Dominick Fernow is a very busy, very noisy man. Not only is he Vatican Shadow, he's Prurient, Rainforest Spiritual Enslavement, Cold Cave, Traversable Wormhole, Exploring Jezebel, Ash Pool, Christian Cosmos, and Mitochondrial DNA. If you go online, he's associated with probably another dozen aliases and bands.
Fernow is probably still most famous as the man behind Prurient, but in the last few years he's become to be known as Vatican Shadow. A prolific schedule has seen Fernow release a slew of cassettes, singles and mini-albums. Fernow uses pretty explicit images for his releases, using post 9/11 military and terrorist imagery for cover art and naming tracks and albums after newspaper headlines. Vatican Shadows music is no less incendiary, lashings of layered noise and distorted industrial techno, an often tense and messy but completely thrilling spectacle.
`Remember Your Black Day' is Vatican Shadow's debut album, but Fernow has opted to pare the music down. The music is much more direct and propulsive, you could even call a lot of it dance music. The music goes for the jugular but theres no intensity or tension. Its too easy to look beyond the militant industrial beats of tracks such as `Not the son of Desert Storm, but the child of Chechnya' and find nothing else to confront. Tracks like `Contractor Corpses Hung Over The Euphrates River' ranks with the best of Vatican Shadow's back catalogue, but many lack any of the oppressive bite we've come to expect. Some tracks just seem out of place too, especially the metallic guitar of `Enter Paradise'.
At its best, Vatican Shadow is a formidable beast to contain, but `Remember Your Black Day' has nothing to be scared of.