Nikudorei - Chain of Evil Dead [Dotsmark - 2008]
In 2008, unhinged Japanese noise rockers Nikudorei unleashed a righteous neanderthal roar in the form of "Chain of Evil Dead", a short disk containing a single 18 minute track. From the sound of it, it's a live recording, and it both captures this group at peak intensity and covers significant sonic ground.
The track begins with a groovy and infectious three minute rhythmic invocation for distorted bass and rastafarian hip hop chant (possibly sampled). Though there is a coherent musical form to this section, it already feels a lot like noise music due to the low fidelity recording that adds a layer of thick analog fuzz to the proceedings, sounding not dissimilar to old live recordings of Throbbing Gristle, or Merzbow's cassette releases from the 80's.
The other 15 minutes are an almost supernaturally unrestrained purge, sounding a bit like particularly chaotic power electronics at first with some ugly, shattered feedback tones and snarling vocals. From here, the density of sound increases considerably, and a drummer can be heard feverishly hammering into fill after fill. Big, dirty swells of bass amp feedback allow the wall of noise to congeal into a heavy cloud of grime. The screaming vocalist never lets up, but now struggles to be heard over the din. Tearing and scraping sheet metal noise caterwauls somewhere near the back of the soundspace. The band's goal is clearly to submit to chaos as completely as possible, and they absolutely succeed, reaching a strange sort of trance state around the 12 minute mark, at which point a large, rounded tone from the bass solidifies into a drone and provides wonderful counterpount to the manic, nonsensical patterns coming from the other noisemakers.
The oddest moment on the disk comes in the final minute, when the sound thins away completely, leaving only a muddy bass riff and an anthemic classic rock-styled shouted vocal like an odd blend of Andrew W.K. and "Heavy Rocks" era Boris. This abruptly drops off and the disk ends.
If ever one wonders at the source of Nikudorei's deep anguish, they should just take a peak inside the insert. Three horned bullgod Satan towers above the mugs of George W. Bush, Kim Jong Il and other world leaders surrounded by piles and piles of money. Below them are two scantily clad bimbos with gored skulls for faces, all over a backdrop of explosions and wreckage. It's horrifying, but indisputable and powerful imagery.
So Nikudorei has packed about as much politically conscious rage into 18 minutes as is humanly possible. "Chain of Evil Dead" is a disk so sincere it has reduced me to tears. Anyone who listens to noise for catharsis best give this group a listen, as they are as spirited as pioneers like C.C.C.C. ever were. I would jump at the chance to see them liveJosh Landry