Death & Horror,Inc.: Transmissions from the Chemical Land Reviews

Toronto's DHI (Death and Horror Inc) brings us Transmissions from the Chemical Land on Van Richter Records. A collection of material from its debut album "Machine Alter Transmission" and the "Chemical Land" EP, in addition to songs previously unavailable on CD. - Vicki Aubin, CMJ

I really wish we were hearing NEW music from DHI, as these songs date back to the very first days of my interest in industrial music. 'Chemical Land' is one of the first industrial songs I ever sang the chorus to. And, in addition, it's the second time I'm owning the CD (after trading it a year or two ago for Skrew.. don't ask). I remember seeing specials on Much Music about them, and how amazing it was that someone was making this music so close to home. At the time, these songs held up much better. Now the little slap bass keyboard sounds, and minimal sounds don't do nearly as much for me. I still love 'Chemical Land' - the intro instills so many memories for me. 'New Vision' is another hitting stomping song. I like the sounds of string strikes in 'Can You Change?' like they have on 'Pain And Courage' from the "Pressures Collide" album. A LOT like that, actually.. hm. I'm glad I have this more for nostalgia's sake than actual listening, but it still has a lot of merit. - Jeremy Pfohl, Chart Magazine
My ear's were anxious for the domestic release of DEATH AND HORROR INC's earlier hard to find material and what they heard on 'Transmissions from the Chemical Land left them wanting more! The guitar crunch found on the exceptional "Bitter Alloys/Pressures Collide release were in full force on this record. This release will appeal to the true Industrial fan who will appreciate the old school edge of DHI that most current Electro outfits are lacking! - Bob, Worm Gear Magazine
I tried for years to find the Chemical land showdown EP, and all I was able to scrounge up was a third or fourth generation dub of it on a crappy cassette. Even that wasn't easy, but it was well worth the trouble. When Van Richter decided to re-issue the first DHI album, Machine Alter Transmission, they also dug up three of the tracks from that EP, in woderfully crisp remastered form. If your not familar with the album, it's a solid collection of excellant electronic tracks; slightly funky, and covered in a real atmosphere of angst and despair. It was released originally in Canada only in 1991 but it is still very enjoyable and even better than their followup work. At the time DHI used their guitars intelligently and sparingly; really on par with the Rape and Honey era Ministry, with well written songs and well placed guitars. It's definately worth checking out and soon to be an immortal classic ala Ministry. The three bonus tracks ("M1911A1", the excellant "Staircase Repetition", and the EP version of the killer "Chemical Land") are really the best three tracks from the EP. I wish they had used "Forced Rhythm". Anyhow don't overlook this great record especially now that it is available for the first time domestically! It also has some great new killer artwork! - Sage, Culture Shock
This is a re-release of this Canadian band's hard-to-find early releases, namely the "Chemical Land" EP and the debut CD "Machine Altar Transmission". Known better as Death & Horror Inc., DHI's music has managed to withstand the test of time pretty well and all the classics such as "Chemical Land" or "Can You Change?" are still as vibrant as ever. If you've never heard them before, DHI's style can be described as an aggressive class of industrial sounds mentality and metalish guitars. However, this band's focus has always been more on the industrial aspect of their music and there are quite a few songs with barely any guitars. Basically, this is really good industrial with thick beats, ominous synths, screaming distorted vocals and the occasional bursts of guitar heaviness. DHI were never a band that could revolutionize the industrial genre, but they have managed to build up a large following thanks mostly to their above average songwriting and the ability to come up with some really impressive hooks and melodies. If you're looking around to update the "classics" section of your industrial record collection, then "Transmissions From The Chemical Land" is definitely something worth picking up. (7/10) - Corridor of Cells Webzine
From the dark translicent ambience of its opening moments, Transimissions from the Chemical Land - an amalgam of the album Machine Alter Transmission and the EP Chemical Land - is clearly on a superior wavelength to the stock industrial output. DHI are rooted firmly in the industrial/electro pedigree of KMFDM and Front Line Assembly, but the shear simplicity of the tormented vocals and the shards of guitar distortion, spilling helplessly over epileptic synth basslines and apocalyptic sample snatches, will make Transmissions especially well received in EBM circles. There is nothing earth shatteringly original in this collection of tracks from the early 90's, but the bute belligerence (laced with paranoid dementia) of tracks such as "Chemical Land" and "Staircase Repetition", and the menacing melancholia of such cuts as "New Vision" and "Machine Altar Transmission", make DHI a commodity worth buying into. - Dave Kendall, Bikini Magazine
