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Death Jenk - Self Titled [Phage Tapes - 2012]

Death Jenk is an American harsh noise all-star band comprising members of Custodian, Gnawed and Grain Belt, apparently formed in 2010 during a tour. Knowing the aforementioned bands it's easy to imagine what to expect: nothing less than classic, massive, messy American harsh noise in the vein of Macronympha, Skin Crime or Black Leather Jesus.

From start to finish this untitled album is pure, no-bullshit, ear shredding, fist-pumping and muscular harsh noise. Obsessive distorted loops, metal junk bashing, guttural screams and obnoxious microphone feedback interlace perfectly in four big chunks of sound: two untitled "studio" sessions and two live tracks. Death Jenk seldom interrupt the stream of noise with tiny bits of silence, giving the pieces a weird fragmented pace. The panning and juxtaposition of various layers of noise work really well and it's almost like having the harsh noise version of an orchestra. The sound is quite clear despite being rough and simple, and all the "instruments" are easily recognizable to the trained ear. Vocals are mostly unintelligible and heavily distorted, but from what I gather they're usual hateful rants that fit well with the extremely aggressive music.

As I already mentioned, feedback and metal junk abuse are the main ingredients here. The result, even if the tracks do sound "refined",  is very barbaric: these guys like to keep it simple, basic and nasty. It's definitely the sound of joyful reveling in harsh noise masturbation, perpetrated for about fifty minutes.

The two live tracks are obviously a bit dirtier than the others, but maintain the same strength and approach. The silences sound weird and give the impression that the tracks were edited in some way, but it doesn't matter and supposedly it's just Custodian fucking around with the mixer. Black Sabbath did it before anyway.

In conclusion, if you like harsh noise you'll love this. Take a bit of  "Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania", sprinkle it with a mountain of rusty pieces of metal and a bit of screamed vocals, and you'll come close to this mammoth of a CD. I enjoyed it a lot and frankly I can't wait for more!  This kind of stuff is exactly what I love about American harsh noise.

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

Nicola Vinciguerra
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