If you enjoy(ed) Aversionline, please check out No Echo, a new music site I co-run. Updated daily.

This Empty Flow and Integrity…

Posted on Monday, May 8th, 2006 @ 11:44am » permalink

This Empty Flow - The AlbumThis Empty Flow formed in 1994 in Finland, and curiously enough I became familiar with former member Niko Sirkiä's post-This Empty Flow experimental noise projects a few years ago, prior to having been introduced to this band's music via Darkdose. Thankfully, Eibon Records has recently issued a long overdue re-release of the band's lone extremely rare and out of print full-length, "Magenta Skycode", originally released in 1996 by Avantgarde Music. This new edition, dubbed "The Album", is a 2xCD set with a second disc titled "Magenta Lost", which contains 11 previously unreleased tracks recorded on a Fostex 4-track during the band's earliest years. So, somewhat sadly, this is not a complete discography, though such an undertaking would've required at least three discs, so I'm just thankful to finally have something of the band's to call my own!

For the most part this is rather slow and quiet material, supplied in lengthy tracks that usually fall over six minutes apiece. It's dark and drone-y sort of chilled out material that could possibly appeal to fans of The Cure or Slowdive or things of that nature, I guess… but I don't like The Cure so don't let a statement like that scare you away! Expect lots of pulsing basslines while rather distant vocals rest behind fleeting electronic textures or synths and wailing waves of distorted guitars or stripped down clean riffing with light reverb effects. The second disc is actually better than I was expecting given the fact that the recording conditions were a bit rougher than the full-length, but it sounds fairly consistent against the album itself, and the songwriting is equally effective (with the tracks tending more towards the five- to six-minute range). It's a little more… "new wave" sounding in its "dark side", though.

Apparently everything was remastered, though I would've thought they'd try to up the volume just a touch? It's moody stuff, and not the most active listen in the world, but I really dig its atmosphere, so perhaps that level of quietness is intentional? Whatever the case, I find myself appreciating this kind of thing more and more in recent years, though my exposure to such styles is relatively minimal. See what you think:

This Empty Flow "Snow Blind"
This Empty Flow "Stream"
This Empty Flow "Untitled"

The release sells for around $15, which is pretty average for double-CD sets, but you're paying for nearly two hours of music, so it's certainly nothing to complain about:

@ The End Records

Integrity - Always is Always ForeverOn a completely unrelated note, I've been meaning to write up Integrity's DVD release, "Always is Always Forever", for quite sometime now, so I figure today's as good a time as any so that it doesn't slip my mind again. This collection was assembled and released by Dwid himself under the banner of Van Hellion International, and was intentionally set up to fuck with people who try to skip around throughout the DVD – so unless you access individual segments from the menu (which is only viewable either at the end of the DVD or by physically pressing the "menu" button on your remote), chances are you'll actually miss some content (and there's a lot of it).

I'm not particularly covering this in any order, but the disc contains all of the following as a whole. There are "music video" styled presentations for classic tracks such as "Those Who Fear Tomorrow", "Judgement Day", "Dawn of a New Apocalypse", "Eighteen", and "In Contrast of Sin", as well as for more recent material like "To Die For" and "Taste My Sin". Everything else consist of assorted live footage from 1988 – 2003. The 1988 footage is fucking amazing, dating way back to a time when the band was full of extremely skinny little kids (sans Chubby Fresh, of course, who was already, well… chubby) playing raw old school styled hardcore. Anyone who owns the "Systems Overload" CD will recognize an old demo track or two, and this segment is by far one of the highlights of the DVD. Also cool are "Those Who Fear Tomorrow" and "Tempest" from another relatively early show (I believe prior to the release of the first LP) in Chicago that's one of my favorite bootlegs of the band: Mean Steve is seen in the crowd being a hardass all night, and there's also some friction between certain members of the crowd and a more antagonistic than usual Dwid (though some of that aspect isn't shown in these two tracks). There's also yet another cut of "Those Who Fear Tomorrow" live at The Whiskey, though in more recent times. Somewhere in there is a performance of "Lundgren Crucifixion" with what looks like the "Seasons in the Size of Days" lineup, but sadly this is the only snippet that touches on that era of the band.

And that's not all, either. There are also two (sort of) complete live sets. One is from Holland in the mid-90's (just after the release of "Systems Overload") and runs about 35 minutes, blowing through all of the classics plus a few from "Systems…" (including a rare live performance of the awesome "Salvations Malevolence", which is one of my favorite Integrity tracks). Then there's a 17-minute set from Boston in 2003 with one of the post-"To Die For" lineups. This set is all cut up and incomplete, but it does start off with a three-track shot of songs from "Humanity is the Devil", so that rules (even if the crowd sings more of the vocals than Dwid).

