Crash of the Titans

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Despite what its title could have implied, Crash of the Titans is not a collaboration between Czech underground noise duo Napalmed and the Lord of Japanoise Merzbow. This split CD offers 35 minutes of music from each artist. The youngsters perform merciless noise based on field recordings made at a factory using metals, microphones, and analog effects (guitar and pedals, voice, etc.). They sound like a cross between early Einst├╝rzende Neubauten and Merzbow's early years. Yet their approach feels fresh and free of gratuitous violence or primal scream-type mayhem. The music peels off wallpaper and it will make your neighbors wonder if you haven't turned your house into a foundry. On the other hand, Merzbow's contributions are subpar (which works to the advantage of Napalmed, the contender). "Untitled-1" remains a one-dimensional stream of noise through the whole duration of its 15 minutes (and fades out at the end). "Chemlage Mini" begins with a high-pitched tone and ends with a sub-bass tone. Between these two points hell breaks loose. "Orgiastic Noise" is the best description here, although the music lacks some depth -- it simply feels like Masami Akita is going through the motions. Merzbow completists will have a hard time locating a copy of Crash of the Titans and they'll probably end up seeking more of Napalmed's own material. If one of the sumo wrestler on the cover is Czech (and why not?), he won.

Track Listing

Title/Composer Performer Time
2 18:49
5 14:35
blue highlight denotes track pick