (the previous demo notwithstanding). The records have had their ups and downs, with the lows being not-so-low but The Remedy Has Become The Affliction is an excellent album where F/I/T/H continues to hone in on his sound and build on his previous efforts to create a group of tracks that fit well together, but also meander through enough styles to keep me interested for the duration of it's 45 min. span. Not to forget about the few high profile guest appearances on here, those will be mentioned later.
“Controlled Cut” is one of the best tracks on the album blasting in with churning rhythmic power electronics and scathing vocal attacks. Although the obvious sample from “Devil's Rejects” puts things off to a rocky start, the end of the sample is also the end of anything questionable as the bloody distorted hell begins. The high synth screeches remind me a lot of some sounds from Brighter Death Now's “Adipocere” track, but I'm of the school that the classics never go out of style.
As soon as the menacing drones of “Terrorwhore” creep in I'm seriously enjoying this brand of doomy dronespheres. The track is mainly composed of a simple repeating low drone but it's thick qualities and undulating accompaniment make it a perfect transition into the layered assault of “The Remedy Has Become The Affliction.”
Most of the tracks on here will bring blood-spattered vocals, underlying throbbing rhythmic synth drones, and heavy churning noise that creates a warped tornado of sound. But F/I/T/H is always willing to bring new sounds to the forefront, his tracks are often structured enough and the structures make a lot of sense so it becomes a heavy focused beast that fights with the ferocity of it's nature.
After the more up front power electronic/noise attacks of “Stay With Me” and “Wash,” “Terminus” offers a welcome respite with rattling machinery, the sound of the inside of a weapons factory, manufacturing the next missile to be dropped on Iraq, or America perhaps?
The first guest is Guilty Connector who presents us with “Catch 23,” a surprisingly subdued remix of what sounds like “Terrorwhore.” It features the same vertigo-inducing drone but features a slow building monolithic wall of noise. It's an effective track in the context of the album and a revision of the excellent “Terrorwhore” is certainly appreciated.
Next up to bat for F/I/T/H is Hum of the Druid's “Amidst My Enemies
Graves” which is an tumultuous raucous of heavy semi-rhythmic power electronics with loud up front vocals that sound great. This is actually one of my favorite tracks on the disc, especially with the ambient style fade out.
When this came out, I just kind of though, yep another F/I/T/H, gotta pick that up at some point. Well, if I had known it was that good I would have ordered it upon release because this is some excellent material that shouldn't go overlooked.
From Absolute Zero Media:
Michael Page is a force in the power electronic world releasing no less then 5-6 cds a yearr on some major noise labels; Eibon, RRR & Nihlist to name a few. Now the more low key NCC Records has released a beautiful Digipak CD limited to 300 copies of some of the most harsh, mind ripping P.E. I've heard in while. This is a strong mix of Control, NTT mixed with Whitehouse, Sutcliffe Jugend and maybe a taste of Slogun thrown in for good measure. The CD is huge sounding as with most of the newer F/I/T/H releases. The samples, gut wrenching screams and yells from Michael's vocal approach with the dense layers of noise and feedback used make this is a release in demand and limited to 300 will be gone before you know it.
From Dead Angel:
The latest release from FITH is a brutish, painful collection of
filth-encrusted industrial rhythms and pure white noise, angry sounds designed to scrape your inner ear clean and maybe even shut your eardrums down forever. Looped electronic sounds, harsh distorted vocals, noise-encrusted drones, and other overamplified acts of sonic destruction come together in an attack hearkening back to old-school power electronics (think Con-Dom, Sutcliffe Jugend minus the misogyny, and other pioneers of the junk-noise power electronics aesthetic). This is loud, aggressive material steeped in a misanthropic distaste for the more sordid and hypocritical elements of the modern world, with a sound designed to intimidate and horrify. This album was originally recorded at the same time as BE MY ENEMY and has been hung up in the release pipeline for a while, but FITH's aggravation is the listener's gain, because since then a
number of collaborators have stepped up to the plate to enhance the
release even further -- Gee Vaucher of Crass has contributed original artwork for the digipack cover and tray, while Guilty Connector and Hum of the Druid have added remixes / reconstructions of "Catch 23" and "Amdist My Enemies' Graves." The total result is a sonic catastrophe of terror and violence. Limited to 300 copies.
