Skullflower Ė Fucked on a pile of corpses (CD Cold Spring)

Iíve seen mixed reviews of Matthew Bowerís latest Skullflower album so I approached it with uncertain expectationsÖ. though as soon as track 1 started playing it became fairly obvious that this was going to be a pretty special Skullflower release.

Itís short n sweet album at only 36 minutes for all seven of the tracks but thatís probably all you need. It starts off with a droning organ riff that gets hit with blasts of static and feedback for itís short two minute existence. The only disappointment being the brevity of it. This is a piece that could have gone on for a good twenty or thirty minutes with that organ droning riff developing into some sort of hypnotic mantra. But it doesnít so we then swiftly head into more (these days) familiar Bower territory with the tracks where the emphasis is heavily on guitar based sheets of white noise and static. Thatís not to say this is a one dimensional album there are small details that give it the variety that so many noise or noise rock albums lack. On Vipers Fang you get some drums bashing away in the background reminiscent in a way of an early Dead C track with perhaps a little more noise and no vocals. Anubis Station with its layer of feedback and highly distorted guitar throws in some low in the mix vocals as the noise screeches and wails itís way to the end. Tantik Ass Rape is almost like prime era analogue Merzbow. A churning rumbling low pitched noise that gets complemented by random acts of more treble sounding squeals. Itís probably the strongest track on the album. Slepnir finishes off the album with a pure full on noise rock assault on your ears with guitar riffs, pounding drums and noise by the bucket load. The density and sheer brutality of the piece making it a stunning way to finish the album.

This has to be one of the strongest Skullflower releases of recent years, the only negative is the cover art being just a two sided piece of paper rather than a booklet. But thatís just a minor quibble. DB