Shinjuku Thief – Sacred Fury

After some harsh noises and subtle sounds Shinjuku Thief is back with an album full of dark and horrific cinematic music.

On Sacred Fury are sixteen short pieces of soundtrack music. The music ranges from haunting gothic orchestral pieces (‘Voitive Offerings’ and ‘Balm’) to dark bombastic marches (‘Sacred Fury’ and ‘Firejar Hell’).

As with more of these soundtrack like releases you will need to invest time to listen and enjoy the record. It is no easy listening or pleasant background music. But, if you have the patience to dive into the world of dark and mysterious sounds Sacred Fury will prove more then just a good record.

Darrin Verhagen could be called a veteran in experimental ambient music. The Austrial musician has worked for numerous dance, theatre and film productions. He also released perhaps a dozen albums under the name Shinjuku Thief and other aliases, often on his own label Dorobo. Now Verhagen has found a home at Sweden’s Fin de Siècle Media to release his latest work “Sacred Fury”.

The title and the artwork dedicated to fire already betray that we deal with a dark and passionate creation here, evoking images of doom and apocalypse. An album with 16 tracks, some of them quite short. “Sacred Fury” has many elements of a horror film score, through the combination of cinematic ambient passages, its threatening collages of scary sounds and the bombastic dramatic elements.

The album starts with a calm prologue, but already on second track ‘Lesion’ you get the shivers through things being brutally smashed and demonic screams in the background of the otherwise almost classical soundscape. Intense and oppressive would be the keywords here. Some pieces, like ‘Burning heat’, contain ritual percussion which enhance the overall feeling of madness and bad nightmares. At times things get quite orchestral and bombastic, like on the infernal title track, which could have been included on Slaughter Natives’ “Enter now the world”. Towards the end of the album things slow down with more tranquil, minimal compositions with an introspective feel. “Sacred Fury” is an impressive creation, a fascinating trip which could cause serious hallucinations.

artist: Shinjuku Thief
label: Fin de Siècle Media
details: 16, 41 min, 2005 [FDS 12]