Gnod: Chaudelande – album review
Gnod-Chaudelande (Rocket Recordings)
Noise makers from Manchester, Gnod, impress Louder Than War’s Chris Hearn with their out of this world, yet earthly sound. Read on!
This. Is. Awesome. This is everything artsy, weird, wonderful and scary that music can be, all glued together. Industrial. Prog. Noise. Sludge. Minimalism. Electronica. IDM. Punk. They mix in organic found sounds, standard instruments and hypnotic rhythms and loops made on whatever machines and equipment the devil may have delivered to them. They remind me of everything from Skinny Puppy to Crass to Sunn O))) to, I don’t know, the list could go on and on jumping across genres left and right.
At times it sounds like a walk through a haunted crumbling asylum after dark, as the ghosts of souls torn and tortured by their own demons scream out in restless, unsettled terror. “Gnod is a state of mind. Those who seek Gnod, will find Gnod, the universe is centred on neither the earth nor the sun. It is centred on Gnod.” It….THEY…get into your brain. It’s music from another universe that has travelled to ours and inserts itself into your brain, challenging you to listen to something that is both familiar and alien at the same time.
The songs on ‘Chaudelande’ are epic in length, with the shortest, ‘Vision of Load’ clocking in at 8 minutes and 27 seconds. ‘The Vertical Dead’ runs just over 17 minutes! Listening to this album is as much an investment in time and mental energy as it is an enjoyment of aural art. You have to be committed to listening to this album. It’s a big task. Some albums can be put on to play in the background while you do other things. Not this one. If you put it on, it drags you away from whatever you are doing. Like I said, it’s very hypnotic! It grabs you. It sucks you in! I fear listening to this while operating heavy machinery.
Gnod are not actually from another universe. They are indeed of this earth. In fact, they are from Manchester. They did, however, record this album in that vast foreign land of France, at a studio in, you guessed it, Chaudelande. I see a connection between the album title and the studio location, don’t you? But, no, they are not otherworldly. They sound otherworldly. But, alas they are not.
Gnod are absolutely, 110 percent WORTH checking out, just for the aural experience. Just set everything aside, sit down, put this on and get lost in the world that Gnod have created. It’s oddly pleasant, in its scary, steely way. Come to Gnod! Give your brain to Gnod!
Words by Chris Hearn. More writing by Chris on Louder Than War can be found here.