2015’s In Case You Missed: Theologian’s Dregs

Tighten your nooses, boys and girls.

Readers here at the Toilet ov Hell are no strangers to New York noisemakers Theologian. It’s founding member, Lee Bartow, has been producing industrial music since 1997, first under the moniker Navicon Torture Technologies, released through his label Annihilvs Power Electronics. Their most recent offering, Dregs, was released on December 30th, at the dick tip of 2015. It continues their tradition of creating noise without peer, and using sex organs for album covers (possibly NSFW, below).

Theologian | Dregs | Annihilvs Power Electronix | December 30th, 2015

Theologian | Dregs | Annihilvs Power Electronix | December 30th, 2015

Theologian’s current lineup includes Bartow, Daniel Suffering (Whorid, Slavernij), and Dave Brenner (Militia Men, Heidnik). Dregs features vocal contributions from Gretchen Heinel and Faith Ciavarella, and additional percussion from BJ Allen (Full Scale Riot). The album, originally intended as an extended play, grew to over an hour’s worth of original music. It’s release at the very twilight of last year put it under the radar for many. While Prurient’s Frozen Niagara Falls received widespread critical acclaim, Dregs is the superior album. It is unknown to me if December 30th had any significance to the members of Theologian.

The haunting opening gives way to a spoken sample stating long live the king, which gives way to an aggressive rhythm that dominates the remainder of the first and title track. Each of its eight songs has a distinct identity while maintaining the thematic construct of the album. Dregs trades those rhythms for menace on the heavy death industrial “Embracing Slavehood For Apathy”, and trades that menace for impenetrable walls of synth on “There Can Be No Coexistence”. What initially appears as static turns out to be shouted incantations during the same track. “Just Another Dose” is reminiscent of The Body’s martial, emergency siren noise. A comical educational interlude about wet dreams appears and ends abruptly. Each track here pushes the album to its colossal twenty minute closer “Dunes of Ash”, which is stunning in its scope and calls to mind its title.

Press releases for Dregs seemed content to bill it as the usual sonic horror, standard fare for the noise genre. There is another side to it, however, that captures its creators operating in utter mastery of their craft. There is an urgency to this album, and a complexity revealed through repeated listens. There are few groups creating industrial music with this much depth, or making sounds this seamless. Put on a pair of headphones or turn your stereo way up, and spend seventy minutes with Dregs a couple times.


Thanks to Disqus user Matt Pike’s Sweaty Left Nipple for the tip on this album. Cover via

 

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Published on: January 21, 2016

Filled Under: Not Metal

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    • Stockhausen
    • Arhys

      *Gahing

    • I hate face huggers.

      • Nasty critters.

      • Janitor Jim Duggan

        How far are you from Webster, MA? Sting is going to be at an indy event there with Lex Luger, Gangrel, Ron Simmons and more.

        • It’s not far, but it’s the middle of nowhere so there’s no commuter rail that goes there.

    • Dubs

      That’s a very yonic alien. We should use the word yonic more.

      • Waynecro

        You get +10 word-nerd points.

        Also, more people should use “immanentizing the eschaton” as a euphemism for masturbating.

        • Dubs

          Anoint my phallus with the blood of the fallen.

          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MKA-ArPZuAU

          • TrickleDownOvTacoKvltRiff

            phrygian

        • Janitor Jim Duggan

          People should also use the words garish and ostentatious more.

          • Waynecro

            I can’t argue with you. Dem some fine words.

          • Janitor Jim Duggan

            Same with loquacious. I’m very loquacious.

          • Waynecro

            I prefer garrulous.

          • Janitor Jim Duggan

            I’ve never used that word before. I’ll use it from now on.

          • Waynecro

            No need to choose one word over the other, dude. Both words are great. I just remember a Blabbermouth article in which the singer from Slipknot was bragging about using loquacious in his lyrics, and it made me dislike the word.

          • Ew. I feel like downvoting you just to hurt that asshole…

            /payitDOWNward

          • Waynecro

            payitdownHARD

          • My H key is sticky so I just substitute the W all the time.

          • I prefer words that ppl actually know. Call me crazy!

          • Sir Tapir The Based

            And kyrvänvarsi

        • more beer

          How about just. Practicing for the money shot!

      • Salvador Dalí Lama

        Yonic the Hedgehog

      • Salvador Dalí Lama

        Yonic Youth

      • TrickleDownOvTacoKvltRiff

        Would that be the same as Tang according to the Nuge?

  • Stockhausen

    Theologian rules. Those guys and Bagman are good at freaking listeners out.

    • Edward/Breegrodamus™

      Bagman?

      • Stockhausen

        Another Crucial Blast artist. I’d link to Bandcamp, but it’s blocked at work.

        • Edward/Breegrodamus™

          Primitive Man is going on tour this summer (want to catch them in Chicago) and they have a split coming out with Sea Bastard real soon.

          • So I’ve heard. They are touring with Dragged Into Sunlight and Magrudergrind correct?

          • Edward/Breegrodamus™

            Dragged Into Sunlight and Cult Leader!

