Ploughshare - Ingested Burial Ground (Brilliant Emperor)

Aside from Blut Aus Nord’s noughties work, industrial black metal (BM) is often rather pedestrian. Monotonous pre-programmed drums sap the passion so essential to the genre, while a reliance upon warehousy electronic soundscapes worsens this lack of immediacy. Ploughshare, however, have always indulged in a more visceral approach – the grit of Nine Inch Nails' most aggressive work enhances vicious blackened episodes that nod to warmongering countrymen like Sadistik Exekution.

Ingested Burial Ground is yet another brutal exposition, a Thing-like hybrid of original material and remixes. “A Horrible and Terrifying Impression” initiates the first half with a taste of sludge, dropping into an ambient tension-builder that leads into two classic Ploughshare horrorshows. But surprisingly, the band also explore their softer side. “Divulging Bees, Spiders, and Scorpions” feels almost cosy, vocals duelling over a warm shoegazing reverie. This reprieve is broken as “An Uneasy Dread Arose” busts onto the scene like an evil, panicky twin – one that balances frantic blastbeats with tense, weightless noise sections reminiscent of Plebeian Grandstand's most recent outburst.

In the hands of their chosen remixers, Ploughshare’s material is more abstract - and no less compelling. Tracks adopt a hallucinatory, suspenseful quality as the previously victimised listener becomes a bystander, as if watching a horrific deed through frosted glass. “Divulging” loses any pretension of warmth, metamorphosing into the most disturbing track on the record like a butterfly returning to its cocoon, while Alex Macfarlane's reinterpretation of the closer is eerily electrifying, spiralling beats leading into a disorienting finish.

Ploughshare and friends not only exemplify the potential of industrial BM, but also reveal the potency of remixes. Don’t treat this as an EP with reworked songs tacked onto the end – this is a meticulous, cohesive album, deranged music dropped into a hall of mirrors and forced to reckon with itself.