However, perhaps the best part of all is the "hidden treat" (only accessible via the menu), featuring Tony Erba (on vocals) alongside Chubby Fresh and I believe other members of Face Value (playing air instruments and running around being silly) doing "karaoke" to Integrity classics "Live it Down" and "In Contrast of Sin" in a video that looks to have been produced in one of those amusement park types of booths or something. This is all utterly hilarious and simply must be seen to be believed, especially once Erba inexplicably removes his shirt in an unparalleled act of karaoke bravado. Classic.

Good stuff overall. As I said, it's jammed with content, and I imagine it totals around two hours or something like that. My only minor complaint is that the "Humanity…/Seasons…" period is sorely underrepresented, and I personally start to get a little tired of hearing songs from the first record over and over again. But I have to say, it's not much of a surprise in some ways, because out of all the bootleg Integrity videos I collected over the years, I don't think I was able to find more than two or three (if that) from that particular time since the band wasn't playing out too heavily in those days. I just love those damn songs and feel like that time period is a pretty underrated portion of the band's all around crucial history. No big deal, though. Most of the diehard fans (no pun intended) probably already have this, but the purchase was definitely worth the money for me. Make the grab if you haven't already:

@ Very Distribution

18 Comments...

  1. Jesse says:

    Goddamn I love This Empty Flow. As I wrote on dark dose a while ago — they are the epitome of an incredible band whose music was marketed to the wrong genre entirely.

    To me, Magenta Skycode is a masterpiece of nocturnal music and the band deserved so much more. Was most pleased to hear of this re-release.. although I fear it won't do much in introducing the band to the "right" audience. Oh well, I guess TEF will be all the more special for all of us..

  2. Tyrone says:

    I must agree that the Humanity…/Seasons… eras were poorly misrepresented, but the DVD is still awesome.

    I know you're Parallax fan, and I was wondering if you'd gotten the full length just yet. I just got it in the mail and I'm stoked.

    I now know what I'll be listening to for the next month.

  3. reno says:

    ..Parallax?? is that the band ..whose the singer died last year because of he drowned in a cave in toledo or something??
    or im thingking of another parallax?..

  4. reno says:

    o yeah if it is that band from toledo..i really like their songs..ive heard it in purevolume or somewhere,where can i find their cd?

  5. AVERSIONLINE says:

    Yes, it's that Parallax, but they were from Utah. You can contact the label about ordering the CD:

    http://www.myspace.com/counterhq

    I should have the new disc in my hands within another day or two, and I'm anxiously awaiting it. They were a great, great band.

  6. Johnny says:

    I find it hard to say the "Humanity/Seasons" era footage was "misrepresented." The band wasn't even a functional unit at that time, all they were doing was recording, and that was one with the band in one studio and the vocalist in the other. Sorry, but there just wasn't that much live footage from that era to begin with.

  7. AVERSIONLINE says:

    Hey, man, I said it was "underrepresented" which is a different sort of take on it, plus I did mention that they weren't playing out much then, so… I wasn't trying to make it a big deal at all, that's just my favorite era of the band, heh.

  8. Johnny says:

    Yeah sorry, my comment was more referenced towards tyrone who said:

    I must agree that the Humanity…/Seasons…eras were poorly misrepresented

    There's no doubt "Humanity" was an epic for the ages, but unfortunately the wheels had come off by that point. The scant footage the DVD has from that time period is literally all that exists, so to say that it "misrepresents" it is an untrue statement.

  9. Tyrone says:

    I don't know what I meant by "misrepresented". I meant, "underrepresented". I should've read that before I posted. I knew it was too damned early. Sorry about that.

  10. Anonymous says:

    The Integrity dvd is sweet.

    This is unrelated… but hear the new Tragedy full length? holy fuck.

  11. Tyrone says:

    I didn't find out about the new Tragedy LP until about an hour ago. Sheesh. I am out of the loop.

  12. AVERSIONLINE says:

    I didn't find out about the new Tragedy record until Monday afternoon either. I'm working on snagging one, heh…

  13. Joaquí­n says:

    I definitely couldn't help but living room mosh to the Integrity dvd.

    Ask Tyrone.

  14. Tyrone says:

    I got hit. Its true.

  15. kgben says:

    I think some very good video bootlegs of the Humanity are do exist.
    I remember having watched a great one of their show in Rennes (France) six or seven years ago. Awesome.

  16. alexwank says:

    what is aaron melnick up to these days? Goddamn I miss those leads..
    Incarnate 365…..Lost in Doubt (i know it's in cold blood but…..) it's gold Jerry..

    Where is he?

  17. AVERSIONLINE says:

    You can read about some of the bands that Aaron's been in as of late here:

    http://www.noncommercialrecords.com

    However, NONE OF IT is even remotely close to Integrity/In Cold Blood, so don't go thinking that's what you'll find, just so you know…

eXTReMe Tracker