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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

Burial Ground - Disembodied [Worthless Recordings - 0000]

“Disembodied” is a two c45 set that brings together two tapes worth of haunted house movie themed HNW from this La Crosse, Wisconsin based project.

The two separate cassette tapes come in a cardboard slip sleeve together, and each tape features as it’s sleeve  poster artwork from the movies that each tape is themed around.  Tape one is themed around the haunted house  classic The Haunting- this 1963 film was directed by Robert Wise(The Day the Earth Stood Still, The Sound Of Music, The Andromeda Strain). The film told of a doctor, doing research to prove the existence of ghosts, investigates Hill House, a large, eerie new England mansion with a lurid history of violent death and insanity. With him are the sceptical young Luke, who stands to inherit the house, the mysterious and clairvoyant Theodora and the insecure Eleanor, whose psychic abilities make her feel somehow attuned to whatever spirits inhabit the old mansion. As time goes by it becomes clear that they have gotten more than they bargained for as the ghostly presence in the house manifests itself in horrific and deadly ways. The film is seen as a atmospheric horror masterpiece, and many of the films cinematic  approaches have become key to most future haunted house movies.

The second tape is themed around Burnt Offerings- a 1976 haunted house movie that featured Oliver Reed and Karen Black as summer caretakers for a gothic house, which slowly but surely drives them to madness & beyond. Again the film is thought of as one of the better examples of the haunted house genre, and it’s one of the more respected films of American TV/ movie director Dan Curtis(The night Stalker, Dark Shadows).


So enough about the packaging/ themes, lets move onto the tapes themselves.  So first up we have The Haunting tape, and each side of this features a single side long track. The first side starts with a sample from the movie with a creepy male voice over talking about Hill house, before the noise kicks in at just around the 45 second mark.  The dense & truly unrelenting ‘wall’ on offer here is built around a mixture of huge billowing ‘n’ battering noise tones that are underfed by a thick rushing flow of  static noise grains. The track feels like your in the middle of a huge fixed winter storm that seems  enclose you with it’s circular rage. The billow ‘n’ battering tones shift slightly from time to time(at times into an almost compressing manner), but the rushing noise grain texture remains very much fixed & unrelenting.  The ‘wall’ has a nice monochrome feel to it that fits nicely films the black & white visuals, and the constantly raging vibe suggests the houses inner raging spirits. On the whole it’s an acceptable bit of ‘wall-making’, but it’s not the best work I’ve heard from this project, as I found it rather starting to drag around the mid-way point

The second side of tape one starts with a dialogue sample from the movie with two female characters talking about that no one will come to house at night-time, then with-in a minute we’re into the noise. This ‘wall’ is a little more focused & brutal in it’s attack than the first side track- it’s built around a truly intense & rapid bass bound noise judder that has smaller vibrating & rattling sub-tones around it.  I really like the urgent & un-batting power of this track, and it really gives one the feel of been rapidly flung about a  room by some brutal yet unseen force. This is certainly one of my favourite  of the four ‘walls’ on offer on this two tape set.


Moving onto the second Burnt Offering themed tape, and once again this features two side long tracks. The first side starts off with a emotional dialogue between Reed & Black, after he’s attacked their son in the swimming pool. We kicking into the noise at around the 40 second mark. This ‘wall’ is another very violent & nerve shredding bit of wall-making that’s built around a very rapid & aggressive bass bound judder, which is surrounded by smaller jittering ‘n’ shaking noise textures. At times it feels like the tones are trying to desperately race each other, & the whole thing very nicely captures the whole disturbing and panicked scene where Reed gets possessed by the houses spirits & starts trying drown his son in the swimming pool.

The second sides track once again starts with another dialogue sample of Black & Reed talking about leaving the house. Then at just past the minute twenty mark we thrown into the ‘wall’ which is another huge & violent slices of walled noise. It’s built around a rapid galloping bass texture that is under sliced by these long scrapping & semi cluttering noise sub-tones. To me it felt like the audio equivalent of being dragged along a rough pot hole filled road by a horse & carriage.  There’s also this rather neat dip ‘n’ darting feel with in the ‘walls’ structure which gives the feeling almost three dimensional audio battering. This track is also the most active textural wise of the four ‘walls’, as quite often the sub-tones switch from cluttering, rattling & rapid tumbling- through the bass tone remains  fairly fixed.                   .

This tape comes in a slightly large edition than many HNW release with a edition of 50 copies, so all been well if you dig violent, intense  yet atmospheric walled noise you still should be able to get hold of this. That said Burial Ground is rapidly turning into one the more popular & sort after HNW projects, so if your after a copy of this it’s best to get it sooner than later.

Rating: 3 out of 5Rating: 3 out of 5Rating: 3 out of 5Rating: 3 out of 5Rating: 3 out of 5

Roger Batty
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