Thursday, July 05, 2007
Nod - The Story Of The Three Little Pigs And The Big Bad Wolf
It has been a while since I listened to this album, and for good reason: it's not very good. While there are a few good tracks on the album, it does not hide or excuse the rather half-hearted noise attempts that make up the rest of the album. Introduced, along with IRM and another band, on the Cold Meat Industry Nihil sampler several years ago, Nod soon followed up with their debut (and to my knowledge, only) album, "The Story Of The Three Little Pigs", which was released in a limited edition of 1000.
In theory, the album should be at least interesting, right? You would think, as it is presented as a retelling of "the three little pigs and the big bad wolf" mythos. Yet listening to the album makes it painfully clear that the concept is what was expected to make the album sell. The noise is of the metallic clamoring variety, more organic-sounding than digital (if that easily makes sense), but it is also quite one-dimensional. Occasionally bits of melody will be present towards the beginning of the songs, but by then it is a case of "too little, too late".
That is not to say that this album is a complete failure. Far from it. For the two songs which are presented as samplers of the album on the Cold Meat Industry website are also, ironically, the only two noteworthy songs on the album (in my opinion). "An Enemy You Are" is the most 'quiet' song on the album, consisting of an echoing kick drum, ocean wind sound effects, strange synth lines that alternate between two pitches (which gives the whole song a huge degree of unease), and a strangely lifeless vocal performance: a man muttering vague uncertainties. You may perhaps find it strange that I would recommend this song for these reasons, given the 'active' nature of many of the other songs on the album, yet compared to the rather ineffectual screaming and aggressive posturing, this lifelessness becomes welcome. Although at times it is hard to exactly determine what Daniel Wihlstrand is saying (though it is probably not necessary to catch everything the first time), what is easily understandable is haunting and cryptic:
"I traveled so far and beyond, to seek my fortune in solitude...once you had been a part of me, but no longer...we shall never again drink my wine, never again shall I take your hand, from my enemies...of course an enemy you are...I travel out to sea, caught between the devil and the deep blue...of course an enemy you are...my ecstasy is in your...of course an enemy you are..."
(As usual, this is based on my understanding/interpretation. Also, it was much harder than usual to determine what was being said on the song, due to the heavy degree of distortion, echoes, and strange inflections which blur the words together slightly).
The second song, "Armies Of The Earth", is an effective stab at power-electronica, with high-pitched electronic squeals, gritty bass-pulse rumbling, and multi-tracked vocals, similar to "An Enemy You Are" (only much harder to understand this time around). Strangely, both of these songs are exactly 3:19 in length (even though this song seems to be cut short towards the end, even though it could have benefited from an additional minute to two minutes of development).
However, neither of these songs are presented on the Cold Meat site anymore. Instead, the title track is available for download. The female narrator (punctuated by a strange low-range male) is somewhat amusing (especially after the wolf fails to blow the house of bricks down), and the watery power electronic bleeps are competent, but there is not much there in the way to keep the listeners attention.
Overall, there is not much to recommend this album beyond what can be offered by similar projects. Not one to write off projects that show even a glimmer of hope, I checked out the background info for Daniel Wihlstrand's project. Unfortunately, there is little to no information to be found anywhere regarding him or whether he had any musical output after the album. He contributed to the "Nihil" sampler for the label before releasing the "Story..." album. He also had created an interesting-named album called "When Dogs Run" in 1997, but it was apparently never released on a label. It is quite depressing that Cold Meat is not offering the two good tracks on the album for download anymore, but granted, you are only missing out on curiosities of implied potential, and nothing groundbreaking or essential.
PS Any info that can be found regarding Daniel Wihlstrand's future projects (if any exist) would be greatly appreciated. Also, any agreement/counter-arugments/discussion regarding my opinions on this album would be highly appreciated as well (seeing as I no longer have this album and it has been two years at least since I listened to it in it's entirety).
Cold Meat Industry