          • Ah, ok. I think Magrudergrind is the band playing at the Pittsburgh show then. I might go check it out.

          • Edward/Breegrodamus™

            That’d be a killer bill. I think even with just the three main bands it would be worth the road trip.

          • Pretty interesting combo of bands. Doom, Black, and Grind. All hateful as fuck sounding too.

    • Crucial Blast and Malignant Records are always a good response for the “I listen to everything” crowd.

      • Guacamole Jim

        Someone’s talking about my people.

      • Stockhausen

        Haha. I need to start using that.

  • Waynecro

    That sure is a lot of creepy-ass noise.

    • LVL 10 BLACKBEARD

      Creepy ass>>>>

      • Waynecro

        What makes an ass creepy? The ability to speak Cthuvian?

        • Edward/Breegrodamus™

          That certainly would qualify.

        • LVL 10 BLACKBEARD

          I think it depends on how long the butt is

          • Waynecro

            Longbutts is the best butts.

  • COAL ROLL

    The couch slut cover was classy too

    • Edward/Breegrodamus™

      Handshake’s labelhead had a lot of problems shipping out those vinyls and getting the design printed to a jacket.

      • Yeah I remember that. It took months for me to get my copy.

        • Edward/Breegrodamus™

          If his Facebook updates were to be believed, he got chased out of a post office once because of it. Lol

          • Holy shit! Hahaha

            That album still stands as the most offensive artwork in my collection.

          • Edward/Breegrodamus™

            That and Death Grip’s No Love Deep Web are my two, in that NLDW is just a fully erect penis with the album title scrawled on it in permanent marker. The two most recent Lord Mantis covers were close though.

          • Damn, I forgot all about Lord Mantis. Those album covers were pretty damn gnarly looking. I’d throw in that Dragged Into Sunlight artwork too.

            https://i.ytimg.com/vi/PLy46B7KNn4/maxresdefault.jpg

          • Edward/Breegrodamus™

            I’m not gonna post the image here, but I have never forgotten seeing a cover from this post back when I used to semi-regularly read That’s How Kids Die. NSFW:

            http://isolationgrind.com/2014/06/29/reek-of-reviewtrefaction-a-gore-house-productions-roundup/

          • Haha, yeah a lot of gore-grind, porno-grind, and brutal-death album covers are absurdly graphic. Carnivorous Erection by Regurgitate is some crazy shit. I won’t post that one.

          • Edward/Breegrodamus™

            I’m gonna Google it.

          • It’s hilarious.

          • Edward/Breegrodamus™

            It’s totally fucked, lol

          • BobLoblaw

            Always loved the anal blast shirt with the crucifix in the giny.

          • more beer

            Don certainly had some of the sickest t shirt designs ever.

  • Edward, I am scared.

    Hold me?

    • Edward/Breegrodamus™

      I’m jamming this again now, too.

      • The lights are all on, yet it is dark.

        I am surrounded by neighbors on all sides, yet I am alone.

        I am hungry, and the fridge is full–of mold.

        o
        o
        o

  • LVL 10 BLACKBEARD

    Predictions changed to us getting about 10.5in of snow, a d higher elevations and to the north getting something like 16 or 17

    • Edward/Breegrodamus™

      That’s quite a storm. Good luck if you get that much!

      • LVL 10 BLACKBEARD

        Looking forward to it ed!

        • Edward/Breegrodamus™

          Lot of people might get the day off work. That ain’t bad.

          • LVL 10 BLACKBEARD

            We damn sure wont be working

    • more beer

      Gonna be 55 and sunny here tomorrow.

    • LVL 10 BLACKBEARD

      Its 9:30 and Skynet is still operational. This snowstorm is a hoax

      • more beer

        It is a conspiracy. All of the weatherman get together and decide there is going be the worst snowstorm in the history of snow. They then take to every form of media there is. They then start spreading all of their snow propaganda. Instilling fear into the population. This then causes everyone to panic. Then run out and buy everything in all of the stores in the area. Once all of this is done the weatherman sit back and laugh. Because it appears that they actually did some work. They scared the shit out of the public, and they stimulated the local economy.Then no snow comes. They will repeat this several times this winter..

  • Super Nintendo Chalmers

    I’m still waiting for the bass to drop. Weak.

  • Dagon

    As always good on the words and on the article layout. This doesn’t sound like my usual cup of tea but I’m gonna try to spend some time with it.

  • Dagon

    In the end of “THERE CAN BE NO COEXISTENCE” there’s a rhythm that sounds a lot like this Diddy song:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q3yHhiqQaEU

    I checked everything here to make sure I didn’t have anything else on. Sounds like someone was forced to listen to a mutilated Diddy single for eternity as punishment.

  • LVL 10 BLACKBEARD

    I take it back, the snowmageddon has arrived

  • Matt Pike’s Sweaty Left Nipple

    Man I just noticed that I got mentioned (credited?) again on this infernal blog. Thank you Ed. I agree that this newest Theologian album is superior to Prurient’s ‘Frozen Niagra Falls’. The final track “Dunes of Ash” is a 20 minute audio-hallucinatory mindfuck.