CONTROLLED BLEEDING - REST IN PEACE ... THE BEST OF (2CD)

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CONTROLLED BLEEDING

CONTROLLED BLEEDING REST IN PEACE ... THE BEST OF (2CD)

This retrospective 2-CD set is an unfortunate work that is being given the task of commemorating and celebrating Controlled Bleeding's nearly twenty year recording career. The unfortunate aspect lies in the fact that the band has decided to pursue other avenues of life and is putting Controlled Bleeding on permanent hiatus. Considering the past several Controlled Bleeding releases have been nothing but genius, this is indeed a tragedy. Encapsulating this band within two compact discs is a next to impossible effort, especially considering the vastly experimental and wildly varying stages of their recording career. The band is kind enough to split up the selections between "Hard Rhythms and Noise" for disc one and "Dark Voices and Instrumentals" for disc two and fortunately, their harshest and frankly unlistenable early white noise phase is almost entirely left out. Instead, the band has selected a very strong collection of thirty songs that cover the band's best work very nicely. The first disc generally is a collection of their early 90s efforts into the dancefloor industrial-metal, more specifically the Trudge and Penetration eras, as well as some rare gems that weren't ever released in the U.S. Among the "new" material is a different mix of "Any Questions", which was originally heard on the Buried Blessings compilation. The original mix was nothing but an agonizing teaser of a groovy guitar and dub song that blasted into screeching total distortion and noise within fifty seconds. The version here is just the original song before the mixing knobs were cranked to noise. Another rare track is the unnerving and fully bizarre "Pets for Meat", which has sounds and instruments coming at too many skew angles to really be comfortable. For the most part, the first disc is the more aggressive and industrial personality of the band. "Burning Room" is an inventive and well structured song that has both danceable rhythms and intelligent song progression. "Skin Me/Burn" is the only real representation of the band's noisiest era, which actually was the bulk of their releases through the eighties. By the time the CD gets to "Removing the Veil", the band has moved more into their ambient dub era where Joe Papa's deep operatic vocals meet with the sultry voice of Trang. Also nice is the inclusion of a very early Controlled Bleeding track recorded at CBGB's in 1980 with a different incarnation of the band. If any more of these tapes exist, the band would please me to no end by releasing it. The second CD is indeed darker and more serene in comparison. The moodier side of Controlled Bleeding tends to lean towards Joe Papa's contribution. His voice is stirring and unique. A lot of the music on the second disc falls into the band's excellent ambient dub era, including "Darkening Skies", "The Gelding Wheel", "Uncertain Sorrow" and "Fire Inside". Their unique and captivating take on electronic dub music is unparalleled. "The Talking Drum" is actually a King Crimson number that is spacious in production, with very interesting echoing drums as well as a strong build into the song. "Psalm" represents the band at their calmest moment, with brooding and quiet electronics as well as Papa's singing. Finally, one of the band's true masterpieces, "Awakened Beneath the Ground", appears, which is their best goth-tinged industrial track. Rest in Peace is what a career retrospective should be. The track selection is nearly impeccable, illustrating all the phases the band has gone through and also including rare tracks. Naturally, this becomes the first place the curious should start with the band. Chances are you'll have a major preference to either their harsher material or their somber, dark music. And fortunately, this collection has everything and then some. Though I will miss this group immensely, I hope that the members will resurface somewhere and continue giving us their wonderful talent and creativity. TRACKLIST CD one: 1. Crack The Body 2. Auto Grind 3. Any Questions (Crotch Mix) 4. Burning Room 5. Now Is The Time 6. The Kill 7. Sqeal 8. Pets For Meat 9. Skin Me / Burn 10. Mind Grinder 11. Healing Time 12. Assembly 13. Fodder Song 14. Removing The Veil 15. As Gravity Fades 16. Veal (live At CBGB - 1980) 17. Mother (the Real Mix) 18. The Groan CD two: 19. Days Of Bread And Wine 20. Darkening Skies 21. The Talking Drum 22. Tormentor's Song 23. Psalm 24. Inanition 25. The Gelding Wheel 26. The Peacock (music For 4 Guitars) 27. Uncertain Sorrow 28. Fire Inside 29. Awakened Beneath The Ground 30. Feast Of Fire