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Kinda good, but a bit too weird for me.. - 75%

caspian, September 29th, 2006

For the last year or so, I thought I had found the weirdest, most out there stuff there could be. Whether that was Senthil's agonising, tortured doom or Sunn O)))'s endless waves of guitar, Everlovelylightningheart's strange clank 'n' drone or even some random noise bands, I thought that while I hadn't heard everything, I'd heard a good approximation of it. Then, of course, Boris come along with the Merzbow collaboration and own me.

This album is a jarring mix of brutal, machine type noise, quiet acoustics and extremely low level ambient noise. It starts off super quiet, with some low level hiss and some super slow acoustics. Imagine an acoustic Sunn O))), but perhaps playing even slower. This goes on for quite a while, but by the 15 minute mark or so, you've got more and more noise slowly entering the mix, until we're up to perhaps the second part of the song. Here, droning, heavily clipped guitars play one continous note while noise circles around it. It's actually pretty cool, but you'd be hard pressed to listen to it in one go. The noise builds up more and more, and by the 34 minute mark it's completely headache inducing.

The noise loops start to take over the guitars by the forty minute mark, and another six minutes after that, the clean acoustic part of the song comes back in, and here's where this song is at its best. The subtle noise effects floating over the guitars give the music an unbearably atmospheric and emotional feeling that just hangs over you. It's depressing, uplifting, ethereal, everything.. Just completely mind blowing in every respect. The end of this super long song is definetly the best, with gentle synths and guitars slowing plodding away.

Listening back to this for the second time, on good quality speakers has actually made me like this record a fair bit. The simple fact, though is that this is completely inaccessible for everyone but the most hardened noise fans. It does have a lot of great moments in the last 20 minutes or so, but the rest is brutal, droning and extremely long. It's way too left of field for me to listen to this regularly. Approach with caution.

Edit: Giving this another listen now. I've given this about 6 or 7 listens now and it's starting to make more and more sense. It deserves a 75% at least. Just know that you'll have to give this record a long damn time.