From Feast of Hate and Fear:
Sometimes it's hard to fathom that a band like Sky Burial is related in full to Fire In The Head without multiple personality disorder or
schizotypal personas coming to mind. They are both the projects of solo noisician and Massachusetts native Michael Page, but while Sky Burial is something you can calmly fall asleep to while reading a book, FITH is something that will make you want to don face paint, hide in a neighbors hedge and throw molotov cocktails at passing police cars. Though less abrasive than a band like Whitehouse, it's still very similar in the sense of an assault on the ears. Page tinkers with his vocals, some samples and lots of electronics, possibly running them all through and through modulators until he's left with a roaring wall of feedback and brain-melting static. Not so much noise, as actual noise music, complete with song structures and elements of composition, over just turning a knob and letting it all go to hell and back. Differing from his last CD release (Meditate / Mutilate on Eibon Records), there isn't much quiet or ambient moments here, adding up to ten tracks of Massona-esque insanity.
Interestingly enough, track five is Page's interpretation of "Wash" by
D.C. postcore band Swiz, while nine and ten are reworks of FITH tracks by Guilty Connector and Hum Of The Druid. The digipack cover work is by anarcho-pacifist and feminist artist Gee Vaucher (known for her work with Crass albums), and is limited, as most noise releases are, to a mere 300 copies - so happy hunting to the soon-to-be deaf.
From Absolute Zero:
Mr. Page has sent me a 2nd release this time with his drone/drift project Sky Burial. The 1st track on this release reminds me a lot of what Maerori Tri was creating years back, drone with many layers always building but a strong eastern or ethno backdrop to it all. I like the unnerving, almost haunting vibe this gives as a whole but still really wanting you to turn off the lights , light some candles and drift off to other realms with this project. If your a fan of stuff like Troum, Sleep Research, Controlled Bleeding or even some Daniel Menche field recorded work then this is essential listening for you my friends. I think I like this even more then Fire in the head as it’s a side of music many try to master but very few do. Michael Page is coming close to that level of talent. I eagerly await more from Sky Burial and this is right up my darker experimental drift alley. Do not miss out on this ....
From Lunar Hypnosis:
Formed in 2004 by Michael Page as an outlet to “explore and ratify the delusions and social perversions resultant of psychosis and the darker side of man's conflicted dual nature,” F/I/T/H has since released a ton of demos, CDr’s, and albums of harsh noise/power electronics.
‘T.R.H.B.T.A’ is 40 minutes of the harshest electronics and noise. If
your listening to nasty, grating noise projects, dark ambient Releases, and power electronics, than this album is for you. The picture on the inside sums up the album, and is amazingly clever: a crucifix turning into a heroin needle (a cruci-fix). That image goes perfect with this album, which makes you think about the shit hole society has turned into, with religion being the fix most people use to give their life meaning. Featuring eight original tracks, ‘T.R.H.B.T.A’ focuses on the lies that have become truth, the hateful noise that spews forth from this album forces you to envision decay, hate, war, famine, disgust, death, torture, and perversion all in one package. Also included on the album are two collaborations/reconstructions: one with Guilty Connector and one with Hum of the Druid. The Guilty Connector is being more ambient oriented until an ending of harsh noise, while the Hum of the Druid is harsh from the start, and features vocals.
Unfortunately this release is limited to 300 full-color digipacks, so if
you’re interested I suggest picking it up now. If you’re a fan of hateful distorted noise, I guarantee you won’t be sorry.