Aggressive and lush industrial noise; guitar driven and sample infused, DHI seriously kick arse. Funky, blistering and unapologetically testicular, "Transmissions" comes on like a high speed drill and never lets up. Death and Horror Incorporated (DHI) are an orgasmic amalgam of metal and flesh, spewing blood and bolts every which way. Ghastly! - Belalugo Z, Flipside Magazine
This release is a combination of DHI's first album "Machine Alter Transmission" and the maxi single "Chemical Land EP". This cd contains two hard to find songs "M1911A1" and "Staircase Repetition", and my favorite "Climbing". Great slapping bass lines, tweaking guitars and sample o'rama. Great Canadian industrial abrasive material! - Jim Smith, Apocalypse Magazine
This reissue of the first two tapes from DHI really surprised me, even more of their most recent releases. "Transmission from the Chemical Land" brings for the first time DHI's debut album "Machine Altar Transmission" and the maxi-single "Chemical Land" EP. Since, the "Chemical Land" EP became out-of-print, Van Richter Records decide to put them in one whole CD. It starts certainly with my favorite, "Chemical Land", a pure elecro-industrial song with a cool guitar riff, harsh vocals (but just enough) with a really catchy and powerful refrain. The showdown version of this one, is not really different but less good than the original. "Machine Altar Transmission" is a cool instrumental horror track in the vein of some Ringtailed Snorter or early FLA's songs, plus pretty cool samples. "Infantry" is a slow-paced with a orchestral synth pattern and aggressive and harsh vocals. "M1911A1" starts with a tribal driven beat and some dark ambient samples and continue in this way... certainly another of my favorite one. Finally, this reissue is certainly a must for every DHI's fans and it can be a good introduction to this band that i will certainly put a place in my CD collection. Death and Horror Inc. are: Vicar, Graf and Max - Final Man, Electroage
"Chemical Land": this song may be an industrial music fans dream come true. The Techno driven back beat followed by cool futuristic vocals makes this song a definite selection on everyone who loves this genre's download list. - Gunther G.,
This album includes both DHI's debut release "Machine Altar Transmission" as well as their "Chemical Land" EP. All of this material was originally released in 1991 and still manages to sound fresh today. The album delivers dark, dreary, angry and aggressive electronic music that includes guitars and distorted growling vocals. While guitars are used heavily here, this is not generic industrial metal music. The guitars here are used with the electronics, samples and drum programming without taking over. The music is created to allow the vocals to be placed in at certain areas which I like due to the singing blending in well instead of just sounding like shouting simply being overlayed over the music. Each of the songs do sound different, but are still similar enough to allow the album to have the same vibe all the way through. The only tracks I dislike here are "Climbing", "Machine Altar Transmission" and "No Place For The Cross". "Climbing" is a rather boring and generic song that is too repetitive and dull. "Machine Altar Transmission" and "No Place For The Cross" are melodic and almost ambient instrumental tracks that seem a little out of place on such an aggressive album. However, everything else found here is excellent. The songs pull you in and keep you interested. Think of passionate and dramatic music combined with anger and aggression. Electronics, synths, samples and drum programming are the main layers of sounds found here with guitar that comes and goes to give the songs a heavy edge. Everything is moody and isn't really meant for the dance floor. The music moves at a medium pace while the vocals just shout out with distorted anger. If you like heavy industrial music do yourself a favor and pick this album up today. - Darklight, Wrapped in Wire Magazine
Transmissions From The Chemical Land is a real work of art in the industrial world. The music and sound mixture isn't overbearing like many industrial bands trying to make too many layers of sounds. It's hard hitting without being hard to listen to. DHI has been compared to Skinny Puppy, but I don't hear it. I do hear some FLA influence and a little bit of Sister Machine Gun. Some Music Critics argue that it is the FLA and Puppies of the world who were the ground breaking artists of Industrial music. However DHI incorporates all these stylings into a unique and diverese package covering the full spectrum of the genre. DHI were the true pioneers in the eyes of Gibson! and Chemical Land" was the first industrial song I ever learned the chorus to. Highly Recommended. Buy it.
