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Dissecting Table - Zigoku [Nihilist - 2017]

Ichiro Tsuji's seminal industrial project, Dissecting Table, should need no introduction to readers of Musique [Machine]. One of Japan's longest running industrial acts, Dissecting Table has a mile long discography, all of which is worth checking out. 1992's Zigoku, his much heralded third release, has been remastered by Tsuji, and re-released on vinyl by Andy Ortmann's Nihilist label.

Cinematic and often times sparse, Zigoku is a lot more restrained than Dissecting Table's later, noisier releases. This definitely works in the album's favor, as each piece of the arrangement is given the attention it deserves, and Zigoku can flourish and shower the listener with industrial gifts. Oft times feeling like an alternative score for Tetsuo: The Iron Man, Zigoku nicely stitches together looser pieces of drums, synthesizers, screams, and various noises to form a sort of industrial quilt. While some of the synth lines sound a bit hokey to the modern ear, they still work very well within the confines of Zigoku as a whole, and really add to the cinematic quality of the overall work. Not all sparse and atmospheric, Dissecting Table ups the industrial ante toward the end of the album, with frantic, chase-worthy synth lines that increase the tension of the album. This opens the door for Tsuji to showcase his patented brand of synth groove, junk bell accented, noise laden industrial terror. The dancing arpeggios writhe in a sea of noise over propulsive synths while Tsuji's distorted vocals anchor the album firmly in the metallic murk. Having "Nindoufujousou" and "Unkamusho" placed at this point in the album really adds to the preceding tracks, and speaks again to Tsuji's restraint. Building atmosphere and tension is very important, and Zigoku has it in spades.

Legendary Japanese industrial project Dissecting Table has a vast and impressive discography. His third album, Zigoku, is often cited as one of his best, if not one of the best in Japanese industrial history. Combining familiar aspects of Dissecting Table's pummeling sound with a more sparse and cinematic approach, Zigoku ups the atmosphere while keeping the listener grooving.

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

Paul Casey
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