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Gulaggh - Vorkuta DIGI-CD

Gulaggh - Vorkuta DIGI-CD
In 2007 when Stalaggh completed their trilogy ('Projekt Nihil', 'Projekt Terrror' and 'Projekt Misanthropia'), they changed their name to Gulaggh. A Stalag is Nazi POW concentration camp, a Gulag is a Soviet work camp. The extra G and H stand for Global Holocaust.

As Gulaggh they will also create a trilogy. The titles of the trilogy are as follows: 'Vorkuta', 'Norilsk' and 'Kolyma'. These are the names of worst Soviet Gulag concentration camps that were located north of the Arctic Circle.

The first Gulaggh cd was finished in July 2008 and this time they used only classical instruments like violins, trumpets etc. For vocals they used several mental patients and over 30 children from a youth mental asylum. The first in a planned trilogy of albums, Vorukta was first released in 2009 by New Era Productions. The album went out of print, but has now been resurrected by Crucial Blast in a revised package for newcomers to Gulaggh's otherworldly dissonant dread. Comprised of a single 45 minute track, the band crafts an epic surrealistic sound-collage formed from violins, saxophones, trumpets, electronics and voices. It begins with what sounds like a old recording of a Russian voice, distorted and echoing, played over a surface of noisy hiss and scraped metal while a far-off kettledrums rumbles in the distance. As the album continues, more sounds appear, stretched out metallic scrapes and deep bass rumblings, sheets of grimy drift and gleaming electronic glitches, and soon the voices begin to enter, the moans and wails of anguished voices merging with the ominous murky ambience, followed by brass horns bleating and straining, violins plucked and scraped, that booming baleful tympani quickening it's thunderous throb, lowing strings resonating below, flute-like whistles wheezing while the throng of screaming, groaning voices becomes louder and more prominent, slowly and inexorably ratcheting up the atmosphere of fear and sickness that hangs over Gulaggh's bizarre aural nightmare. This bleating, honking, scraping din is like a cross between some demonic chamber ensemble tuning up and a free-jazz group achieving maximum dissonance. Things get really chaotic halfway through when the voices start to swarm in at once and a lone drummer enters the picture, pounding out frenetic free-improv rhythms while the mass of cries and howls and atonal instruments climbs to a fever pitch. The last ten minutes of Vorkuta slowly melts into a din of screaming children (themselves patients from a youth mental hospital) and furious honking horns and scuttling percussion swirling together, like some insane Ayler session drowning in bedlam, and then the sound fades out on a dark drifting fog of droning reeds and depleted horns and low voices, finally coming to a close when that sinister voice from the beginning of the album reappears and brings this in a full circle.
Intensely harrowing and deeply creepy, Vorkuta is one of the more uncomfortable listens I've experienced with its equal parts hellish free-improv, dissonant chamber horror and intensely disturbing sound collage. This new Crucial Blast edition comes in black digipack with metallic silver printing, and is also available for the first time as a high quality digital album. "
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