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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

Werewolf Jerusalem - Dead Eyes [Victimology Records - 2010]

This new release from one of Richard Ramirez's (of Black Leather Jesus, Last Rape, Vice Wears Black Hose, An Innocent Young Throat-Cutter and many other projects) most know and respected projects finds the Texan noise artists' and wall/static noise innovator celebrating the German horror/crime movies of the 1960’s  which are jointly called "Krimi" and are seen as the German equivalent to Italian Giallo movies.

On offer here are two full length albums and each celebrates a different single Krimi moive in typical Werewolf Jerusalem textured static and walled noise form. Before we get onto the sonics on offer on each disc here, its worth mentioning the great and pro-looking packaging which must be one of the brightest and colourful Werewolf Jerusalem releases I’ve seen thus far. The two pro-labelled cdrs come in a DVD sized case, and on either outside side of the case is reproduction of each colour and macabre original film poster for the two films covered here: 1961’s The Dead eyes of London and 1964’s The Phantom of Soho. Inside the case along with the discs is a pro printed colour A5 inlay sheet which features a picture of Ramirez manipulated his peddles and the tracks details. There’s also two nice pro-printed Werewolf Jerusalem stickers too.

So let’s move on the discs themselves first up we "The Dead Eyes of London" which takes it’s influence/ name from the 1961 movie of the same name which was directed Alfred Vohrer(who directed a number of “Krimi" movies), and the plot follows the tale of several wealthy, heavily insured men that are  being murdered at an alarming rate. Scotland Yard investigates and finds clues leading them to a ring of blind men, led by a mysterious reverend. On offer here is single forty seven minute track which finds Ramirez’s boiling up this very urgent and battering wall of noise which kicks straight in from the start and doesn’t let-up or break it’s brutality until it ends. The ‘walls’ built around these two or three rapid, boiling and circling tones- one has quite a locked billowing to juddering or liquid rush feel to it; while the other has more hissing/ roasting texture to it. These two(or three) elements are fed out into a truly searing and inescapable wall of brutal texturing. I guess the track nicely captures the feeling of  raging and blind killing machines….which of course the movies killers are meant to be.

Disc number two is entitled "The Phantom of Soho" and it takes it’s name/ influence from the 1964 film of the same name which was directed by Franz Josef Gottlieb. And the plot of the movie tells of  two Scotland Yard detectives who are investigating several murders which have taken place near a Soho nightclub. They soon discover the murders are been carried out by a  hooded killer in a grisly skull mask, who is killing off the survivors from a shipwrecked boat. The track on this disc comes in at a slightly longer fifty six minutes, and it all starts off in quite an odd and weird fashion with ten seconds or so of this really strangle guttural and slowed down speaking texture. After this strange intro we jump into the ‘wall’ which finds Ramirez building an clearly defined two texture  sonic noise structure which finds a mid-pace jitter ‘n’ juddering tone been mixed with a lower and thinner tone whirling ‘n’ muffed grain texture. This track feels a bit more creepy and eerier around the edges compaired with the first disc, though it’s still damn brutal. At the ten minute mark it nicely drop downs to just a slightly hissing ‘n’ spooky single static ambient noise tone trail, but by the twelve minute the wall kicks back in once more, but  it’s seemingly more static feasting and hissing with locked jitter ‘n’ judder tendencies then it was before, and  there’s also less separation between the two tones.  In the last few minutes we drop down into the weird guttural and slowed down speaking textures for a few seconds, then it’s over.  All told it’s a rewarding enough track/ album, and I like the weird and surprising elements…though on the whole it’s not as Moorish and enjoyable as the first track/album

So all in all another worthy, brutal yet sometimes creepily atmospheric release from one of Mr Ramirez more respected and know projects, with both discs and artwork being presented in a nicely bright yet morbidly arty and pro manner.

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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