The first release for Coup d’Etat Communications, a new French label closely related to Mechanoise Labs. It’s also the official debut for Sedaye Marg, though this is not a new act, because in the past it has released 2 cdr’s on Mechanoise Labs and a split with Narc on Deterrent Industries, then still under the name Seda E Marg. The title of the album, “Frashogard”, means “renewal” in Zoroastrian lore, according to the label website. Modern Persian history is the key subject of the album, which is a “soundtrack to military coups, rapid modernization, misguided faith, betrayals and ultimately rebirth”. I don’t feel though that the Persian influences are as clearly present as the Arabian elements in the music of Muslimgauze, it is more a subtle theme in the background.
Sedaye Marg offer us here a fine demonstration of old-school industrial, mid-tempo paced, with nice cold factory sounds. Percussion and rhythms play a very prominent role. Already the first track, ‘Lion and sun’, has a dense sound, with industrial rumblings, threatening horn sounds and a somewhat militant feel. I can’t help of being reminded of the present events in the Middle-East. Don’t expect accessible or melodic tracks, just distorted industrial layers of sound, sometimes opening up to release some air, then intensifying again. We’re treated to metallic percussion, tape loops, a gritty, blurry sound. Most tracks are quite hard to digest. One of the exceptions is ‘The guard of the immortals’, which is more ambient and atmospheric. My favourite track is ‘Betrayal of an architect’, with nice deep hammering percussion. An electronic album of interest, which does not sound too cliche, despite the ‘classic’ industrial elements that it uses. I must confess that I find consuming the complete 67 minutes of “Frashogard” at once rather strenuous, because the album is intense.