MZ.412 - _Infernal Affairs_
(Cold Meat Industry, 2006)
by: Quentin Kalis (9 out of 10)
'Tis better to go out with a bang than to fade away. It may be a cliché, but like all clichés, there is a kernel of truth at its centre; and it is advice that MZ.412 have taken heed of, as this is to be their swansong. Their departure from the experimental electronica scene is mitigated by the fact that their assorted members have immersed themselves in other quality projects (see Drakhon's Beyond Sensory Perception act and Henrik Nordvargr Bjorkk's solo project for proof).

The album can be best described as a sonic tapestry of pounding bass rhythms, spine chilling ambience, bursts of white noise with the occasional militaristic and orchestral tangent -- all whilst continuously violating elementary rules of songwriting that are normally taken for granted. But for a band that obtained cult status with their "black industrial" sound, which is essentially noise imbued with a ritual atmosphere and Satanic kitsch, there is a noticeable downplaying of Luciferian tendencies prevalent on earlier classics such as _Burning the Temple of God_ -- no pictures of burning churches or over utilised Satanic mass samples. But even more obvious is the comparative relegation of noise in favour of more frequent ambient passages -- no doubt core members' involvement in ambient projects has had an impact.

This is easily their most accessible work to date (relatively speaking, of course) and represents the maturation of their idiosyncratic sound. I cannot think of a better means by which to announce their departure. RIP MZ.412.


(article published 8/9/2006)

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