PLASTIC NOOSE - DESOLATION (2016)
In 2014 The Progressive Aspect reviewed Fractured Despondency, the second release from Edinburgh based project Plastic Noose, which despite some early misgivings at the time, turned out to be a damn fine album – especially the sixteen minute album closer Suicidal Crisis.
Desolation, as the title implies, isn’t a joyous affair, in fact it is packed with raw, bludgeoning venom, grinding detuned riffs and, on a number of tracks, guttural vocals. BUT intricately interwoven within this dark, industrial metal framework is a superb mix of electronica, prog, classical, avant-garde and subtle ambient textures, and we don’t have to wait long either as the album’s first three cuts reveal many of these. Opening with the eerie film-score piano of Scotland the scene is quickly shattered by the dark down-tuned riffage of Burning Inside. Brief respite returns in the form of Sasturgi‘s simple, but effective piano motif, which lays the foundation to this crafty slow burner.
One of the key strengths of Desolation is that it has all the power and emotion of a live album, but with the precision that comes from recording within a studio environment. The end result captures the moment, where the creative juices flow and the and energy exudes. Granted there are overlays, but keen to retain a live, organic feel, what you hear is the tracks as they were performed and without editing, realigning or any studio fixes to the music.
Despite it’s title Desolation has its fair share of up-beat moments, pulling from dark to light in equal measures, whilst retaining a clear pathway, illustrated perhaps best by the captivating Snowman which grooves and delights in equal measures…whereas the angst of Welcome To The Depths Of My Hell drags the listener into an ever spiralling pit of despair. Gradually and without remorse.
As remarked towards the end of the Fractured Despondency review, and similarly here with Desolation, this album is going to appeal more to those with a penchant for the heavier end of prog spectrum, however some thoughtful writing and planning gives the music a far wider appeal. So hidden away within the grungy riffage is a plethora of sweeping synths, pulsating rhythmic sequencing, subtle guitar and, as always, superbly held together with some tasteful drumming. Final touches come courtesy of the nicely minimalistic vignettes, which not only relieve the tension, but add strength as a whole.
On the surface not an album that might have attracted me, however all in all one with hidden depths, which I can assure you are not going to be revealed with just a cursory dabble, so dig in folks…
There’s no social media presence for Plastic Noose, and although I see the attraction… perhaps a reason why this music sits way under the radar. With another album scheduled for release on 21st December 2017 let’s hope there are possibilities of exposure beyond the FB and Twitter universes.
Bob Mulvey - The Progressive Aspect
PLASTIC NOOSE - FRACTURED DESPONDENCY (2013)
This hard hitting industrial metal album has everything for fans of the genre that one could ask for...it was a work of art to me...this is a fantastic industrial metal
album, moving back and forth between wonderful Hellish tastes to more mellow and peaceful workings.
- Brutal Resonance 8/10
Snow King, he is on fire! 'Going Down', 'Doomladen', 'Let all Mankind Burn', 'For Me' and 'Suicidal Crisis' are just superb tracks on the album...superb listen with a
definite classical feel...has now become like an old and welcome friend to my aural senses...crafted to perfection.
- Crimson Moon Zine 9/10
Just as on the debut album Plastic Noose unleashes 7 songs from his creative brain. The tracks are quite slow in tempo, but there’s a constant kind of anguishing and
aggressive atmosphere hanging over the tracks. The guitar playing sounds extremely heavy bombastic. This is not about metal music, but a kind of industrial interpretation, which sometimes reminds me
of The Swans. A few electronic treatments embellish the music. Plastic Noose is creating a particular atmosphere filled with angst. His obscure growls just reinforce the global mood present over the
songs. And when Plastic Noose more or less comes to experiment with some emotional-minded tracks, it no longer works a similar way. Plastic Noose is a fascinating experience I fully recommend!
-Side-Line Music Magazine
What is immediately noticeable on pressing play is the variety included in this album. Yes, it is essentially still stripped back and bleak, but there are many more
ideas at work here. The songs don't rely simply on skeletal rhythms and hanging guitar notes to drive the songs as much as they did, instead favouring more complex arrangements. But best of all there
is much more variation in the pace of the songs, which gives the album a much more assertive sense of presence. Snow King has definitely been honing his ideas with songs like 'Going Down', 'Let All
Mankind Burn', and 'Doomladen' building on the dance floor potential of songs on 'Zu Allen', such as 'Road To Perdition' and 'Slutcentric'. But the new results feel a lot more self-assured and
complex than their predecessors. Where Plastic Noose really flourishes though is in more ambitious songs like the hauntingly ambient 'Strontian' and the stunning 'Suicidal Crisis', which channels his
Celtic Frost/Triptykon influences into a sixteen-minute-long doomy gem to round off the album. With a more ambitious approach to his song writing has come the necessity for a more complex production
style which has given the songs a nice spit and polish, but without losing its grungy charm. The mix tends to keep the vocals relatively low compared to the guitars and electronics, but with such a
sinister style as Snow King's, this happens to work very well. However there are still a couple of points where the songs don't quite get the kick that is anticipated though, and sometimes the
guitars sound a little flat, but this doesn't hold them back too much considering the catchy nature of the material. 'Fractured Despondency' is a big step in the right direction in terms of quality
for Plastic Noose that should easily bring a lot more attention.
