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Ensslin – Holocaust In Heaven

Ensslin - Holocaust In Heaven

CD, Death Paradise, 2008

Ensslin’s fairly unique brand of extreme black electro is definitely not recommended for the faint-hearted. Or the religious, prudish or those prone to seizures. It is, however, fairly easy to identify redeeming factors to recommend it to the angry, dissatisfied, misanthropic hordes of the rivethead culture.
Blending elements of extreme metal with electro is not a new idea, but it is one that has not always met with great success. On “Holocaust in Heaven” Ensslin has managed to marry these disparate genres in an album that ranges from melancholic atmospheres (“1991” and “How Can I Tell You”) that float past childhood memories to violent slabs of grinding noise (“See You in Disneyland” and “Ritual Satanic Abuse”) hammering their way into your skull. This is not at all a bad thing, just an unexpected one: the role of women within the industrial and power noise scenes is not large, and to encounter eight hard-hitting tracks of naked aggression like this, composed in full by the female of the species, brings to mind the clich├ęd adage regarding “Hell hath no fury…” I pity whomever scorned Ensslin, for her fury, when manifested musically, is terrible to behold.
Overall, “Holocaust in Heaven” leaves the listener with a similar feeling to what one experiences when seeing Guillermo del Toro’s “Pan’s Labyrinth” for the first time: the soul thrills to the fantastic beauty it is confronted with, but at the same time recoils from the chillingly horrific aspects contained within the visuals. Ensslin is something special, for she manages to imbue her work with a fragment of herself, a feeling of pure, raw emotion that is sadly absent from many other offerings within the genre. Viewed more superficially, the music should appeal to power electronics addicts that follow acts in the vein of Haus Arafna.


— David vander Merwe

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