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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

Zenith - Chain [Slow Death Records - 2011]

Zenith is a Wisconsin, USA  based HNW act who makes hypnotic and brutal walled noise from VCR recordings, which are fed through several tape recorders to create layered feedback loops. “Chain” offers up two rather different versions of the near on forty minute title track- one master and one unmastered.

Up first we have the mastered version of the track which comes in at thirty eight minutes, and it finds Zenith creating this very meaty, purring and high-end screeching lined 'wall' of very moorish and original sounding HNW. The  ‘wall’ is built around a thick and impenetrable mixture of  juddering, crude and motor purring bass bound noise textures, and high pitched screeching/revolving wheel like textures. Over the tracks near on forty minute run time the listener gets pulled deeper and deeper into the ‘wall’, with Zenith creating some great and addictive maps of low ‘n’ high pitched walled matter.

The second unmastered track really is a lot more lo-fi, blown-out and nasty then the first track, it also seems slightly slower too. The bass judder/motor brutal purr is much more mono-tone and crusty. The high end screeching element is still present in the 'wall' from the start, but it’s seemingly compacted and thinned out to a wispy whine. As the track moves towards the ten minute mark the high-end screech seems to get more pronounced and grating in its feel, and by the fifteen minute mark it’s really grating and wheel like, as the bass judder part of the ‘wall’ seems to get really down ‘n’ dirty in it’s sludge brutal wonder.


“Chain” my first taster of Zenith’s work, and I must say I'm very impressed by both ‘walls’ here, with each ‘wall’ here presenting quite a different and brutal take on the original source material. So yet another HNW act I now want to hear more of, and another great releases on the excellent French HNW label Slow Death Records.

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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