Vomito Negro – Fall of an Empire | Review by Vox Empirea

As is well known, the Belgian Gin Devo constitutes an important pillar of the European EBM-industrial movement, whose biography and parallel platforms are exhaustively discussed in the review by Vox Empirea regarding his solo album entitled “Errata” published in 2012: Vomito Negro is the most significant and long-lived creature built by the musician, a project conceived experimentally in 1982 by Gin (synths/noises/arrangements/composing/editing/programming) with Guy Van Mieghem, and continued until now recruiting in 2009 Samdevos (synths/noises/backing vox) to which was added in 2010 the collaborator Sven Kadanza (live percussion/steel drums). An extreme eclecticism, a constant openness to external collaborations as well as a sound-system combining the Cabaret Voltaire’s electronic avant-garde, the techno-popish genius of Kraftwerk and a measured touch of industrial, constitute the cornerstones on which are articulated the formulations by Vomito Negro, always versatile and systematically adapted over the years to the different concepts of the releases published, in which contexts, however, are perceived almost unchanged those 80’s old-school foundations that from the beginning they characterize this protagonist. The direct contact with the listener’s mind are two elements of imprescidibile importance for the artist, so his music acts as a danceable and efficacious transmission of texts described with acute irony beyond which they transpire feelings of salvation and liberation alternating to reflection and inner torment, elements distributed in a wide discography inaugurated in 1985 by the 12″ self-titled “Vomito Negro” published by Etiquette Records whose four tracks reappeared in the tracklist of “Vomito Negro Boxset”, a publication in limited edition format 12″+ tapes released in 1987 by the KK Records, the Belgian label which was assigned in the same year also the vinyl 12″ called “Stay Alive”. In 1988, they came out, even by the KK Records, the two versions of “Dare”, whose first mini-lp edition was taken in a CD format compilation including the entire title-track of the mentioned “Stay Alive”: worthy of note is the introduction into the line-up of the duo Split Second occurred at that time as drum programmers. By the subsequent collaboration between Vomito Negro and Peter Van Bogaert, aka Liquid G, founder of the Belgian label Liquid Produkts devoted to industrial/electronic-punk trends, resulted in the 1989 “Musical Art Conjunct Of Sound”, or rather nine tape recording in fact issued by the cited brand by which in 2000 were reproposed also in CD version. Again in 1989 and once again by the KK Records, was released the album on LP and CD “Shock” contemplating very electro/EBM sounds , event exceeded in the following year by the three tracks of the 12″ entitled “Save The World”, always on KK Records. In the same period and by means of the same label we witnessed to the exit of the excellent full-length “Human”, anticipating the next “The New Drug”, release created in 1991 and published the good Antler Subway, sub-label of the Belgian Antler- Subway Records NV. The creative force of Vomito Negro increase its profitability in 1992 through the album “Wake Up” widespread again by Antler Subway, while the compendium entitled “Compiled”, published by the KK Records and distributed by the Londoner Rough Trade, summarized in the identical year much part of the past material. A decade separated the previous title from the album techno/ electro/industrial oriented called “Fireball” released by the German label Triton, whose lyrics were wrote by Guy Van Mieghem from the projects Blok 57 and Full Dynamic Range which mastering process was performed by Eric Van Wonterghem, famous person in the Belgian industrial area. The reputation vested by Gin Devo through the figure of Vomito Negro did not escape from the watchful and selective eye of the German label Out Of Line, by which was released in 2010 the amazing “Skull & Bones”, a double album in which twenty steps they could enjoy electronic melancholies and dark-minded airs. Approaching the present time, Vomito Negro completed in 2011, again for the Out Of Line, the ep “Slave Nation” which was followed in 2013 by the charm of this great and long-awaited album “Fall Of An Empire”. The trio strategically entrust themselves to the strong media resonance and high quality of two labels: to Metropolis for the U.S. market, and to the Italian EK Product for the European diffusion, confiding in their legendary fame and reputation, as well as their ability to reach effectively the deepest substrates of the alternative public with an album that already few days after its release has received very favorable reviews by the specialized press and, above all, the complete appreciation by the devotees to the genre in question. Nine songs loaded of subjugating power and assured danceability they extend from the tracklist at first by the opener “Enemy Of The State”, activated on of dark-electro canons in which it articulate a linear midtempo drumming in which scans flagellate the glumness of the synths and the caustic, dark accent that the singer predispose in his voice alternating it with the cold setting of the vocal loops. Faster and menacingly electro/industrial, “Tape X” transmits strobe pulses and harsh vocals of sibylline tones, in a frantic context of drum-programming and glacial keys emissions, giving to the track a dynamically grim personality, while the following “Factory Child” replicates squeaky synth radiations and vocal malevolence in an alienating electro/EBM midtempo scheme orchestrated by an hypnotic reticulated of programming. The electronic print audible in “Power On Demand” reconnects the contacts with the past by the obsessive beats of an EBM old-school characterized by the inflexibility of the Gin’s voice and by the essential midtempo cycle of the drum-sequencing, elements followed by the dark flares and the ice that surround “Machines Of Hate”, a dark-electro track mechanized by low intermittences activated as rhythmical base on which are grafted an hissed chant and shady key executions. “Into Your Eyes” is a conglomeration of EBM and obscure-electro composed by oppressive interchanges of drum-programming midtempo, sonic alterations, electronic filterings and reverbs sections of voice, all together with the icy evanescence of the synths that hover menacingly in the air condenses items into sharp pinnacles. The captivating melody propagated by “Emerging Souls”, track of enormous value available online in video format too, takes shape in a dark-electro in which the metallicity perceptible in the Gin’s voice, the danceable diagram scanned by the drum-machine and the symmetric beat by the programming generate nightmares fascinatingly technologic, while further on “Hollow Heads”, entirely instrumental, planning a repetitive midtempo code combining it to artificial liquefactions and to the black wakes of the synths, for a futuristic concept of the EBM module. The completion of the work takes place by the homonymous and the extensive “Fall Of An Empire”, a song again devoid of vocals into which Vomito Negro expressed in absolute terms their personal and experimental interpretation of the EBM, integrating in it dark-ambient sonorities, downtempo robotic replications Kraftwerk-oriented and livid emanations of keys, elements that dash themselves into a poisonous abyss of synthetic sounds able to evoke the feeling of cold. The polymorphic architecture of the album, deprived of excesses and superstructures, dispenses formulas strongly contextualized into the Electronic Body Music from the golden ages with the addition of toxic alchemy and a touch of technopop, for a sound-complex of inflexible, dominant metric: Gin and his ensemble created by “Fall Of An Empire” an electronic manifest duplicating masterly old trajectories, the which ones that are still used nowadays as reference models, decorated with modern finishes and choreography of high sonic technology. If you’ll get in contact with this release it’ll conquest you becoming an object absolutely indispensable: the Emperors fall, music like this never.

By Maxymox / Vox Empirea