Black Sand Desert, "Choking On Grave Soil"
Every now and then I like the sound of a chainsaw working its way through three square miles of steel, rock, and animal flesh, but far too often I'm left in awe of how senseless so many of those sounds are. Choking on Grave Soil inspired a Velvet Underground moment for me, a moment where I said to myself, "I think I could do this." I'm not interested in imitating the sound necessarily, but so much of this album seems completely and totally disorganized, as though the idea of arrangement was thrown to the wind and left for dead. This lack of arrangement kills the album for me, rendering any viciousness null and leaving the attack without any edge to speak of. To his credit, Holger has organized portions of these two long tracks into moments of relative chaos and relative stability, but all of it seems intentionally messy. Parts of this album just blend together as recordings of garbage disposal sound turned up to 11 and recorded by a contact mic.
There's no doubt in my mind that the sounds Holger squeezes out of his machines are black and nasty as they come, there being no better point of reference for the sounds employed than the action of choking that the album title suggests. I wish the feeling that this album was recorded in the same amount of time that it takes to play would leave me, but it seems as though a bunch of feedback and distortion was turned up to max levels and thrown together haphazardly with no care given to their running order. All the crunching, cracking, hissing, and rumbling in the world might make for one hell of a headache-inducing experience, but it isn't enough to make a great album. In fact, this seems less like an album and more like a collection of harsh sounds people might enjoy if they were angry enough. As moments of the second track really catch my ear, I can only hope that some portions from this disc will be excavated and used on a Hive Mind release, a project where I know Holger pays as much attention to his arrangements as he does to his choice of sound.