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2017-12-09

DEAD NEANDERTHALS - Womb Of God

"The Creator has a master plan
- Peace and happiness for every man.
The Creator makes but one demand,
Happiness thru all the land."

The one thing Leon Thomas didn't tell you on Pharoah Sanders' free jazz all-time-classic album "Karma" is what happens if you don't fulfill the Creator's demand: In that case He gets seriously pissed and drowns all of His creation in one big New Wave of Dutch Heavy Jazz.

Enter Dead Neanderthals.



DEAD NEANDERTHALS - Womb Of God (LP) (2017)

Yes, after "Craters" and "The Depths" this is already the third release by Otto Kokke (sax) and René Aquarius (drums) I'm reviewing here this year. And that's not counting the MNHM album "Of Empires Past" and the fact that I mentioned "Dolphin" on the very last day of December.

And I'm still missing out on one album. Those guys are just too prolific for me to keep up.

But for now let me concentrate on their latest creation:
"Womb Of God" is an album of around thirty-five minutes with one track on each side: "Womb Of God I" and "Womb Of God II", both recorded by Kokke and Aquarius with additional saxophones by Colin Webster.

If there is something running like a golden thread through the Dead Neanderthals' output, it's their melodic minimalism. Almost everything they do seems to be a variation of the question: How long can I persevere staying on just one note? With my melody count freezing at about zero "Womb Of God" stays true to that tradition and once again proves that you apparantly can squeeze a shitload of signature, yet still very distinct albums and EPs out of this formula.

This is a also a more typical Neanderthals album than their explorations in drone and doom jazz on their last releases, in the sense that it's relentless and fast, albeit the drumming doesn't sound like panic-fuelled free jazz this time, but more like a panic-fuelled machine which someone has adjusted at a wrong, too high level, but now the mechanism is stuck and it just runs and runs until it overheats.

On top of that Kokke and Webster are building a texture of saxophones which at first seems like a monotonous collection of siren and TV test card sounds, but evolves to something cathartic and - despite the lack of melody - strangely majestic.

Both tracks work in a similar way with the "Womb Of God I" side feeling blunter with a very primal primitive industrial vibe, while "II" gives you a little more comfort with its steady licks.
Those work much more like a (borderline repetive) guitar riff than anything out of the realm of jazz.

This whole album defies exclusive classification under the umbrella term jazz. I guess apart from the most hardcore free jazz maniacs it's probably more likely to find friends among the fans of extreme advantgarde metal, noise and industrial from The Body to Merzbow. Well, it isn't called "Dutch Heavy Jazz" for no reason.


Speaking of reasons: There is indeed one for my quotation at the beginning.

When I listened to "Womb Of God" in full for the first time, I got the idea that this must be what "Karma" would have sounded like, if you'd listened to it hanging out with Al Jourgensen (Ministry) during his worst junkie years, being on a bad trip from some sick shit out of his stash.

Should I ever get into hard drugs, please remind me to test this!

Otherwise (which hopefully is more likely) just find out what your own imagination makes of this sonic rabid mammoth and happily enjoy this shit like I do.

btw: If you're in a hurry, just spin this at 45 rpm! Works totally fine too, no kidding.


Highlights: Womb Of God I



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