High, Low and In Between #3 – One Past Zero (GER) | Promo, 2018

[We’ve awoken a great living darkness. Our main-events are back and what’s better is that the real fun has yet to begin. There are wonderful things in the works and some major news to announce… soon.

While that doesn’t happen, we’ll keep going with our new favorite thing: music reviews. We are, after all, an organization (.org). SATAN MADE ME DO IT’s commitment to forward thinking, in spite of our destructive nature, keeps us on the path of growth and enable us to exploit ALL operational synergies.

We go for old and new releases, hi-fi, lo-fi and everything in between and the only rule is that it’s got to be mental METAL!]

One Past Zero (GER) | Promo 2018 [Demo], 2018

ONE PAST ZERO promo 2018

When on a mission to device extreme music there is much to choose from and yet we got used to it. Numbers mean nothing. Most of the metal we care about today possesses a profound swent of familiarity. Things have become very beautifully intertwined and, as a consequence, are usually quite easy to digest. We created keywords to describe how a guitar sounds and designed these grand metaphors in order to explain the many moods and atmospheres we believe are inherent to a given metal genre, album or song. Very often it feels as if we are just attempting to check off boxes or analysing music with recourse to rigorous mathematical relations.

When metal got dangerous it was also violent towards your brain and that’s because you had to process all these strange new ways through which noise was being organized. For the most part, not anymore. A stranger in a strange land feels right at home. Our heads are tamed.

Then there’s what we call cult metal. Cult is, of course, a really dirty word today. We either got real used to it, or use it all wrong, all the time. Cult is neither a reflexion of how you record something, or an artificial effort to be obscure for the sake of obscurity. It’s about the music. It’s always about the music. Cult is a foreigner in a land of regular folk. It looks different, it sounds different and differences are to be celebrated. Especially when they’re good!

One Past Zero is in love with Black Sabbath and Venom. 1970s occult rock and a few other metal acts from the early 80s as well. It practices a very strict sort of polyamory, promoting a life filled with laborious passion. But make no mistake: it isn’t kind. Instead, it’s a corrupter of innovators inventing music that is difficult to get into and yet immensely rewarding. One of its two members, Uli Hildenbrand, has been manipulating noise in the most wonderful, untamed ways known to extreme metal, first with Poison (82-87), then with R.U. Dead? (89-98) and since 2005 via One Past Zero. The biggest compliment I can give him – and that I can think of now -, quoting one David Allan Coe, is that he’s always made music that is free.

This is all very commonplace, evidently. One giant cliche. By itself, it doesn’t really mean a damn thing. Perhaps a better way to put it would be to say that never before has this influential, hard-working and independent musician managed to sound this much “cult”.

The “Promo 2018” One Past Zero released some months ago on pro-printed CDR is a taste of a more complete package to be out sometime next year and it includes two pretty lenghty pieces: “Attack” and “To Serve Man”. If you’re familiar with One Past Zero you’ll know that, in terms of sound, the project has very little to do with either Poison or R.U. Dead?. But much of the genius of song structure, speed dynamics and sense of urgency that characterize those two projects were perfectly applied on this unique breed of doom.

Listening to this gave me that exact awkward sense of wonder I first encountered when I first heard Paul Chain‘s “Detaching from Satan”. It was good, because together with the unexpectedness of the songs were those intimate musical elements that prevent your brain from completely shutting it out of your system. It’s not as much breaking your chains, as is forging completely new ones; a foreigner, not an alien.

“Attack” doesn’t take long to introduce its lovely hook raised on rock, losing speed and gaining weight as time goes by. After that, it just lets go and so should you. 3 minutes in I’m completely sold on whatever it is that’s coming. “To Serve Man” is the slow burner. It goes from moment to moment with a heavy heart that starts to throw real dark after 7 minutes of careful mutations. All this inside a very occult framework that will please all fans of outsider metal music. Shout out to Kischde on drum duty! My suggestion? Go from this directly to “Into the Abyss” or R.U Dead’s “Promotape” from 1992 (or both).

The band is still looking for a label to release a series of EPs. But to quote One Past Zero, “if none of you fuckers want’s to sign us, we’re gonna continue anyway!”

Keep up with One Past Zero on Bandcamp or Facebook. If you are new to Poison, seek the compilation Hölle Und Vernichtung – Complete Discography ’84/’87 released last year by F.O.A.D. Records. It’s fucking great.

Past reviews

– 666 (CZE) | Nekrofilie, 1983
Hadez (PER) | Guerreros de la muerte, 1988

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