Transmissions From The Chemical Land was released thirteen years ago, but regardless of the time that has passed by its topics are still up to date. The sky has been polluted and there's those who control the weather utilizing so called chemtrails; controversial trails left by planes in which both governments and scientists don't want to reveal publicly. A new war with the use of nuclear weapons is still a threat while treaties and negotiations are renounced often. Moreover, we'll hear about the first expeditions to Mars and the Moon soon to build settlements, factories and to explore a variety of natural elements including radioactive ones. The world is still fascinated with post apocalyptic movies and video games; a threat of complete destruction, a selfish decision of a madman or a corrupted political group subversive to its citizens. Followed then by a laborious, lasting reconstruction spanning a thousand years merely to yield some late respect given to pre-destroyed Earth values and its precious welfares of the past.
Finally, chemicals mean drugs, alcohol and medicine, the last one tested on men, overdosed by men and offering nothing better than a placebo effect or harmful side effects for high purchase prices.
Musically, DHI preferred dry rhythms and fast changing samples mixed with aggressive guitars. Their music was typical for the late 80's and the early 90's coldwave style. DHI musicians - Vicar, Max and Graf were attaching the whole spectrum of samples to their songs, patterned on heavy industry sounds, seemingly fascinated with sounds of manufacture and noise blaze caused by working or dysfunctional machines. Their music recalls the echoes of early Nitzer Ebb, Frontline Assembly, Front 242, Chemlab and Ministry tunes but other references are noticeable too. Undoubtedly, they were an inspiration for a wide range of techno, aggro, electro and EBM bands later on, including the electronic rock scene which demands guitars according to its "rock" directive.
Transmissions From The Chemical Land contains the songs which were previously released on Machine Altar Transmission (1992) and Chemical Land EP (1991). Both are out of print these days, however the same songs were remastered and re-released in 2008.
I find "Can You Change" to be the best of all thirteen songs. It delivers the most "rock" sound as well as catchy, repetitive lyrics reminiscent of songs by Testify (another Van Richter band).
Also, "Staircase Repetition" sounds good, however modern dance floors would need a song format somewhat cleaner and improved with a deeper beat (in fact, it looks like the newest remastered version of the song has been cleaned up, but the beat remains the same).
The third song I paid attention to was an instrumental named "M1911a1".It brought about much more positive moods compared to the other songs on this album.
This kind of music would sound even better if attached to visualizations, especially if they were dark, industrial animations or short movies. Nevertheless, DHI music with or without the images should be suggested to all fans of simplicity and industrial vibes first. Other listeners should be in a special mood to accept the sounds as they are. The album is definitely worth listening to. - Nina, Fabryka Magazine
A solid release... superb sounds... the title track is already getting solid club and airplay in their hometown... DHI have a hard-fought release to be proud of. - Street Sound Magazine
Toronto's DHI (Death And Horror Inc.) is an industrial trio who assemble one unnerving mastication onslaught of spiky beats, feedback guitars, and hellish, incomprehensible vocals... If Stockhausen messed around with Black and Decker, Transmissions from the Chemical Land might have been his baby. - CMJ Canada

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