Clive Henry - Perpetual Endtimes [Palinopsia Recordings - 2017]Perpetual Endtimes is a C40/ digital download featuring two slices of searing, terminally bleak, yet at times quite progressive walled noise from this respected British noisemaker. And I’m reviewing the cassette version of the release.
The plain black & unlabeled tape comes in a clear plastic case, and this features a monochrome sleeve. The front cover takes in a stark picture of a group of people holding up a black flag at a barren shoreline. And then we get typewriter text against a black background, for the release title, the track listing, and minimal info. The tape came in an edition of 18 copies, and as of this review, the label still has copies left.
On side A we have “What Can You Build, That Does Not Fall?”. The track opens up with scowling 'n' caustically seared blend of scarp, forking & scrubbing mid-to-high ranged noise texturing. This is underpinned by wavering, slurred, and doomed bass drags. At around the five & a half minute mark things pare back briefly, with the more scowling elements departing. These are replaced by a wavering & slightly tone oscillating low-end bass drag, and over the top of this we get , at first just a jittering ‘n’ chopping murky phaser texture. Then as we press on more detailed selection of mid-range scrubbing ‘n’ scrapping, dragging grain jitters, and the occasional forking texture. This is one hell of nasty-to-brooding track, with Mr. Henry moving expertly from manic & seared, though to the sinister & building.
Moving onto side B & we have “When Will Ants Write A History Of Humans?”. This track starts with a fading in blend of deep roasting ‘n’ skittering static. And to me, it rather brought to mind the rise of the first hazy dawn after mankind has finally nuked it’s self out- with a sickly grey & pink horizons stretching off as far as the eye can see. As the track moves on the roast seems to become tighter & more circular drone-like in it’s tunneling like feel. With the skittering top layer also become tauter sounding akin to the sonic form of constantly rolling & flicking mass of barbwire. In the last quarter, the feel of the roast has become a lot more burrowing & bleakly tunneling in its feel, and this nicely deepens the feel of stark terminal bleak-ness. This sides track is a nice follow-up to nasty- then-brooding feel of the first side tracks, and this really does feel like the end of the world. It’s just a great slice of doomed & tensely grinding wall-craft.
Perpetual Endtimes is mostly certainly damn bleak & seared throughout, but as we’ve come to expect from Mr. Henry it’s very masterfully tooled & presented. Another highlight from one of the more creative figures working within the wall noise scene.Roger Batty