(SOLD OUT)SCAR OO3: RU-486 "Iron Empire" C-50 100 Copies

Debut full length out now through NoVisible Scars. Iron Empire musically features various forms of raped and beaten scrap metal, junknoise, feedback manipulation, and analog synth. In the tradition of the 80's Broken Flag style,(old)Controlled Bleeding and Bizarre Uproar.

SCAR 003: c-52/100 Copies. $8.00(US). $10(ELSEWHERE) Price is postpaid. ***ACCEPTING PAYPAL, MONEY ORDERS AND OR CASH. CONTACT FOR ORDERING INFO AND AVAILABILITY*** novisiblescars@gmail.com

RU-486 package: 7.25 x 7.25 covers/insert housed in a 7'ep re-sealable bag. Hand numbered card. Mastered on pro manufactured and imprinted(chrome)black cassettes. Album repeats on both sides of the cassette.



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Taking its name from the controversial "morning after pill", RU-486 doesn't fuck around with a Pollyanna outlook. This is the second full length tape that we've picked up from this grim industrial noise outfit (the first being an entry in RRRecords's Recycled Music series), and it continues with more of the dystopian industrial dread and technological nightmare visions that we're coming to expect from 'em. The Iron Empire seems to be a reference to the pervasive steel-and-concrete hellscape that we find ourselves surrounded by on a daily basis, and the material on this tape travels through an assortment of infernal regions that descend deep into technological ruin. Starting with the first track, they unleash massive rumbling bass and huge low-end drones churn beneath sinister spoken word passages and swirling malevolent feedback, the synths scream out unholy choral roars, and the synthesizer drones get so distorted that they feel like crushing metallic guitars. That makes this really heavy, heavier than the previous material that we've heard from RU-486 for sure. The production is thick and murky, the sounds covered in grime and rust, and it's got this definite Cold Mean Industries vibe, except heavier than most of the death industrial you hear on that label.

After that creepy first track, this shifts into violent scrap-metal chaos and writhing low-end feedback squeal and screeching contorted metal, vicious Knurl-like spasms of metallic noise that clot into rapid machine garble, blasting at deafening volume levels like the sound of a city being ripped apart. It moves into vast walls of rumbling distortion and blizzard-blasts of mechanical motor grind, ultra-heavy synth drones surface out of the depths, and there are rare moments of spacious clatter where the cacophony of grinding metal and screaming feedback disappears suddenly and all that’s left are random clanking metal sounds or metallic rattling that last for a moment before being swept back in to the chaos.

It's seriously brutal bass-heavy power electronics/harsh industrial driven by demonic logic. The tape comes in a 7" sized sleeve with black and white inserts and is hand numbered out of one hundred copies.

"No Visible Scars label presents one more high quality release. This time it's a tape from the owner of Destructive Industries label Thomas Mortigan and his noise/power electronics project RU-486. If I'm not mistaken, it's the first full-length release in more than 5 years of activity. Until now RU-486 was specialising in short releases - several mCDrs and short 10-15 minutes tapes, but perhaps such short length is already not enough to express his thoughts. Iron Empire is one sided C-52 tape (the same material recorded on both sides of the tape). It starts from dark drone/industrial track "Cast Iron Effigies" in which Austin Cooley from Concrete Violin reads some weird poem of industrial apocalypse. The poem predicts the final collapse and perfectly defines conception of the whole album. I'm really glad that this text is included, it helps to get more into the mood for the tape. The cover, made by Mike Page, appropriately representing a dismal industrial vision should be mentioned too. Standard packaging for NVS - 7" vinyl envelope with covers and inlays, depicting huge massive metal constructions. Following the first darker track is absolute harsh noise madness. Filthy and intensive noise, feedbacks, loops of synth or noise generator, contact microphones etc. Noise that doesn't become calmer for a second. RU-486 isn't enjoying consonances for more than several seconds. Eternal motion, development, evolution - all that directed towards self-destruction, towards absolute iron empire - iron grave. Sound floating in the air is very soft, filthy and pleasant. Proper format + good mastering job + good record. That was absolutely superb for my ears. This album, in my opinion, is not well thought and weighed statement, but elemental expression and destruction. Harsh noise in all its beauty. In fact, before listening to this release, I thought I'd find more structure, hooks, vocals and so on and not plain harsh noise, but my oh my was I satisfied with this tape. One more release that's worth paying attention to in this endless sea of noisy information. Listen to this release!"
TeRRoR zine http://www.terror.lt

