Overall Score: 7.5/10 Atmosphere: 8/10 Originality: 8/10 Replay Value: 5/10 Pros: Moody atmosphere thanks to layered effects | Fantastic production Cons: Can be a challenging listen | Lacks replay value for casual listeners
Her Blood In My Veins, formerly known as Aynth, is a one man band from Germany that’s spent a few years developing in the underground IDM scene. Despite only starting to release material in 2012, the project has been surprisingly prolific and new mini-album NOA is the 13th release by the project, and first under the current name.
HBIMV decides to strip back the vocal contribution on NOA compared to previous releases and focuses on samples to drive the tracks, with the odd piece of effect laden vocal work lacing the background of the tracks. The overall feel of the mini-album is very dark and haunting, full of industrial trademarks that wouldn’t make this out of place as the soundtrack to a turn of the century action video game. “Empty Faces” and the heavier industrial track “Toxic” are full of odd percussion sounds which create the driving force of the track, with the rest of the instrumentation generally acting as support. The project is determined to make every track stand on its own merit while still making the album have a cohesive feel, and each track carries similar core values (haunting choir “ah”s, unusual percussive patterns) but the use of samples, pianos (such as in interlude track “Enheartened”) and the occasional piece of guitar work mean that you’re never quite sure what to expect when HBIMV throw out another track.
The problem which faces this EP, as with all IDM artists, is that the experimental nature makes the replay value suffer a great deal. Unless you find yourself in the right mood for the dark, haunting sounds of NOA, you’re hard pressed to find many times that you’ll want to listen to this. This isn’t to say that it’s not a fantastic piece of work, but it’s a very peculiar piece which requires certain conditions to be met in order for you to be able to truly appreciate its work. That requirement, however, does affect the overall rating because it does make it very difficult to be able to enjoy this album for what it is and let the music truly sink in and get into your head.
If you are a fan of industrial music or IDM, though, then this comes highly recommended. Connoisseurs of the genre will find it much easier to absorb the music and all its unique textures than newcomers, who may not be so able to understand that HBIMV is trying to achieve. The project is still distinctly underground in approach and style, and is still developing its direction, but the signs look good.