Review Summary: Save me from the depths...
Thank God Steve Albini returned for the production of this album. I can't say this enough, Albini was just as integral a part of Whitehouse as William Bennett was during the group's later half. With his return marked the beginning of the "Girl Trilogy" a trilogy of albums with cover art depicting a girl of some sort. Compared to the later two, Halogen
is often forgotten about, but that should not take away from its quality.
Speaking of quality, Vulgar
is a great start off. Featuring curdling noise as Will screams about religion makes for a good introduction of the general theme of this album. If you thought the curdling was bad, check out Lightning Struck My Dick
a cacophony of heavy distortion with some electronodes making momentary bleeps toward the tracks end. Once again we are seeing Whitehouse exploring other territories with their music and maturing as a group.
One of the more mediocre tracks is Movement 1994
, a continuation of the Movement track series, Movement 1994
doesn't really do much outside some track stretching and heavy distortion, and not the good kind either. The whole track feels a bit lacking especially for a Movement track, which are usually well made. Dictator
is definitely William's record, bringing back the glory days of Total Sex
with some soft psychedelic themes with groaning noises from Will himself. None of these hold a candle to Halogen
a beautiful, twelve minute, pierce fest of pure torture. It's as if your brain is on fire as you listen to this, but the squeaking doesn't stop and repeatedly changes frequency over the course of the album. One of the album's standout tracks. The entire track is relatively separated into four central pieces. The first piece is simple piercing mic feedback, the second introduces heavy distortion, the third reverts back to piece one, while the fourth adds Williams groaning. We then finish off with The Way it Will Be
, which is a short track full of soft speaking and effects.
was merely the beginning in a long evolution over the course of Whitehouse's tenure. It wasn't perfect and had some flaws (Movement 1994
being the most obvious one), but it showed excellent craftsmanship from William and great imagination from Steve Albini.