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Iron Fist Of The Sun - Behavioural Decline

After the opening buzzing layers of distorted noise that comprise 'Introduction To A Joyless New Start', the opening track on Behavioural Decline, 'First Movement Of A Shallow Man' appropriates the distorted phased vocal approach reminiscent of the first wave of power electronic groups such as Whitehouse, Sutcliffe Jugend and Ramleh. Iron Fist Of The Sun are obviously aware of early power electronics but this isn't a pastiche of their industrial forefathers. There's a knowing nod to their industrial heritage on Behavioural Decline, the first proper album from Birmingham's Iron Fist Of The Sun, but soon they pursue their own distinctive approach combining power noise with several tracks of electro-acoustic composition.

Distorted tones rip through 'Smile Like Sword' spouting phrases like "honour is king" over controlled lapping buzz drones. It's forceful and brutal climaxing in a barrage of noise. Shrill frequencies and grating lowend rumbles comprise 'The Power Of New Septembers' with the gushing vocal holler pushed to the periphery. The strangely titled 'Bluetack' bustles with a rabid shrieking vocal, grumbling electronics and industrial hiss. Iron Fist Of The Sun steer clear of the provocative sexual themes to extrapolate on episodes of personal breakdown from their protagonist Lee Howard. Not that you can make out Howard's ravings, the savage delivery is all but indecipherable.

There's a slight move away from power electronics to a denser more abstract approach on other tracks. 'Didn't Stop Me Trying' is a caustic blend of fizzing electronics and electrifying textures, while 'God's New Gravity' is reduced to a series of engine rev electronics. Iron Fist Of The Sun's more abstract soundwork appears on the final track, 'Concert For Evening Battle (Live)'. Recorded as part of an electro-acoustic festival put on by Radio Black Forest in Birmingham, the sounds here are more modulated; all controlled signal noise, and sputtering bleeps and whooshes. As it progresses it becomes a piece of industrialised improvisation with murky rumblings and jolts of wayward screechiness.

Behavioural Declines rages with an inherent nihilism. With its minimal construction and varied approach it's an intriguing take on contemporary power electronics. Released on Cold Spring too. For more information go to www.coldspring.co.uk