Boomkat Product Review:
First ever vinyl pressing of these impossible-to-find, early Vatican Shadow tapes that were originally made in such small runs we don’t think we’ve ever seen copies of any of them for sale. The first in a series of vinyl reissues, this one features three 2010-2011 tapes: ‘Byzantine Private CIA’, ‘Mural of Saddam’, and ‘Yemeni Commandos’, remastered and repackaged with new artwork - essential picks for disciples of Muslimgauze, Prurient, Shackleton!!!
Arriving under a shroud of anonymity in 2010 with the four tracks of ‘Byzantine Private CIA’, Vatican Shadow has since become one of the most vital projects manned by Dominick Fernow (Prurient, Rainforest Spiritual Enslavement, Christian Cosmos, Exploring Jezebel), daring to grasp the nettle of US geopolitics, hijacking imagery and text from a plethora of news articles, books and government publications, and using them to adorn and title his all-instrumental productions.
He recontextualised U.S. foreign policy in a way that recalls how original industrial, noise and post-punk mutants used their art and music to express feelings towards the cold war and western socio-economics during the late ‘70s and thru the ‘80s - with a particular, explicit thread of inspiration coming from Bryn Jones’ prolific Muslimgauze catalogue.
The first two sides of the 2LP include all four cuts from Vatican Shadow’s first release, ‘Byzantine Private CIA’, taking in the cold thuds and clamouring background noise of ‘Deny Military Involvement’ alongside highlights in the militant trample of ‘Cairo Sword Unsheathed’ and the sludgy industrial dirge of ‘Gunman With Silencer’.
The third and fourth side follow with three tracks off ‘Mural of Saddam’, including the brittle, Muslimgauze-like stepper ‘Schwarzkopf Arc of Triumph’, and the furtive trip hop of ‘U.S. M1A1 Abrams Exhaust Rises Between The Hands Of Victory’, before concluding with some the project’s most sublime work in the opiated lushness of ’Shadow War In Yemen’ and ‘Asymmetric Warfare Studies Group Double Game’ from the ‘Yemeni Commandos’ tape.