Havoc Unit - ... and Oceans - The Sin: Decay - Synaesthesia - The Requiem Reveries
Industrial Post-Black
9 songs (45'30")
Release year: 2007
Reviewed by Alex

I admit jumping on this split intrigued by what happened to Finnish experimental black metal band … and Oceans. The band started out in symphonic black metal in the late 90s. The crossover to the industrial style started with a landmark A.M.G.O.D. in 2001 and continued a year later with Cypher. The band has not been heard from much since, reissuing some old tracks in compilations. Some songs off A.M.G.O.D. resonated strongly with me, combining futuristic keyboards, cutting guitars and industrialized rhythms. Not conforming to the traditional black metal dogmas the band was different, and very much forward looking. Turns out, they could not stop quite half way with the switch, and eventually converted completely to the industrial side, thus giving birth to Havoc Unit. Synaesthesia – The Requiem Reveries introduces newly minted Havoc Unit, lays to rest … and Oceans, and also utilizes the space to showcase what one of the mysterious band members can do alone with The Sin: Decay.

Whether it is the constraints of the split or the way these Finns see things, but I get a lot of half-baked unfinished feeling from Synaesthesia. In many regards many tracks here are simply rhythmic outlines, song sketches or foundations. … and Oceans and The Sin: Decay are most guilty of this with Ha-Shoah and c76i8k76, respectively. Havoc Unit MVSN is at least a quirky jazzy dance club mix, enjoyable for what it is worth. In fact, … and Oceans side appears to be the weakest, with only Yerushalayim Erez HaQodes providing a complete feeling, with its wall of sound production and last glimpse of noticeable guitar. The other two tracks by … and Oceans are a lot less descript. Ha-Shoah is basically showing the band shedding its skin already changing over to Havoc Unit and Tophet is simply a frequency manipulation akin to Stallagh and 20.SV. As The Sin: Decay tends to mix a syrupy, almost Pet Shop Boys keyboard sound with its heavy guitar riffs (We Are All Slaves) that project sits somewhere between gothic rock and futuristic metal. To its credit, We Are All Slaves is the most complete in terms of a song, even though it does smack of pop metal.

The eventual winner among three not so strong runners is then Havoc Unit. With Discipline Upon Mankind opens up with a rustic phonograph symphonic sample, grows strong, drums crushing faster than human, industrial rhythms prevailing. It also uses a voice, ranging from a subliminal TV preacher to processed hysterical scream from the same pulpit, creating a very unsettled feeling. (The video, as the one for Yerushalayim Erez HaQodes, is very unsettling as well). Similarly, both “behind the scene” and screaming voices on the wings of floating keys are used on Regime Equinox, but compared to With Discipline Upon Mankind that song is also pretty much an exercise in selection of sketches which may work for the band in the future, rather than a complete composition.

I have never been in principle against industrial side of metal (Samael is great), but do not quite see the reason to provide the listener with very much a transitional piece of work. Rather, get all of your ideas researched in the studio, put a strong album together and announce Havoc Unit with a bang. Hopefully, that is what will come in the future.

Killing Songs :
With Discipline Upon Mankind
Alex quoted 52 / 100
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There are 3 replies to this review. Last one on Mon Jun 11, 2007 11:01 am
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