First Human Ferro featuring Kenji Siratori - _Adamnation_
(Eibon Records, 2007)
by: Quentin Kalis (9 out of 10)
Black metal from the Ukraine and Russia has received much attention in these virtual pages from yours truly (with good reason), and now it is the turn of other, less metallic genres from the Eastern lands.

First Human Ferro is the project of one Olegh Kolyada in collaboration with Mykhayil A Shukh, who is cited as the "greatest contemporary Ukrainian classical composer". Also featured is Japanoise artist extraordinaire Kenji Siratori, who is prominently mentioned, despite the fact that his contribution is limited to some highly distorted spoken word passages on several tracks. Credit him by all means, but a few spoken word samples is literally something any idiot can do and hardly merits a major mention. I'm not even sure whether the samples add much to the album, as the juxtaposition of dissonance with the grandiosity of classical seemed to be the album's main strength and primary source of its unique nature, whilst distorted spoken passages are a staple of noise albums. Not that the only human voices to be distorted are Siratori's; the operatic male choir on the aptly named "Camouflage" are distorted practically beyond recognition against the backdrop of layer upon layer of punishing cacophony -- but not all beauty is stripped away, and the song remains surprisingly and paradoxically atmospheric. On other occasions, the din subsides to near ambience, such as on "Cadaver City", which is accompanied by some unambiguously beautiful female vocals.

It is a moot point whether Kolyada (surely a pseudonym -- it is one of the festivals of the old pre-Christian Slavic religion) can reproduce an album of this calibre without the classical components of a composer he obviously reveres. But this is a consideration for another time, and irrespective of whether he can reproduce the paradox that is _Adamnation_, it is in my immodest opinion, the best noise / power electronic album to date for 2007. The Russians may have lost the Cold War, but the battleground has moved to a new front and is advancing upon the ground formerly occupied by the West.


(article published 24/7/2007)

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