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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

Walls of Benin - Walls of Benin [Chaosynod - 2015]

Chaosynod imprint presents the debut album by HNW new-comer Walls of Benin. Available as a limited edition CD-R, the self-titled full-length (and project moniker) takes it’s inspiration from the world’s largest man-made structure: the Walls of Benin. At one time a 16,000 km chain of fortifications used a defense for the defunct Kingdom of Benin; its ruins are now found in current day Benin City, Nigeria. Ripe subject matter for wall-riding.

Walls of Benin offers 2 long slabs of nuanced HNW. Track one, “Ese oghe osa na khin,” melds a thick blanket of exhaust-like haze and crispy, static fuzz. The crispy static starts off innocuously, but builds into a more caustic crawl. The static eventually builds to a vigourous, battering-ram delivery that gets locked and loaded around 7 minutes in. A 21 minute long mesmerizing ride of drone zone.

There’s room at my place of work that houses all the computer servers. The room hums with the sound of electric pulsing; almost rhythmically if you listen intently enough. I could spend hours in that space and soak up the sonic ambiance. That noise sounds strikingly similar to the backdrop of the album’s second track. Melding with this pulsing backdrop is a steady flow of swarming static fuzz. It’s not overtly aggressive, yet far from mellow. It kind of resides in that in between space; a mid-paced static crawl. Despite not achieving full-on face-melting wall sterilization, it does manage to continue churning rapidly as a massive swarm. The static seems to dip a bit around the 7 minute mark, slowing down and getting quieter till we’re left with the hum of the backing soundscape. A thicker juddering line takes over, bassier and battering ram style in delivery. This stays fairly fixed till the tracks final minutes which peters out into humming death.

There’s such a glut of artists doing the wall thing these days that it's easy for releases to get lost in the shuffle. That said, Walls of Berlin manages to really stick out to me as a quality release in a sea of wall noise anonymity. Top-shelf HNW for sure!

Rating: 4 out of 5Rating: 4 out of 5Rating: 4 out of 5Rating: 4 out of 5Rating: 4 out of 5

Hal Harmon
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