Portugal's Beyond Enclosure is an S&M themed industrial project molded by the hands of Samantha Diabolik, who handles commands, devices, electronics, metal and research with additional influence by The Analyst (ex-Sektor 304), who is also responsible for some of the record's electronic pieces. They're recommended for fans of IRM (which as you remember, made me feel uneasy) and Sewer Goddess (although I wouldn't consider this record to be even remotely close to what I've heard from them.)
I've listened to gobs of industrial material from Malignant Records over the past few years, but this one proves to be a little stranger than some of the material I've heard previously. Aside from the whirs and industrial scraping that we'd expect, there's a very odd vocal element here, which makes me think that I'm almost privy to some sort of conversation between two or more humanoid robots. “Autoerotik Punishment” seems to throw me directly into an atmopshere in which a pained robot seems to be reflecting upon it's life while standing on a soapbox at the same time. A shouting voice in the background seems to work in tandem with this fembot, which seems a bit more human. Not all of the tracks feature such a heavy vocal presence (which I actually seem to prefer a bit more) and allow a steady metallic landscape to permeate throughout, leaving more of a traditional power electronics feel to the music as a whole. The weirdness of the aformentioned is appreciated, but sometimes it is the more subtle approaches that work best. Though I do have a major complaint about the level of feedback featured at the end of “Electronic Submission” and I feel that it is something worth letting you know ahead of time.
As I 've said, I have listened to several records in this vein of all sorts of different electronic and industrial landscapes, with very little issues as far as what I would consider harmful or damaging to one's ears. I'm not exactly sure what these two were trying to do, but while I was listening to this and reading a digital comic, I soon noticed an ear-piercing amount of feedback that was very painful to listen to. This is no fault of the band, but it is definitely a track that I would recommend cutting off before the ending, because it quite simply can harm your ears a bit. This is a first for me, I've never experienced a record that was actually able to cause pain in my eardrums before, so I'll have to give it to Beyond Enclosure for this one. I should also mention that there are a few more painful sets of feedback in “Vortex Of Steel Into Flesh” but not nearly as bad as “Electrical Surrender.”
As we continue with “Basement Paraphilia”, the approach becomes more mechanical with Diabolik using her natural tone of voice, rather than the pained robot I heard earlier. There are still some sections where effects appear to bring in a sort of robotic quality, especially towards the end. It often feels like many of the vocal sections are spoken word pieces, which is also not uncommon for the genre. Industrial seems to have always been a vehicle for opinion, in which the electronic elements have always explored quite well. “Forceful Aquisition Of Faith” sees Diabolik's vocals horrendously warped and changed to sound like that of a terrifying robot overlord. There is very little to be said in lieu of atmopshere here, it is just a slight muffle of static, but it sets the tone for the rustling winds. S&M is supposed to have a strong sexual nature, but from the sounds of the vocal sections that I've witnessed on here, I don't think I would ask for pleasure from the monstrous tank-like robots by which I'm witnessing on the disc.
Dungeon Of Total Void feels like the kind of indie S&M horror film that should be made, where alien robots attempt to dominate and submit mankind to all of their fiendish pleasures before taking over the world completely. I'm thinking about something far worse than the Decepticons as well, imagine if Giger had the chance to design these things – it would have almost been like another Alien. It's not like something I've heard from Malignant Records before, in it's slightly minimalist yet foreboding structures. What the electronics don't exactly accomplish, the vocal end of the performance does – and that's where industrial fans will find favor with it.
Definitely give it a listen, preferably while in the throes of a good science-fiction tale (book or comic, it doesn't matter) as this record could really spruce up that reading session and provide a proper atmosphere, especially if you happen to have gotten hold of something which literally involves sadomasochistic robots out to destroy the human race. I'm not sure if a story like that has been written yet, but I wouldn't count out that kind of subject matter so soon.
(8 Tracks, 56:00)