Chaos E.T. Sexual are a Parisian outfit that formed in 2010 and have been described as an ‘ambitious project mixing massive drone/industrial soundscapes and hip-hop/noise-laden beats’, or as described on the band’s Facebook page; Gangsta Doom. Consisting of Yves ‘Chaos’ (baryton guitar/vocals), Thomas ‘E.T’ (guitar/vocals) and Tarik ‘Sexual’ (machines/drums/backing vocals/production), Only Human Crust is their third and most overtly political album to date.
Gangsta Doom opens the album and is a short two minute spoken word piece in an East European language (Russian?) that helps to build a sense of anticipation for the music to come. Asile (Asylum) features an almighty industrial/hip-hop beat that would level cities and reminds one of John Bonham’s work on Led Zeppelin’s When The Levee Breaks. If Dälek and Techno Animal ring your bell then you will adore this. Tomorrow, Prudence betrays a Neurosis influence in the spirit of Souls At Zero as well as Killing Joke’s recent heavier, more metallic output. The band takes an apocalyptic progressive path that is a joy to behold.
Tumulte (Uproar) has some nice shoegaze My Bloody Valentine vibes and post-rock flourishes thrown in along the way. A gorgeous piece. La Française Des Jeunes (The French Youth) is a preview track that you can find on Chaos E.T. Sexual‘s Bandcamp page. Seeing as my French is rudimentary at best I had to rely on the video to give me a picture of the track’s themes, which I gather is of a strong political bent, judging by the numerous French statesmen that feature ala Jacques Chirac, Nicholas Sarkozy, François Hollande and Charles De Gaulle. The track paints a somewhat bleak picture and featured not so much music as bombastic post-noise/industrial intent.
The album’s combination of industrial hip-hop, post-metal and politics made for an altogether riveting and engaging listen…
1674 – Now: Many Thousand Gone is a reference to the year that the triangular slave trade started and samples The Storm Is Passing Over gospel song by the Detroit Mass Choir and lyrics taken from the slave chant No More Auction Block (Many Thousand Gone) layered over grinding industrial noise. Soundwise it’s not a million miles away from latter day Godflesh and given the recent racial tensions in the world, particularly in the US and UK, the themes would demonstrate that the band have their fingers on the pulse of the issues of the day. An interesting and relevant track some would argue, depending on your own particular brand of politics of course.
El Dorado reminds me more of Jesu (Justin Broadrick is clearly an influence) as the feel is a lot more ethereal and there is a drone sensibility as well, albeit one that thankfully lacks the pretentious excesses of latterday Sunn O))). The band taps into its Neurosis influences once more with Solace Exhaust, the quiet/loud dynamics pioneered by that band self-evident. It would be interesting to see whether, like Neurosis, they will employ a visual element to their live performances once touring resumes, as the expansiveness of the music would be enhanced further by that medium. Only Human Crust starts off with the mesmerising sound of rain before we are hit full force with a slab of psychedelic influenced doom/drone metal in the vein of the criminally underrated Ufomammut. The combination of this and the refrain of ‘you just let me down’ makes for a downbeat yet crushing finale.
The album’s combination of industrial hip-hop, post-metal and politics made for an altogether riveting and engaging listen. I am not familiar with the French underground music scene but on the back of this release, that will be changing imminently.
Scribed by: Reza Mills