This is a mutated, corrupted, experimental release that incorporates all manner of guitars, electronics, keyboards, noises, violins, bongos, harmonicas, and much, much more into its aborted embrace.
Okay, but is it any good? This is the question. As with all things, it depends on your perspective. If you are partial to a bit of the more experimental, murky side of extreme music you’ll have one view, whereas if you prefer a much more traditional delivery in your music then you’ll have another.
I’m not a huge fan of this kind of thing in many ways, as there’s usually not enough percussion on them for my liking. Having said that, I can still appreciate when it’s done well. They key to it for me is the development of involving soundscapes; the artist has to accomplish this, rather than just seemingly scraping together a mess of different noises and calling it music. Unfortunately a lot of noise/industrial groups seem to do the latter rather than the former.
All of which is a rather long-winded way of saying, I suppose, that this release does indeed mainly fall into the former camp; it wouldn’t have made it to the review stage otherwise.
The explorations on this release have shape and form, building and morphing over time into something that the listener feels a part of, even when it’s of a less than welcoming style. Percussive elements do also appear here and there on the album, which is something that always enhances my appreciation and enjoyment of this kind of thing tenfold.
This is a noise/drone concoction that’s surprisingly easy-listening in some respects. Upon pressing play the music takes you off into its dark world of urban blight and catastrophic end times, lulling you with electronic whispers and static cries, urging you to leave the real world behind and delve into the underworld of decaying cities and forgotten industrialisation.
This, along with the recent monstrous collaboration between Boris and Merzbow, has restored some of my faith in what is, for me, a very hit-or-miss genre. Experimental noise/drone and I will always have somewhat of a rocky relationship, but for the moment at least, groups like Gridfailure are reminding me of how it can be done in an enjoyable way.