Stahlwerk9 - The Grey Ghost 1856-1939
Death Industrial, Experimental Once, one famous horror writer was asked about the source of his ideas. His answer was: "So where do the ideas?the salable ideas, come from? They come from my nightmares. Not the night-time variety, as a rule, but the ones that hide just beyond the doorway that separates the conscious from the unconscious." (Stephen King). Of course, the world of human unconscious is a fertile soil for the artistic expression of any kind. Apparently, Stahlwerk9 couldn't stay away from that theme and release their last album under the name 'The Grey Ghost 1856-1939'. If you are curious enough about the meaning of the mentioned dates, you can quite easily discover that those dates are the lifetime of Sigmund Freud, the father of psychoanalysis that as a matter of fact invented the way to open the door between the two worlds of our inner self to embrace all the facets of our personality. The concept of psychological survey is projected into the very depth of the new album.

Being active for more than fifteen years, Stahlwerk9 remains to be a quite underestimated project. Reinhard, the man behind Stahlwerk9, has a rich portfolio of few dozens of albums and collaborations with different industrial artists, but 'The Grey Ghost' arrives after more than five years of almost complete silence. I remembered this project to be one of the best names (for my taste) on Austrian Steinklang records, that's why I had been waiting forward to hear something from it and the long five years were worth to wait.

Bound around the foresaid concept, the album generally succeeds in creating a really gloomy atmosphere of unfulfilled dreams and hidden fears that find their asylum in sore subconscious. All the compositions have a common element of extremely dirty sound while this effect is really significant for the record. The cd starts with "The Mind is Like an Iceberg" crafted with the thick background hum and full of a different machinery sounds, sampled voices, yet remaining truly mysterious. "Into the Unconscious" shows the whole storm of feelings, kind of a sensual Brownian motion, where a border of sanity of outside spectator simply washed away by a pulsating energy and all the sounds are grinded into one explosive mixture by the mechanism of sick desires. "While I was Dreaming" steps into the field of pure dark ambient when changing mood to be slower and more cryptic, but the energy strikes back with the fourth track "The Id", a dynamic and cinematic composition. The beat of the drum, the voices all around, industrial atmosphere colored in grey tones; this is the perfect soundtrack for the destructive affects in our inner world.

"Happiness Machine" brings forth the ideas of using Freud's theories for conscious and intelligent manipulation of the organized habits and opinions of the masses as an important element of democratic society. Music reflects the theme having a creepy, chilling and weaving background which zombifies heavily the mind of the listener leaving no option for escape. A light drilling sound is constantly there, rising and falling to make the hypnotizing effect even stronger. The same atmosphere is transferred to "The Wish in Dreams" while the anxiety surrounding this desire turns some dreams into nightmares; a very dense soundscape full of special effects and sampled voices which reminds a little bit of old black-n-white movies from the beginning of the past century. "If Youth Knew, If Age Could" is a final composition that is brighter than all the rest in the album having some injection of melancholy in it, but still the images of an old movie are really strong having a highly sensual background.

Stahlwerk9 set a hard goal of reflecting the human subconscious trying to describe the beasts that haunt our dreams and try to break out of the jail that we usually put them in. I think that Reinhard achieved his goal creating a highly cinematic soundscape though I prefer the compositions with a higher tempo or some rhythm inside, for example "Into the Unconscious" which has some special touch or kind of energy that singles it out from all the rest. I also like militarism and industrialization of the previous albums much more than the mystery of the new one, but in general, "The Grey Ghost" is a good comeback for Stahlwerk9 and one of the best albums that arrived from Steinklang records during the last two or three years.

"The mind does most of its best thinking when we aren't there. The answers are there in the morning". So put on your earphones, close your eyes and concentrate on the process. The answer will definitely appear.
4
Brutal Resonance

Stahlwerk9 - The Grey Ghost 1856-1939

Once, one famous horror writer was asked about the source of his ideas. His answer was: "So where do the ideas?the salable ideas, come from? They come from my nightmares. Not the night-time variety, as a rule, but the ones that hide just beyond the doorway that separates the conscious from the unconscious." (Stephen King). Of course, the world of human unconscious is a fertile soil for the artistic expression of any kind. Apparently, Stahlwerk9 couldn't stay away from that theme and release their last album under the name 'The Grey Ghost 1856-1939'. If you are curious enough about the meaning of the mentioned dates, you can quite easily discover that those dates are the lifetime of Sigmund Freud, the father of psychoanalysis that as a matter of fact invented the way to open the door between the two worlds of our inner self to embrace all the facets of our personality. The concept of psychological survey is projected into the very depth of the new album.

Being active for more than fifteen years, Stahlwerk9 remains to be a quite underestimated project. Reinhard, the man behind Stahlwerk9, has a rich portfolio of few dozens of albums and collaborations with different industrial artists, but 'The Grey Ghost' arrives after more than five years of almost complete silence. I remembered this project to be one of the best names (for my taste) on Austrian Steinklang records, that's why I had been waiting forward to hear something from it and the long five years were worth to wait.

Bound around the foresaid concept, the album generally succeeds in creating a really gloomy atmosphere of unfulfilled dreams and hidden fears that find their asylum in sore subconscious. All the compositions have a common element of extremely dirty sound while this effect is really significant for the record. The cd starts with "The Mind is Like an Iceberg" crafted with the thick background hum and full of a different machinery sounds, sampled voices, yet remaining truly mysterious. "Into the Unconscious" shows the whole storm of feelings, kind of a sensual Brownian motion, where a border of sanity of outside spectator simply washed away by a pulsating energy and all the sounds are grinded into one explosive mixture by the mechanism of sick desires. "While I was Dreaming" steps into the field of pure dark ambient when changing mood to be slower and more cryptic, but the energy strikes back with the fourth track "The Id", a dynamic and cinematic composition. The beat of the drum, the voices all around, industrial atmosphere colored in grey tones; this is the perfect soundtrack for the destructive affects in our inner world.

"Happiness Machine" brings forth the ideas of using Freud's theories for conscious and intelligent manipulation of the organized habits and opinions of the masses as an important element of democratic society. Music reflects the theme having a creepy, chilling and weaving background which zombifies heavily the mind of the listener leaving no option for escape. A light drilling sound is constantly there, rising and falling to make the hypnotizing effect even stronger. The same atmosphere is transferred to "The Wish in Dreams" while the anxiety surrounding this desire turns some dreams into nightmares; a very dense soundscape full of special effects and sampled voices which reminds a little bit of old black-n-white movies from the beginning of the past century. "If Youth Knew, If Age Could" is a final composition that is brighter than all the rest in the album having some injection of melancholy in it, but still the images of an old movie are really strong having a highly sensual background.

Stahlwerk9 set a hard goal of reflecting the human subconscious trying to describe the beasts that haunt our dreams and try to break out of the jail that we usually put them in. I think that Reinhard achieved his goal creating a highly cinematic soundscape though I prefer the compositions with a higher tempo or some rhythm inside, for example "Into the Unconscious" which has some special touch or kind of energy that singles it out from all the rest. I also like militarism and industrialization of the previous albums much more than the mystery of the new one, but in general, "The Grey Ghost" is a good comeback for Stahlwerk9 and one of the best albums that arrived from Steinklang records during the last two or three years.

"The mind does most of its best thinking when we aren't there. The answers are there in the morning". So put on your earphones, close your eyes and concentrate on the process. The answer will definitely appear. Jun 24 2013

Andrew Dienes

info@brutalresonance.com
Writer and contributor on Brutal Resonance

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