Exsanguinate – “The Black Acts” CD
Limited to 500 – Released January 2002 – Sold Out

EXSANGUINATE is the Death Industrial project from Thomas Garrison of the Power Electronics behemoth CONTROL. “The Black Acts” contains 13 tracks of landmark Dark Electronics, meticulously layered and constructed these tracks grate and churn forth the repugnance in the human extreme with a sonic exploration of torture techniques through the ages. Dense composition, evolving frequencies and a tragic ferocity make Exsanguinate another exceptional Dark Noise project from American shores.

Audio Samples… Coming Soon


Despite being in steady contact with T.Garrison, I wasn’t even aware he was doing this project besides Control. Exsanguinate is nearly 70 minute journey into painful tortures. Divided to 13 tracks, makes this CD superior compared to usual nearly endless dark ambient songs. Well, it wouldn’t be true to put this under dark ambient label. There is similar feelings, yet Exsanguinate has plenty of similarities with sound of Control and therefore it goes rather painful and noisy. No vocals, some spoken word, but often just sadistic sound elements combined to sinister, but amazingly well created and inventive dark backgrounds. Cover artwork has medieval torture drawings. Another good release from Crionic Mind! (M)

8/10 – This is another project from Thomas Garrison of the infamous Control, with this particular disc exploring historical methods of torture. From the start I can say that I enjoy this more than Control, not only because it seems less conventional from a visual/conceptual basis, but also because the sounds herein possess an excellent balance of searing harsh noise and fluid, menacing ambient landscapes. “Two Thousand Volts” introduces some samples amidst intense layers of cacophonous distortion and eerie background tones. The samples act more as an additional texture than anything else, as it’s nearly impossible to make out what’s being discussed. “Dissident Asylum” begins with one of the most unsettling synth tones I’ve ever heard, carefully swaying to and fro with some rumbling in the distance and slow, crisp crunches of distortion starting to come into the center/foreground. “Skeffington’s Gyves” is one of the calmer pieces, creating lush ambience with only minimally aggressive shifts present. “Beneath the Gallows” is a similar piece, using mostly clean, deep tones to create an intense depth that certainly suits the title of the track. Of course the recording is excellent. The levels are loud, the tones range from bright to muddy. Even though the sound is polished there is a ruggedness to it, everything has its place. The layout is superb, one of the best I’ve seen from Crionic Mind. The entire package is consistent in its use of dismal, stone-like textures and classic illustrations of torture scenes, instruments of torture, etc. The use of text is minimal and effective – a perfect match for the music. Despite the 60+ minute running time and relatively consistent delivery throughout, nothing gets boring, as most tracks hover right around the five-minute mark. Fans of Control will no doubt be impressed by Exsanguinate. The material has the same sinister atmosphere, and though I feel the two stand on their own ground, they’re not completely disparate. Recommended. Running time – 67:39, Tracks: 13
[Notable tracks: Two Thousand Volts, Dissident Asylum, Beneath the Gallows]

Exsanguinate drains blood from the body of the ferocious Power Electronics entity Control, the concrete rumble dynamics of the latter, stretched, kneaded and destroyed by the harsh, cruel constructs of the former, both projects helmed by Thomas Garrison. Which means, where Control utilized a straightforward, blatantly single-minded brutality, Exsanguinate exhibit a musculature and flexibility amidst the volatile, desecrated sonic landscape. It seems as though Garrison is seeking an alternative form of aural abrasion… A calm hum opens “Punishment For All Crimes,” soon to be devoured by gurgling, grinding noises, and an array of piercing tones bent on abrasively singing one’s eardrums. This is a hard-edged ambience, ragged, the shifting layers of grind and pierce dragging the listener down via a vicious, vice-grip undertow, completely encompassing one in the embrace of oppression. It strikes with an abrupt harshness reminiscent of Stratvm Terror, circa Pain Implantations. Death lurches in the shadows of “The Final Hour,” accompanied by screech and rumble dynamics that lead the listener into an abattoir long abandoned by God or any other paragons of hope. The death sonically displayed here is one basked in cruelty, strapped to a slab, forced to submit to the onslaught of noise circling and spitting fire, and insidiously violated by the dead, anxious eyes of the vultures that hover in the corner, awaiting a death that will be drawn out by the reams of scintillating, caustic sounds. “Skeffington’s Gyves” brings the tones down to a factory sludge hum, trudging through the mausoleum, spirits in disarray, the murmur of unease amplified for maximum effect. Garrison shows he has grasp of a variety of brutally abusive sounds, his blueprint for execution an appealing cross between BDN’s earliest nightmares (sparse, caked with graveyard dirt), the convoluted agony expelled with every breath of label-mate Gruntsplatter’s heinous revelry, and his own aurally psychotic, INTENSE noise obsessions. The Black Acts is a brilliant example of ambient/noise done right! –JC Smith

