Now led and mostly consisting of John Wiese, Bastard Noise has been shifting from their primal scream (either human or electronic) constructions to more ambient domains. Descent to Mimas introduces a space odyssey theme that loosely ties the four tracks together. This is no apocalyptic version of Hawkwind; space serves only as a setting. The opening title track features founding member Wood delivering some of his trademark caveman terrorist grunts over rich textures of harsh electronic noise. "Beneath Ice Skin" and "Lunar Nest Guard" establish a crescendo toward an even harsher wall of noise, although not quite impenetrable: subtleties permeate through, but one must be willing to endure a sustained level of head-splitting decibels. The latter is particularly painful, but well-executed. The sense of urgency it conveys can be panicking and its abrupt ending follows the rules of the genre. The 30-minute closer, "Space Coffin," is a whole different thing. You may have to turn up the volume to hear it at first, especially after the deafening music that came before. Atmospheric, it glides softly on clouds of controlled feedback -- Merzbow on a sunny day. It fails to convey the idea of a stellar void one could expect from its title, and its length challenges even the best-intentioned listener. The first half of Descent to Mimas is more visceral than The Analysis of Self-Destruction, but the last track could disappoint a few fans. On the other hand, this release is probably easier to find and cheaper to buy than most of Bastard Noise's discography. Be warned.
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AllMusic Review by François Couture