Schkeuditzer Kreuz: Isolated And Alone
(Pyrrhic Defeat Records / Already Broken Records / Bad Habit Records / Dorpunk Tapes)
LP | DL
Out (in Europe) 5th February 2022
Industrial darkness spreads from down under and into the Northern Hemisphere. Neil Crud gives the new Schkeuditzer Kreuz album the once over…
There’s nothing nice about Schkeuditzer Kreuz and that is the intention. Having spawned from some filthy outback in Australia during the plague of 2020, SK is a one-man-and-machines side project by Kieren Hills; the bassist of Dark Horse.
Since the decline of mankind there has been a building of greater affinity with machines making the creation of SK inevitable. The name Schkeuditzer Kreuz comes from a motorway intersection between the A9 and the A14 in Sachsen, Germany.
If you close your eyes and stick your headphones on, you’re going to be afraid. If you read the lyric sheet, you’re probably going to feel disturbed too. Isolated And Alone is a heavy brooding self-abusing slab of darkness that seeps menacingly over an arid soundscape, enveloping all in its path. Drawing on the self-loathing of Nine Inch Nails, the twattishness of Nitzer Ebb and anger of Ministry, you are sucked into a blackened metallic world of pain, fear, genocidal awkwardness and vexation.
The term “Industrial” I guess means ‘rubbish drum machine, scant guitars, heavy synths, dry ice, shadows and a sense of danger.’ That’ll do for me.
It didn’t do at all for some though, as Mark of Pyrrhic Defeat Records explains, “The record has had a problematic birth. The first press was completed at a plant in China only for it to be seized by the authorities as subversive content just as it was about to be shipped out to Australia. You’d think they’d be keen to encourage the destabilisation of the West, or maybe they just wanted to let us do that ourselves. Anyway, that was scrapped and a new press was made in Indonesia with no problems, the brokers fortunately taking the extra expense on themselves.”
That subversive content isn’t that bad to be honest, that, or I have become immune to such vitriol that ranting about the non-niceties in this sub-world is now the norm (although Wraith does discuss eating children).
The opening piece, Broken sets the tone, informing you you’re about to experience a psychotic episode, before getting all heavy and industrial on your very mortality – “Turn off, tune out, drop dead.”
There’s no signs of spring, no green shoots appearing through the cold ground. Schkeuditzer Kreuz is a bleak, deathly and desolate project. The track Disappointment chirps; “The world it disappoints, And you have tired, Too dark, too dull, too stark, too stale.” This is about as happy as it gets.
Throwing in a skewed version of State Violence, State Control which was arguably the final classic hardcore single from Discharge (released in 1982), is kind of weird, but it works (kind of). This inclusion does perhaps draw attention from people who’d stay away from this genre through fear of being soiled.
The (barely) human skull that adorns the sleeves of a thousand different punk and metal albums never fails to impress the eye, and this record is no exception. It’s a very striking front pic for a very dark and sometimes disturbing project released last December on Already Broken Records of Wollongong, Australia. This month it is issued in Europe courtesy of Pyrrhic Defeat Records of Conwy, North Wales.
Neil Crud presents a Monday night show on Louder Than War Radio – follow him on Twitter