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Keiji Haino's Fushitsusha, a group that redefined the possibilities of the classic "power trio," reached its ultimate heights in this release. His unique combination of rock-like frameworks with the ecstatic, virtually profligate abandon of his guitar playing created a tension-and-release structure rarely equaled in rock. Here, the first and third tracks use a kind of Beefheartian, lumbering form led by Haino's slashing guitar and from which he splinters off into inspired frenzies of playing, sputtering lyrics almost as an afterthought. The compositional frame creaks and groans as it's asked to carry an absurd amount of weight, Haino's rapturous playing summoning up aural images of Ayler or Coltrane filtered through Hendrix. But that's all mere preparation for the fourth of the untitled tracks, a 44-minute excursion into realms only perhaps hinted at in late Coltrane: a nonstop headfirst-into-the-flames blunderbuss of a performance -- raw, uncontrollable, and perfect, divine noise. For listeners who wanted to know where improvised rock could go in the '90s, there's no need to look any further. A great album for adventurous listeners of any genre and very highly recommended.

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