Various Artists

Rituals of Termination

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Rituals of Termination is your typical harsh noise compilation CD: it dilutes a handful of really strong contributions with bland tracks by bedroom artists who think eardrum-piercing noise is all there is to Merzbow's music. This comp features a number of Texas-based artists, along with people from the West Coast and a Spanish project (Disturbios). Things start very well, thanks to an untitled piece by Sissy Spacek (the group, not the actress, of course), Astrogenic Hallucinating's "Into the Breach," and Rotten Piece's "Blobulent Endeavors," the best moment of the whole set -- their approach of noise art is more subtle than the other acts featured here. After that the pace shifts to banality, with the notable exceptions of Richard Ramirez's "Come Back to Me" (the title itself makes it stand out), Infant Mortality Rate's "Crusaders" (a classic but well-done sonic attack), and Ernesto Diaz-Infante's "7 Days" (less harsh, but lacking focus -- slightly below his average). The last tracks (Treatment, Product Tampering, and Judas Lemmings) see more originality and some weird sound collages/TV zapping and rants. Rituals of Termination was produced on CD-R in 250 numbered copies.