Since it is has been all of about 5 minutes since the last proclamation I think I should take this moment to profess my intense love for power electronics. Like a boiled down to essentials serum of carmel sundaes, Makers Mark and the uncut DVD of "Urotsukidoji", the sub-genre has a way of getting my taint throbbing like nothing else. The mixing up harsh industrial noise work with primitive and often brutal vocal attacks is a heady concoction that is nye impossible to resist. And as long as F/I/T/H can keep the cream to crap ratio this eye wateringly high, I will be more than happy to not resist it's call.
Though he probably gets sick of hearing it, F/I/T/H definitely sounds like an act birthed from the loins of Thomas Garrison's Control. Like Thomas, Michael Page leans heavily on dense layering with compression used to crush multiple refuse streams into a single searing spray of anger, pain and remorseless destruction. That said, "TRHBTA" moves much farther away from home than previous outings and is arguably the most distinctive F/I/T/H release to date. I would go as far to suggest that this is the first recording truly with its own distinct sound which definitely makes this disc the new reference point from here on out - if you have not dipped you head under the Ranger's logo coloured waters previously, jump from this ledge first.
We get 10 tracks this time around with one of those a retool by Guilty Connector and another via noisy cultist Hum of the Druid (Fuck Yeah!) Sound quality is primo, sharp and clear yet not so heavy on the distortion to erode all impact. I am not so taken with the disc face artwork (the "crucifit" looks too worn Dead Kennedys t-shirt for my tastes) but the actual digipak does a reasonable if subdued job of preparing you for what it contains. For the record there is also a special edition out there with an extra CDR of deconstructions by notables but since only 50 of those exist I will avoid causing you further pain by discussing your lack of owning it.
Back to business, this F/I/T/H outing displays a particularly adept knack of situating found sound amongst generated source material. On "Mantra II" vocal snippets are introduced in old school tape manipulation fashion much like threatening phone messages left via busy subway platform payphone. Tracks like "autoexcision" drag the listener feet first along tiers of harsh pedal abuse, high end screech bouncing off gristly rhythmic crunch like shell casings off bloody tank treads. When not being ground against a giant set of smoke stained molars, pieces such as "Wash" use a slowly increasing pressure to act as a tourniquet for the wounds opened by the acerbic vocal treatment. Pacing is also adeptly balanced between exhaustion collapse and suicide leap and unlike side project Sky Burial I
never once found myself anything less than strapped in for the duration.
Of the F/I/T/H recordings I have experienced so far this is definitely the most complete with zero downtime and no requirements for suspension of disbelief. For the price of entry you can expect best of breed new school power electronics which if it doesn't tear you a new one means you were born with a freaking Kevlar anus. Killer.
From Vital Weekly:
On his previous CD, Micheal Page, the man who controls Fire In The Head got help from Nicolas Blinko, once known as the singer of Rudimentary Peni, on his new one, he uses artwork by Gee Vaucher, once the singer of (still a favorite here) Crass. That's a funny connection, as the noise produced by Fire In The Head could easily be the natural successor of punk rock. The do it yourself mentality is big on both scenes, and Fire In The Head is using vocals to pretty similar extent, yet less easily to grasp what they mean. But intention-wise there are similarities. Just like the previous two releases which I heard by Fire In The Head (see Vital Weekly 505 and 534), this is another excursion into the world of noise and like
before it's not music for the weak of heart. A battle fought with
distortion, feedback, crashing sheets of metal and other industrial music mayhem. Yet I must say that I think Fire In The Head is one of the more interesting acts of noise that I encountered. There is a finer balance to be noted in this work, not purely dwelling on pure noise, but also moments where the sound is taken aback, and throughout the ten pieces there is certainly enough diversion to be spotted. Perhaps, and that might be my objection, it is something I also said about the previous releases, and it might be good thing to look further and make the balance between the harsher noise and the more atmospherical version thereof a little bit sharper.