Exsanguinate opens with an immediate confronting ominous death industrial sound, which quickly builds up with all sorts of additional ear torture. Piercing sharp edged shifts rip your membranes apart, these shifts become more frequently used and flow back and forth while the death industrial underflow, sort of calm but heavy, smashes your body and your bowels against the wall. So far I must admit this is much better then the album of Control on Black Plague, Thomas Garrisons’ main musical project which is rather focused on complete heavy distorted blistering walls of power electronics with screaming manipulated yelling vocals…. On the contrary “The Black Acts” got my attention right away, only looking to the artwork made something snap in my brain. This project is completely focused on the theme “torture” which sooths my likes and interests as well… “A Torturous End” kicks of with a grinding high pitched noise, which reminds me of Cazzodio material, like some of the previous (and forthcoming) on this album already did. But then suddenly the atmosphere takes a complete suprisingly direction, an immense cloud of deep dark drone/beat patterns comes down and pulls a rather rhythmic “dead”beat with itself to the surface, this is what I could call rhythmic industrial in the true sense of the word, not the Ant-Zen alike stuff, but a lot of analogue machinery sounds, grinding layers, samples, and quickly shifting higher pitched layers mixed on top of that. This is definitely one of my favourites of this album, no doubt. And the torture continues, loud magnificent well constructed layers which now and then remind a bit of the distorted strains of power industrial that one can find on the Control album, but unlike Control, this album keeps me in its grip during the whole 67 minutes, nothing that bores me, a great amount of variation and originality… “Peine forte et dure”, well, this track takes a more (relatively) quiet direction, a repetitive high pitched loop with a slow pounding industrialised rhythm gives the atmopshere a more hypnotic touch. “Skellington’s gyves” is then so far the most quiet of all, serving my ears, mind and body with a portion of long layered dark ambient (feedback) sounds, lightly oscillating and combined with a repetitive looped slow metal pounding structure in the background. “Beneath the gallows” being a wall of drone gets mixed with a sound that reminds me Iszoloscope, just thought I’d mention, also this track takes it more quiet and hypnotic, mindtaking compared to the first material of this album. Now it’s time for “The black acts” and this is loud as hell, the storm has arrived. Blistering whirling thick overwhelming analogue power noise industrial. Explicitly sickening loud walls of sound (ask my neighbours J ), sharp shifting noises and piercing soundeffects. Now this kicks ass! This is complete demolition! This being my 2nd favourite of this album thus. Think of Cazzodio, but with its own sound yet as powerfull, sick and grotesque walls of destruction and ear-terrorism, a definite must, a fantastic long awaited newcomer in the scene. Hope to hear more in the future. Who ever claimed that ONLY Germany has the best Death Industrial bands now stands corrected, hear for your self! Rated: 10/10!!!

Exsanguinate sets a new standard for death industrial in the tormented and relentless aural onslaught that is The Black Acts. Based on a theme of “a sonic exploration of torture techniques through the ages”, The Black Acts is immeasurably desolate and overwhelmingly oppressive in it’s smoldering aggression. . . an intensely difficult and disturbed journey into dark recesses of distortion and cruelty. Humming and distorted drones surround, crush, demoralize. Piercing ringing tones overdriven to crackling, screeching white fire slash across a dim and desolate soundscape. Shards of glass and metal needle incessantly, repetitively, scratching and scraping at frayed nerve endings. A dull, amplified drum thunders and pummels internally beneath the many noise layers. A slow hollow breath exhales a muted and eternal scream. As many times as you may listen to this disc, you are never fully prepared for just how ultimately dismal and scorching the sound. The pieces are difficult to remember, the methods so abrasive and anguished as to leave only dim trace reflections of how dark could this sound really have been. The purity of purpose behind The Black Acts is astounding; the ultimate result is nightmarish and blistering. This is a disc that will stare unblinkingly deep into your mind even as it sits in silence within it’s case clear across the room.

This release by exanguinate called the black acts is all about torture in every aspect, “punishment for all crimes” starts with bass and leads into well done high pitched distortion, a painful backdrop to what is to come! This release from Crionic mind has 13 tracks of raw anger ranging from sounds to be compared to such artists as Haus Arafna, Cazzodio,and other more popular Ant-Zen acts such as synapscape. This cd has everything to offer and should get more recognition then it does. You can hear all the masters of rhytmic noise and power electronics on this release and to me there is no bad to it. Here is the tracklisting for the black acts: punishment for all crimes, two thousand volts, a torturous end, the mazzatello, the final hour, punishing the dead, science of hanging, dissident asylum, peine forte et dure, skeffington’s gyves, beneath the gallows, the black acts, silence and separation… From start to finish you will feel torture and your ears will bleed!

Exsanguinate is a project from the man behind Control,Thomas Garrison. Control is definitely at the top of the heap in the pile of power electronics projects out there, and the Exsanguinate disc just reaffirms this. No, Exsanguinate is not much like Control, and I wouldn’t call it power electronics either. However, you will find harsh textures, raping high pitches and rumbling drones intermingled with washed out voice samples and a multitude of noises and sounds. Perhaps the best thing about Exsanguinate is that, sonically, it stands out. There are thousands of “noise” or “experimental” projects out there that are very formulaic, very stagnant, and in the end, they all follow the same path to cliche’ and boredom. Mr.Garrison does not take this path. In fact, he sets fire to the path and inspires others to take his path. The path that encourages true experimentation, and true sonic tapestries. The dynamics and subtleties of this record are astounding. Amidst the barrage of noise, there are tiny miniscule patterns, textures, and loops weaving themselves in and out of what the casual listener would hear. Some noises even creating “melodies” of sorts to offset the scraping and grinding. Exsanguinate is painstakingly constructed, and gone over with a fine toothed comb which will be obvious to the observant listener. This release is a mile-stone in the catalog of Crionic Mind, in the career of Thomas Garrison, and in the world of electronic music. “The Black Acts” is a testimony to what someone can do in the field of “experimental” music, when they actually experiment, instead of follow the paths and patterns, that many others have followed for years. – Jason

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