Noises Of Russia
2 CD (ltd. 500)
Under the cover of the 3rd studio album of Noises Of Russia - a project which has chosen Tanatos to be their perpetual muse - there are two post-modern mysteries at once, two doors to the viscous and twilight space encyclopaedically oversaturated with the symbols of death of various traditions. The final countdown turns into a long immersion in a cold cerbal-sonic abyss where it's impossible to find out for sure if you are calmed or frightened, comforted or sneered at... if they mourn for you, a mortal, or are they glad for you, an immortal. The album also contains a ritual video for the track "Spirit", not however making the issue more clear.
Next up is a double CD by Noises Of Russia, a somewhat obscure 'group' it seems. No names, nor instruments are mentioned on the cover. If you open this in itunes, the text is all Russian, and so are the texts which are off and on mumbled into a microphone. We can merely guess what they are about (titles, in English on the cover, are 'Contemplation', 'Hate', 'Image', or 'Death Always Becomes Closer'), but no doubt life is unpleasant. This is all guided by music that is played on some analogue synthesizer (or two), bell like percussion, maybe some treated guitar. Quite depressing music. Is it bad? Not really. Is it good, then? Well, no, either. But I guess that's not the point of this music. No doubt there is something about altered states or such like about this.
Over the years, I have seen some extremely intense gigs by Noises of Russia, and heard many OK albums from them, but never one that reached the power of them live. Humility, however, is the exception - it is a next to perfect work. The band has finally gotten its “New Orthodox Line” -style into a tight package, and is now able to combine the sacred with machines, speech and confusion, noise and rhythm, in a mind-blowing way. The first disc of Humility starts slow, developing through various speech-ambient parts to the bedazzling, hypnotic Spirit. The power of that track is undeniable, and it is impossible to get bored, or even used, to it. Its video, packed as an extra on disc two, fits its strange mood really well: Men in codpieces, welding weird stuff in a metal workshop. The video is a very nice addition to the whole, also.
Disc two begins with discussion, following which there’s some shout-together and varous other stuff one isn’t used to hearing on a music album. Eventually it does form into a wonderful layer of sound, on top of which are slowly intoned texts. There are weird bits in the mix, but normally annoying material, such as animal sounds, has somehow been integrated so that it benefits the whole.
Humility is precisely what has been expected and hoped from Noises of Russia the last few years. It is brilliant madness, mad brilliance, with a dash of Orthodox harmony and a very Russian style of being strange. It is a definitive masterpiece of experimental music.
Inspired by the theme of Tanatos we here get the 3rd full length album of Noises Of Russia. This project has already been active since 2000 moving in the realms of experimental and ambient music. The 1st disc of “Humility” opens a window on a rather dark sonic perspective. Cold and dark ambient constellations lead the listener through the most deadly corners with the track “Hate” being the first highlight. This track is characterized by a great progression finally ending into a heavy sound outburst. A few spoken vocals are injecting an extra ghostlike effect to this song. “Death Always Becomes Closer” sounds like a premonitory title. The deadly vision is symbolized by a new dark exposure. Production-wise, this track is again characterized by an impressive elaboration in sound. It’s a pity we can’t understand the meaning of the Russian spoken vocals running to this track. Among the other tracks left from this disc I also highly recommend “Spirit”. This is the absolute topper of the album. The structure and progression from the song is brilliant. Some background chants and a rather slow and linear drone push the track into a more ritual style while other industrial fragments are quite fascinating. “Spirit” sounds as the apotheosis of this release! The 2nd disc is quite different and definitely less fascinating. We here get a merge of Russian dialogues finally turning over into a soundscape. The 4 tracks are creating an entity. The dialogues featured on the 2 debut cuts sound endless for non-Russians and that’s a pity as you really don’t know what they here try to express. The soundscape finally ends into a quite noisy approach revealing a more experimental side of the band. As a bonus to this DCD we also get a video of the excellent “Spirit”. It shows the dark ambient side of the project. Noises Of Russia is a project with a real potential while featuring a more ambient side next to a less fascinating experimental approach.