- Intravenous Magazine
PLASTIC NOOSE - ZU ALLEN (2011)
- Ringmaster Reviews
The debut outing from Scottish one-man-band Plastic Noose, is another one of those albums that has been floating around for a while that occasionally pops up and makes
you take notice. A minimalistic style centred around big drum beats and distorted bass lines with , Plastic Noose has an old school kind of feel that balances industrial experimentation with extreme
metal atmospheres...for fans of sinister, sleazy industrial this will be a rewarding listen.
- Intravenous Magazine
'Zu Allen' is a crafty produced debut of a promising up and coming artist, who has been clever enough to see a niche, where he could fill in his talent the best.
Plastic Noose does not produce stuff for the faint-hearted audience expecting the smoothness of a Pop-Music related song structure. But if you have the will to take a trip into a dark and cold
sounding Industrial/Coldwave-experience, you'll be able to discover these 7 pearls provided by this talented artist.
- Chain D.L.K 4.5/5
I'm not yet sure why I haven't heard of this one-man project from Scotland, but Plastic Noose, for all his tiny web presence, is on the very verge of something big
indeed. At the end of April, Snow King (the artist behind this act) played live in Athens, on the self-labelled "One Night In Hell(as)" show, sharing a stage with acts as well known as Detroit
Diesel, Terrolokaust, PreEmptive Strike 0.1, Nano Infect and Cygnosic. Quite how this happened is beyond me, but it's not for me to speculate on. This seven track debut album is a hybrid of Metal and
Electro, which leaves me stunned, confused, and intrigued, due to both its unorthodox sound, and its sense of accomplishment. Opening with "Road To Perdition", our ears are met with a steady drum
beat, a noisy distorted synth line, and some vocals very similar to Trent's on "Pretty Hate Machine". Lyrics like "I Feel your Body" echo a resemblance to "Closer", but unlike the aforementioned,
this track is at no risk of being over quoted to death. It's really well written, the Guitar compositions (which is as frequent as the Electronics) are brilliantly executed. "Snow King" starts off
with a breezy intro, and then a repeated, unsettling Piano chord, before launching into extremely low, distorted Drone-vocals reminiscent of Sunn0))), Khanate, etc. These turn into a spoken
narrative, and the track could almost be better suited as an intro, if it wasn't for the façade that Plastic Noose exudes. This is a really dark, menacing and prophetic song - it's hard to listen to
with headphones, and at 4:01 the guitar breaks in with a riff that makes me think a huge solo is going to happen. I'll let you work out if it does or not. The title track starts off with some Male
harmonizing which sounds Gregorian in its nature, then Snow kick-starts his vocals with some typically Metal guitar work. This album, I must warn you, is strictly not for the conventional fan of
Industrial/Metal. It showcases the best of both extreme ends of the genres, and makes for something riveting and truly different. "Before The Lord" brings us back to Ambient territory again, and like
"Snow King" previously, relies on the use of Percussion and a very slow tempo to deliver a potent and confident sounding piece. If honest, my criticism is that for a 5 minute song, it's almost the
same from the start, but we could loosely apply that to Ambient music as a whole, no? "Slutcentric" takes the awkwardness off of it, and just like the opener, re-opens the case for "Industrial" as a
valid label for Plastic Noose. Vocally this is as far removed from NIN as can be, and Mr King is a bona fide example of an artist I both love and hate to write about - his confidence and palette of
influences creates a strong release that's drawing about five scenes into it's web, but at the same time makes it very difficult to press down - what's he going for? What's the predominant style
here? Yes, it's brilliantly written from surface to core, but which scene is this marketed to? The closing two tracks, one of which is nearly ten minutes long, carries down the same vein, and I have
to deliver a final, honest assessment. If you're one of those that expects to dig a release in one listen, this is gonna be your bane. If you can play a disc several times, you'll be delighted with
the effect this has with each additional spin. I'm not sure where Plastic Noose are going, but recent events can only lead to one direction - Up.
- Brutal Resonance