Little Sap Dungeon - Seven Trumpets of Death
Industrial, Dark Ambient 'Seven Trumpets of Death' marks the return of Little Sap Dungeon after a six-year hiatus. Right from the opening track, it becomes clear that the album is tapping into themes such as the current state of politics in America, the rise of Christian Fundamentalism in the political sphere with the Religious Right, as well as hinting at the controlling shadow elite and their secret societies (Bohemian Grove is mentioned in one of the sampled sound bites).

Here lies a collection of richly textured, dark and brooding soundscapes interspersed with spoken samples such as quotes from modern Christian radio broadcasts and sermons and there's plenty of klangs, bangs, booms and metallic clashes to please any oldskool rivethead. The mood and execution definitely harkens back to the Skinny Puppy of former times and it's hard to deny the influence of both Cevin Key in the compositions and Nivek Ogre in the style of vocal delivery (where there are non-sampled vocals in the tracks).

The first track to really catch my attention, that feels like a song with more of melodic structure and spoken/sung vocals, is "Meet Your Maker", and this is a stomper of a track that reminds me of what might have happened if Nivek Ogre did vocals on a NIN track from the era of 'The Downward Spiral'. It's catchy and brutal, with almost nothing in the track escaping added distortion effects to result in a not-so-gentle journey through an industrial-sized meat grinder.

"The Fade" features cleaner vocals, and the Nivek Ogre influence disappears completely in style of vocal delivery. The synths become much more prominent now - a string and pad driven track while the industrial beats klang around the place with '80s-style reverb tails and the Skinny Puppy influence becomes much more obvious once the drums really get going (I am strongly reminded of their classic track 'Worlock' here, almost enough to say it could be a tribute to it).

The next few tracks return to the more dark ambient soundscapes of the first few tracks, but there's enough diversity here to shake things up a bit and not become monotonous or cliche (except for perhaps the inclusion of the much-overused "I have a dream..." speech from Martin Luther King). The mood is heavily oppressive with overtones of helplessness and foreboding - it's not hard to imagine that the guys in Little Sap Dungeon believe we're already past a point of return and are headed for nothing but self-destruction.

The final, "hidden" track is a distorted, warbling, pitch-bent quote of someone talking about how it's the end times and everyone needs to get with Jesus if they haven't already. It ends the whole release on an unnerving note, summing up the whole mood of apocalyptic fervor dotted throughout the album. At seven songs overall, 'Seven Trumpets of Death' is a little short for a full-length LP, but it's sure to tide over fans of Skinny Puppy-influenced industrial, especially their older material. However, there just isn't enough originality to speak of it as much more than ultimately a hagiography of Key and Ogre. Little Sap Dungeon are dangerously close to sounding like a Skinny Puppy clone, but it wouldn't make them the first - and in some people's eyes, that isn't a deal-breaker in terms of enjoyment.

Standout tracks are "Meet Your Maker", "The Fade" and "Seven Trumpets of Death".
4
Brutal Resonance

Little Sap Dungeon - Seven Trumpets of Death

'Seven Trumpets of Death' marks the return of Little Sap Dungeon after a six-year hiatus. Right from the opening track, it becomes clear that the album is tapping into themes such as the current state of politics in America, the rise of Christian Fundamentalism in the political sphere with the Religious Right, as well as hinting at the controlling shadow elite and their secret societies (Bohemian Grove is mentioned in one of the sampled sound bites).

Here lies a collection of richly textured, dark and brooding soundscapes interspersed with spoken samples such as quotes from modern Christian radio broadcasts and sermons and there's plenty of klangs, bangs, booms and metallic clashes to please any oldskool rivethead. The mood and execution definitely harkens back to the Skinny Puppy of former times and it's hard to deny the influence of both Cevin Key in the compositions and Nivek Ogre in the style of vocal delivery (where there are non-sampled vocals in the tracks).

The first track to really catch my attention, that feels like a song with more of melodic structure and spoken/sung vocals, is "Meet Your Maker", and this is a stomper of a track that reminds me of what might have happened if Nivek Ogre did vocals on a NIN track from the era of 'The Downward Spiral'. It's catchy and brutal, with almost nothing in the track escaping added distortion effects to result in a not-so-gentle journey through an industrial-sized meat grinder.

"The Fade" features cleaner vocals, and the Nivek Ogre influence disappears completely in style of vocal delivery. The synths become much more prominent now - a string and pad driven track while the industrial beats klang around the place with '80s-style reverb tails and the Skinny Puppy influence becomes much more obvious once the drums really get going (I am strongly reminded of their classic track 'Worlock' here, almost enough to say it could be a tribute to it).

The next few tracks return to the more dark ambient soundscapes of the first few tracks, but there's enough diversity here to shake things up a bit and not become monotonous or cliche (except for perhaps the inclusion of the much-overused "I have a dream..." speech from Martin Luther King). The mood is heavily oppressive with overtones of helplessness and foreboding - it's not hard to imagine that the guys in Little Sap Dungeon believe we're already past a point of return and are headed for nothing but self-destruction.

The final, "hidden" track is a distorted, warbling, pitch-bent quote of someone talking about how it's the end times and everyone needs to get with Jesus if they haven't already. It ends the whole release on an unnerving note, summing up the whole mood of apocalyptic fervor dotted throughout the album. At seven songs overall, 'Seven Trumpets of Death' is a little short for a full-length LP, but it's sure to tide over fans of Skinny Puppy-influenced industrial, especially their older material. However, there just isn't enough originality to speak of it as much more than ultimately a hagiography of Key and Ogre. Little Sap Dungeon are dangerously close to sounding like a Skinny Puppy clone, but it wouldn't make them the first - and in some people's eyes, that isn't a deal-breaker in terms of enjoyment.

Standout tracks are "Meet Your Maker", "The Fade" and "Seven Trumpets of Death". Aug 27 2012

Zac Phoenix

info@brutalresonance.com
Writer and contributor on Brutal Resonance

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