(Crucial Blast Records 2008)Noism -

Metal fans are accustomed to friends and family referring to the music they listen as “noise.” The probability of this increases proportionally with the extremity of the metal to which the uninitiated apply this term. If plotted on a graph, normal metal bands like Metallica and Pantera would be in the lower end of the “noise” spectrum; the heights of which would see grindcore, orthodox black metal, and other genres comprising the harshest forms of metal. Noism, as their name implies, most definitely occupies the upper reaches of the noise chart. Even those with ears attuned to the vagaries of even the most extreme of metal may have a difficult time sorting out just what the hell is going on in “±.”

Though “±” is Noism’s first proper album, the group has been putting out material on comps and demos for about a decade. It certainly comes across as if the duo has been hashing out their style for as long; as cacophonous as it is, the album is crafted with a clear purpose. It’s frenzied not disorganized, an important difference. The fuel that powers this machine is the epileptic drum machine beats. Programmer Tomoyuki Akiyama seems determined to aurally punish the listener, creating a battery of wild, seizure-inducing patterns that sound like the fastest recorded drumming you can possibly imagine, cranked up a few million rpm, with a generous amount of skipping thrown in for good measure. Riding the same cybergrind wave are guitarist Yoshiro Hamazaki’s spastic freak-outs. Serrated riff shards puncture the mechanized speed trip, further lacerating any sense of melody or fluidity.

This is not the kind of thing one can listen to for an extended period of time. If fact, it’s hard to imagine this is suitable to jog to, drive to, jam out to, or do just about anything to. “±” is a calculated, coldly executed program designed to find music amongst chaos. Hard to imagine, though, that anyone you know will see it that way; to most people, Noism will just be – you guessed it – noise.


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