Vukovar, a genre-bending experimental music project named after the war-torn city in Eastern Croatia is issuing its seventh LP, Cremation.
This is industrial music for your pleasure, awash with unabashed romanticism steeped in a whirling cathedral of noise, with contemporary elements reminiscent of the most daring experimentations of Bowie and Thom Yorke—or post-punk through the lens of the unlived parallel life that Ian Curtis might have pursued if he had spent more time on his friendship with Genesis P-Orridge, and then absconded with Sleazy on his sonic adventures with Coil, with later dalliances with David Tibet of Current 93.
This makes sense given the band’s core ensemble has been joined in ranks by luminaries such as Michael Cashmore of Current 93, and Rose McDowall, who has collaborated with just every artist that once upon a time orbited around Thee Temple Ov Psychick Youth.
The album opens with post-punk panache with the sonic trappings illustrated above, with “Roma Invicta”, which slows into a sombre spiral with “Love Meetings”. This atmosphere is shattered by the jarring funhouse nightmare that is “Internment by Mirrors”.
Tracks like “Dive for Your Memory” have almost a David Lynch meets Quentin Tarantino nostalgic pop infusion, dropped into a blender of razorblades and MDMA. This continues on “Prurient”, and the lovely sound of “Love’s Provocations”, which almost sounds as if Morrissey was trying his hand at experimental Industrial and Martial Neo-folk, which would be humorous given his controversial political views.
“Perennial Flowers” veers into soundscapes reminiscent of Cindytalk, “Voices Seer Voices”, has an anthem hidden beneath its layers of tape delay and distortion, that can’t help drown in its own brilliance.
After the respite of “The Orchids”, the CD only track “Tomorrow’s Gone” is a fever dream sung in a language that is presumably Abrahamic.
Following the languid marching of “The River of Three Crossings”, the record closes out with the funeral divinity of “Decameron (10 Days of Violence)”
And at the end of the day, Cremation ascends into the echelon of essential post-industrial folk soundtracks for anyone’s invocation of Thelemic Aeons.
Cremation is out May 25, 2019, via Other Voices Records.