Kevin Drumm

Sheer Hellish Miasma

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From outside, Kevin Drumm's pummeling noise pieces are tempestuous instigators, violent sonic windstorms whose manifest destiny is to upturn, agitate, and provoke. From inside -- the route to which is best accessed by listening passively and resisting the urge to tussle with the music -- Drumm's dense swathes of static seem to mutate and fracture with an incredible nuance. If Sheer Hellish Miasma is equivalent to Drumm's dentist's chair, then these subtle textural changes are his mild anesthetic, providing just enough distraction to keep the focus off the mounting tension. It's a disarming trick, the effects of which are fully revealed when the album's 48 minutes of unrelenting caterwaul yield to its fourth and final cut, a gorgeous drone piece named "Cloudy," which seems triply sublime after so much sneakily accumulated momentum and aggression. Rare is the deliverance more satisfying than this; rarer still is the record more adequately named.

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