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 Review archive:  # a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z

Various HNW Artists - Buio Omega [Urashima - 2010]

“Buio Omega” is a plush yet grim two C40 HNW tribute to the uncomfortable and nasty 1984 Joe D'Amato movie of the same name that told the story of a young man and his necrophilic love for his dead and stuffed girlfriend. Taking part  here we have: Italian Alo Girl( aka Cristiano Renzoni who is also in An Innocent Young Throat-Cutter with Richard Ramirez and runs the excellent Urashima label), American White Plague which features Sam Stoxen(of Baculum, ...Massacre. Grain Belt and of courses runner of the great Phage tapes) and his girlfriend Angie Ridgeway. Harsh Noise and HNW US act Churner and  Blacked US wall maker Foul.

This is the first tape release by the Urashima label, which usually specialize in vinyl pressings. And they really have pulled out all the stops to create a really pulse yet grim bit of packaging for the two tapes. The two tapes come in a deep oversized cd style thick black box which features a cut out murderous still from the movie on the middle front middle of the box lid, and when you open up the box inside lid you find a silver ink printed logo of the label.  Before you get to the tapes there’s a false card bottom in the box which holds in a small square opening two badgers; one featuring the Urashima label logo and  one featuring another bloody still from the movie. Pulling out the false bottom you find the two tapes in a cellophane sleeve  with a card  backing. Underneath this is a black ink on black card inlay that features the track details on one side,  and on the other side the Urashima logo and it’s hand number. Also there's a very bloody full colour mini flyer of a  gory poster from the movie that features a body been melted in a bath of acid. Topping the packaging off each black tape features a colour wrap around mini label that features a picture of the skull that floats to the top in the acid scene bath scene. So a very grim, but arty and  well thought out bit of packaging.

So onto the equally grim and blood splattered sonics inside, each act takes up a side of tape a piece, and offers up a single twenty track of dark and bloody HNW that’s their own individual tribute to D'Amato’s disturbing movie. First up we have Alo Girl’s “Beyond The Darkness” and after a brief Italian dialogue clip from the movie the track drops into a ultra muffled and nasty noise wall that’s a quite fast moving mixture of juddering static muffle and buried lower toned static jittering. As the track progresses it remains fairly fixed and thick in structure, yet it does effectively thin out in its juddering here and there making you think it might draw to a blood stop, but it never does. The ‘wall’ wraps around you like a blood sodden blanket blocking out all hope, and putting you in quite a queasy state as it nicely recreates the film sleazy and unpleasant air.

Onto the second side and we have White Plague’s “You Will Die” and this track is about a more defined and roasting mid-pace mix of juddering and rapid hacking static subtones that seem to become more prominent as the track goes on. Again the tracks very thick and unforgiving in it’s structure, yet it seems there’s this building tension and urgency with in the wall as it seems to get more panicked and ramped-up as it goes along. But of course this could all be a trick of the mind and the ‘wall’ is pretty much unmovable- which ever it is it makes for an effective and on-a-knife-edge type of vibe. The track brings to mind one of the couple of sexualized, then brutal and bloody attacks the films main character carries out on a few of the female victims in the movie.


Onto the second tape and on side one we have Churner's lengthily tilted “Grieve / Jealousy / Lactate Erotic / Anna”. This is the longest track at just over the twenty minute mark, and it’s sadly one of the more disappointing moments here. It’s the start of the track that lets things down, which is a pity as latter on it recovers but sadly you never fully forget the bad start. Basically for the first two minutes of the track  finds Churner playing this awful low-grade church organ tune that sounds deeply amateurish and painful; quite why this is here in the track I’m not sure, but I'm guess it’s meant to be atmospheric though it just comes off as been very annoying. As I’m sure long term readers of M[M] are aware I have a soft spot for Churner’s work in genreal, but this beginning is truly terrible and unforgivable. Anyway thankfully things do improve after this and Churners spins out this thick weave of muffled, battered and roar noise matter. I guess you could call it just HNW, but to my mind it’s a bit to active and shifting for that label I guess it’s best described as airless and suffocating thick noise texturing. As we move into the eighth minute it seems to become more rumbling and roaring in a muffled manner, sort of what you might hear if you where been held under water in a bath as the taps are put on full pelt. There’s also these great creepy and violent tones that keep swimming through the swamp of sound that bring to mind slowed and evil male moans. The last six or so minutes find Churner become more 'wall' like in the use of tight, throbbing and locked walls of noise tone, but it still thins out ever so often for those weird & pained moaning elements.

So lastly onto side three and we have Foul’s track “Iris”, and this is a rather pleasingly nasty ‘wall’ that’s built around droning and drilling judder that's skipped over by smaller and thinner sounding static grain. Foul propels the track along at a fair pace, and I really like the way he weaves the droning bleakness with the more painful yet controlled static skips. Later on the track gets more dirty and weathered as the skipping static seems to form  into more of a suffocating web over the battering and trying to escape droning judder. All in all it’s a great slice of ‘wall making’ and it once more nicely conjures up the films sleazed, perverse and unwell edge.

So really this is a near faultless collection of tracks that pay tribute to one of the most disturbing and unsettling horror movies of all time. All packaged in fittingly grim yet plush manner- lets hope this wont be the last foray into tapes from Urashima, as this is something very special indeed.

Rating: 4 out of 5Rating: 4 out of 5Rating: 4 out of 5Rating: 4 out of 5Rating: 4 out of 5

Roger Batty
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