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Black Sun Roof!, "4 Black Suns & A Sinister Rainbow"

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Matthew Bower is best known with his work in the noise rock (more emphasis on the noise) band Skullflower, but closely followed with his formless output as Total.  The reason I am mentioning both of these is that this new guise, with partner Samantha Davies, is some sort of mutant hybrid of these two:  filth ridden lo-fi feedback with the occasional hint of melody or rhythm that somehow sneaks through.  Between these two discs, the duo stick with this blueprint, occasionally drifting fully into one direction or the other, but always resulting in material that screams to be blasted as loud as possible.

Handmade Birds

The two discs that make up 4 Black Suns & A Sinister Rainbow have their own individual titles, but I can not for the life of me figure out if there is supposed to be any thematic or conceptual unity to each work.  Truffled Abyss begins with the two-part punch of "Perfumed Pressure" that comes across like Skullflower after a nuclear blast.  Detuned guitars clash and feedback with reckless abandon as some sort of undulating beat lurks beneath the radioactive fallout, attempting to corral the chaos without ever really succeeding in doing so.

"Monstrous Souls" also takes this challenge on, mostly an unidentifiable mass of sound that could be guitar, synth, or electronics, which have a barely perceptible sense of order that is eventually pushed out to leave only dissonance.  On "Glassy Penetralia," the opening riff nods back to Bower's more structured works, but within a black metal squall and unstructured noise context.

Perhaps on Werewolf Universe things have a slightly more prominent sense of order and cohesion, but I think that may be a stretch.  Both "Chandelier Heat" and "R U Loathsome" build upon loops of guitar noise that bring some semblance of structure and order, but in the loosest sense of the word.  The latter especially excels, with the rhythmic bits falling below a slow flowing wall of lava like guitar.  The mid-range noise on "Thunderbolt Cumshot Axis" is so gloriously unrestrained that the whole thing manages to cross over from pure chaos to inviting beauty, which is no easy feat.  Perhaps the biggest surprise comes on "Fangs of Ego," which is mostly pure, unadulterated Skullflower riffing atop a stuttering, filtered drum machine that keeps everything rather unsettled, so it never fully comes together as the riff monster it could be.

The two albums that make up 4 Black Suns & A Sinister Rainbow are extremely ugly and unpleasant, but in the best possible way.  Bower and Davies revel in the nastiest, dirtiest noises they can coax out of their instruments, and with that and the slightest concessions to rhythm, Black Sun Roof! has produced one of those rare noise works that demands to just be played at the loudest level, which I have done much to my neighbors’ chagrin more than once.  And all the while I know I had a big, dumb smile on my face at the sheer spectacle of what I was hearing.

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Last Updated on Monday, 24 June 2013 04:50  


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