A collaboration between American grindcore quartet Full Of Hell and Japanese icon Masami Akita (aka Merzbow) will guarantee you one thing, noise, and plenty of it. This compelling partnership offers a mixture of all out violence and more subtle but equally extreme tracks that bring together two very different styles of music, but somehow manage to make it work.
The album begins with ‘Burnt Synapse’ and ‘Gordian Knot’ and goes straight for the throat with some old school grind, and this approach continues for much of early part of this album. Bleak, doomy soundscapes and these sparse, haunting episodes bring you down from the anarchy of the early part of the release and give a somewhat eerie atmosphere before you are thrown right back into the blast beats and noise. In particular, this is evident on ‘Raise Thee, Great Wall, Bloody And Terrible’ with its drowning feedback, crashing cymbals and vocals struggling to be heard through the cacophony. Another track, ‘Ludjet Av Gud’ with its vocals either whispers or strangulated rasps again straining against the background noise.
There are plenty of moments that are pure Merzbow, although perhaps on the album as a whole, they do tend to play second fiddle. Although this is very much a collaborative effort, there are two very different styles going on. This occasionally gives the record a slightly disjointed feel, but considering the unsettling noises on offer, I guess that it works not to have the album too predictable or comfortable. The uneasy feeling works
It’s a good release, but you can’t help feeling that it could have been so much more. Two songs take up nearly half the running time and the rest do tend to sound like more one band than the other. It’s difficult to say too many bad things as I do like it, but there are a few niggling points which stop it from being as special as it could have been. There is a 2 CD version which brings another 5 tracks from this collaboration, which may give a fuller picture that this normal release. Despite this it is a really interesting project and one that deserves your time and attention.