This one was a little tricky. Here we have a “C52″ but it’s the same material on both sides so don’t think you’re getting that much bang for your buck. That’s ok though because this is some effective and dynamic thrashy harsh junk noise that hits hard right in all the soft spots. The packaging is a little awkward with 7″ artwork which is rad, but a tape just thrown in the bag.
The opener “Cast Iron Effigies” is also a little deceiving with it’s dark drone and great spoken word samples. The dialogue is deep and subtle, the drone detailed and ominous. Almost reminds me a William Burroughs reading – it might very well be, I don’t know. But don’t be fooled by the atmospherics in this opener because the rest of the tape is harsh and raw.
Loud, choppy, chunky, and monolithic is the noise on Iron Empire. The subtle atmospheres don’t make a return. I have to file this more under the harsh junk noise side of things than anything power electronics or death industrial. It’s almost like a simpler, rawer Paranoid Time which is not at all a negative thing.
Not what I was expecting, but definitely a great fix of harsh industrial junk noise right when I need. Hell, I don’t even mind flipping the tape and listening to it twice in a row. The first track is the only really memorable thing on here but the rest of the tape makes repeated listening quite enjoyable.

RU-486 is the nasty solo power electronics project of American Thomas Mortigan, known also for his collaborative work as a member of Richard Ramirez's project Black Leather Jesus. Up until Iron Empire, RU-486 has released only c-10s and split releases, but this release is a long overdue development for the project. Clocking in at a brisk 25 minutes of material (taking up one side of a c-50, dubbed on both sides), this tape marks the longest and most developed take on RU-486's sound, and boasts an impressive conceptual grounding in the collapsing totalitarianism of industry in America.
The tape features a lengthy, bass-heavy intro track featuring spoken word delivered by Austin Cooley of Texas harsh noise project Concrete Violin. This soon gives way to four other nasty tracks of absolutely brutal scrap metal abuse, which, as chaotic as it could have been, sounds carefully composed and deliberate. That's one of Mortigan's strong suits, the perfection that he strives for in his composition that enables him to make something so unrestrained and nasty sound carefully controlled and composed.
The packaging on this release, done by up-and-coming label No Visible Scars, maintains the awesome standard set by other releases on the label, such as the work done on the latest Subklinik and Profanatica tapes. Iron Empire is no exception, featuring a tape packaged in a 7” vinyl sleeve with 7”-sized cardstock inserts with release info and album art. The art itself is effective in evocatively conveying the feeling of dominance by faceless, dehumanized industrialism and makes for a bleak, yet highly engrossing, listening experience. One can only hope for more output of this caliber from a project who appears to be coming into his own.
Aaron Vilk for Special Interest magaine #4

RU-486 is a power electronics project from Thomas Mortigan, part of the collaborative project Black Leather Jesus. So while Iron Empire is the first full-length release from RU-486, Mortigan is no newcomer to the field. For this release on No Visible Scars, the album cover is a black-and-white picture of a metallic industrial machine, perfect for the angry power electronics featured here.

“Cast Iron Effigies” starts out with a distant screeching wave along with a pulsing drone underneath, and the tone never really changes from there. It’s got a really great texture, and that pulse underneath sets the mood of a very tense track, brimming with a cold and clinical atmosphere. At times, a deep, somnolent voice speaks dark poetry as the noise continues, although it’s difficult to decipher phrases as the words are somewhat muffled. Towards the end of the track, the howl cuts out, leaving only the drone and the voice, which fades out with an ominous “Thy kingdom is grave.”

“Watchtower Troops” delves into harsher territory with a high-pitched squeal of feedback and then some choppy, frayed noodling of electronics. Again, RU-486 shows great adherence to texture and sound and the finale of the track throws in some squalls of static coupled with some shredded feedback to torture the ears with industrial waste. This effectively transitions to “Slaves Sold as Scrap (Industrial Slavery Pt. 1),” which carries a similar chopped and mangled feel with higher feedback which alternates into a bassy buzz, until a flurry of fast-paced contractions kick in halfway through the track.

“Conveyor of Broken Dreams” hits with a fuzzy, warped drone of noise and static, whirring along on the conveyor belt of the title. The setup of this track is very similar to that of a really jumpy harsh noise wall track, building up those layers of static only to shift them into new textures. Some of the fuzz is really crushing in its weight, and with “Conveyor” being the longest track on the album, RU-486 washes away the world with some industrial chaos.

And then “Amidst Ascending Cranes” brings the high-end violence which has been hinted at throughout the release, a mix of higher sustained feedback and low rumbles that crumble together. It’s nice to hear a variability here, and the shrieks of electronics drive that industrial-tinged theme home while also providing a destructive soundtrack of scrap metal.

Iron Empire is 25 minutes in five shorter tracks, hitting highs, lows, and the middle ground in between with walls, drones, and even spoken word on the first track. Though I’d say Ru-486 plays it somewhat safe on this release, never really leaving the area of standard harsh noise and PE, Iron Empire is a good amalgamation of these genres.