Genocide Organ have earned their place as masters of the craft within industrial and power electronics circles, and rightfully so for having been together 31 years at this point. Not many other bands of their caliber come to mind when considering their consistency of live performance and recorded output with respect to their age. Since the release of ‘Under-Kontrakt’ in 2011, they have expanded upon their Archive line of releases, published ‘Absolute Truth’ with The Grey Wolves, and brought to light some versions of older works on ‘KwaZulu-NaTaL’. Though the tracks of ‘KwaZulu-NaTaL’ are stated to have been recorded in 1994, the production quality is of exceptionally high fidelity by contrast to 1995’s ‘Mind Control’ and most of their body of work, for that matter.
It was perhaps the delayed release of ‘KwaZulu-NaTaL’ in 2014 which set my expectations of what ‘Obituary of the Americas’ might sound like, but contrary to this its production is quite similar in characteristics to most of G.O.’s other recordings. This is of small consideration; more importantly, the release of Obituary holds a logical and well-defined place in the chronology of Genocide Organ’s recorded output. Whereas ‘Under-Kontrakt’ was concerned with military conflict of Sri Lanka, ‘Obituary of the Americas’ turns focus to the United States and more generally the relations between regions of North & South America on the whole. From the official press release:
“Genocide Organ have hidden in the jungles, hills, deserts, slums and cities of the Americas for 4 years. Being present on the shores of Panama, in the cardboard areas of EI Salvador, the jungles of Guatemala, the drug roots of Bolivia, the human-drug trafficking (sic) in Mexico, the just in-justice in no-go areas just across the iron border of the US.”
It is for this reason that much of the album — from the song titles to the lyricism and samples — makes use of the Spanish language; it aims to examine the unrest of the aforementioned regions in all of its exponents. Genocide Organ have no interest in regurgitating history as it commonly told, but rather to provide a scope that is either previously unexamined or not paid the attention it deserves. It is a modus operandi consistent throughout their entire body of work, and ‘Obituary of the Americas’ is certainly no exception.
Perhaps the track of the album which stands out most is ‘Escuela de las Americas’. It is in part because I am partial to liking the efforts of Brigant Moloch with Anenzephalia, so his vocals on this track are naturally pleasing, but its overall composition also stands out most among the other tracks. Swells of slowly-rising feedback are pulsated by quick, uniquely distorted synth attacks which resemble kick drum hits. Moloch’s vocals are incredibly clear and menacingly assertive: “for your mind is in our hands, our hands in your mind.”
Regarding overall presentation, the LP follows the Helvetica template of many of their other records such as ‘In-Konflikt’, ‘The Truth Will Make You Free’, and the Archive series, but this gripe of design is trivial considering that the LP is housed in a beautiful black matte jacket with photo-quality paper employed for the area of the printed image.
In total, Genocide Organ have succeeded in the difficult task of making an interesting new release without either repeating themselves or straying too far from the essential sound they have made themselves known for. To simultaneously achieve this and explore thematically new content shows a mastery of the style that is truly inspiring.