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Dogs Blood Rising

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Having established his art on initial releases, Tibet makes a stunning declaration of purpose on Dogs Blood Rising, one of the most frightening, nerve-wracking records ever released. Interspersing quicker tracks and two lengthy evocations of destruction, Dogs Blood shows Tibet and his collaborators -- including, as always, Stapleton -- combining everything from invocations of Yukio Mishima to Christianity in a harrowing blend. Opening track "Christus Christus" sets the tone with its heavily flanged and looped vocals, chanting the title over and over again against a wash of sound, but it's the following track, "Falling Back in Fields of Rape," which truly begins to set this album apart. With guest vocals courtesy of Crass singer Steve Ignorant, who recites lyrics clearly meant to play on both senses of the word "rape," everything -- from recurrent chants of "War!", other choral moans, varying percussion, heavily treated musical snippets, and fragment loops -- builds and fades throughout the mix. When a young girl's voice takes over the main lyrics after a snippet of a nursery rhyme is sung, the sheer sense of creep out grows even higher. It's even further intensified as Ignorant's rasping shouts of the main lyric start floating up through the mix like a mantra from hell. "From Broken Cross, Locusts" provides a semi-respite in ways, but only just, chanting from Tibet and others floating low in the mix as a recurrent, strange drum loop sets the overall pace before a sudden, frazzled ending. "Raio No Terrasu (Jesus Wept)" ratchets up everything to the level of apocalypse -- the music doesn't pound and explode, but the ever-more pained, wailed voices chanting the title phrase or other similarly disturbed lines, or simply calling and keening unintelligibly, become a disturbing, fractured and tape-treated collage of sound. "St. Peters Keys All Bloody" concludes the album on a perversely calm note, with Tibet speaking in a snarl, then softly singing "The Sounds of Silence" and "Scarborough Fair" by Simon & Garfunkel. It's a chilling coda to a striking album.

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