This time…it’s Cancer Reviews

Judas Kiss
Written by Simon Collins
Originally due for release on Slaughter Productions in early 2007, this album’s release was delayed by the suicide of Marco Corbelli of Slaughter Productions and Atrax Morgue, who was a friend of Michael Zolotov, the Israeli musician behind Kadaver. Now available via Topheth Prophet in a limited edition of 500 copies, This Time… It’s Cancer is the tenth Kadaver release (including the inevitable collaboration with Kenji Siratori), and is dedicated to the memory of Marco Corbelli.

The eight tracks of This Time… It’s Cancer add up to 52 minutes of playing time (although that includes a lot of silence on the aptly named closing track ‘A Silent Cry Of Despair’), and from start to finish, it’s a determinedly nasty, misanthropic, nihilistic album. Kadaver’s devastatingly bleak power electronics are accompanied by vocal samples of distressing news reports, in the vein of Brighter Death Now. ‘Fetus-Size Casket’ deploys an almost intolerable barrage of screams over static and piercing high frequency tones, recalling Stallagh, ‘Teddy Bears In The Sewer Draining Outlet’ is one of the best track titles since Megaptera’s ‘Sludgy Heads Found In A Handbag’, whilst the song itself is a fully-fledged bombardment of noise in the tradition of the Japanese masters, but my favourite track here is actually ‘C Is For Cancer’, which overflows with spaced-out layers of cold, clipped, metallic drones which swoop, soar and roar through an corrosive void, more like Archon Satani-style death ambient than straightforward noise or power electronics. Even so, nothing whatsoever on this album qualifies as easy listening, unless you count the passages of silence on the final track, and even then you’re just waiting for the hellish noise to start again. Kadaver make harsh music for a harsh existence. As it says on their T-shirts, “Kadaver supports the total annihilation of the human race… thank you for your cooperation.” There is also a new Kadaver CDR album, Running With Scissors, available now from the German label SkullLine.

Chronicles Of Chaos
Kadaver’s earlier excursion in sonic torment was recorded at an extremely loud and unnecessary volume level, but thankfully, his latest amusical excursion has been recorded at a more reasonable level. Perhaps mastermind Michael Zolotov has realised that this would be excessive on an album that lacks extraneous niceties such as harmony or melody. On second thought, what would one expect from a man who is essentially (early) Carcass’ electronic equivalent, bestowing his audio constructions with titles guaranteed to have any grindcore freak drooling? (Best examples are “Poisoned Vaginal Doorway” and “Ejaculation from Beyond the Grave”.)

_This Time… It’s Cancer_ is considerably more varied — although it will all sound like, well, noise to the uninitiated — and the different textures are more effective at sustaining attention than simply trying to overwhelm the listener with endless waves of distortion, white noise and tortured metal. His constructions are not nearly as random as they may first appear, and structure, however much it may be hidden under layers of violent feedback, can be discerned.

Kadaver may be no Merzbow or Fire in the Head, but this addition to his oeuvre is not without merit and will provide a few distracting moments for the tinnitus afflicted.

Heathen Harvest
This release has some sadness attached to it – it was originally due to be released by Slaughter Productions, headed by Atrax Morgue’s Marco Corbelli. As many by now will know, last year Corbelli decided that he had had enough and sadly felt the need to take his own life. Corbelli was a personal friend of Michael Zolotov, the man behind the Kadaver project, and consequently this album, finding a home on Israel’s Topheth Prophet label instead, is dedicated to him.

Anyone familiar with the harsh electronic venom of Atrax Morgue’s work will immediately realise, after listening to this CD, why Corbelli wanted to release it. This is black vomit and savagery in the same misanthropic vein of hatred that AM used to exploit and to the same equally nasty effect. Harsh swathes of bitter electronics, nerve-rending noise, abattoir sounds and the pained screams of the lost and damned conjure up images of the vile stench that is humanity – the sole purpose of this one seems to be to let you know just how fucked up we as a species really are. This captures perfectly the pain of being alive in a world going downhill with alarming alacrity (and getting faster and faster every day) and nobody seeming to know where the brakes are. As an example, track two, ‘We are the Disease’, sums it up neatly, both in title and music; teeth-grinding and skull-piercing squeal and feedback, the machine going about its deadly but necessary business of gutting out all of the uselessness and removing it permanently from society. Another example, track six, ‘Ejaculation from Beyond the Grave’, sounds like a series of implosions and spontaneous combustions, descriptive of the seemingly innate nature of our species; witness our current headlong dash towards self-destruction and the lack of political will to halt our slide into oblivion. It ain’t going to take much to tip us over the edge either…

Zolotov has managed to encapsulate the prevalent zeitgeist of the modern age with this set of eight pieces (BTW, the last track, ‘A Silent Cry of Despair’, although indexed as being 20:01 long, is actually only just over five minutes of actual music with three short belches towards the end), with all its attendant pain, anguish, frustration and degradation. This is like a poisoned splinter working its way towards the heart where it can spread its black venom, causing the flesh and muscle to wither and die. This is the world we and our children are inheriting – will THEIR children look back at us with fondness and warmth? On the strength of ‘This time… It’s cancer’, the prognosis is not looking too good.

Gaz Eta
Michael Zolotov goes under an alias Kadaver. Over the years, he’s released quite a number of highly limited edition releases. He’s now putting up on offer a comparatively much wider release [500 copies!]. “This Time….It’s Cancer” is not exactly a happy record. On his My Space site, Zolotov quite candidly states, “Well, it’s no lie and definitely not an attempt to sound “evil” but I truly hate people. Beyond what words can describe. Over 99% of the human race is worthless in my eyes and I feel noting but anger and repulsion for them. But as I am infected with a human mind (you can despise your human qualities but you cannot ignore and skin all of them off) I do have the need and will to find the specific individuals who can understand and RELATE to what I feel (and vice versa).” Through Kadaver, Zolotov wants to share an excruciating pain and fury that is crushing him. It’s a way for him to externalize what he’s feeling deep inside. From piece titles alone, one can get a sense of the direction the music takes. I wouldn’t expect “Tender Mutilation”, “Fetus-size casket”, “Ejaculation from Beyond the Grave” or “Teddy Bears in the Sewer Draining Outlet” to be pop songs about love. What a slaughter of sound this is. The scorching, demoralizing, ear-popping, screaming, stench that escapes from the speakers is truly worthy of the moniker of hell. For those brave souls whose nerves are made of steel, this is the soundtrack of being buried alive. Welcome to paradise!

– Tom Sekowski


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