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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

J.S.H - Thrown To The Wolves. Now Packleader [Ominous Recordings - 2017]

Thrown To The Wolves. Now Packleader offers up two hellishly thick, terminal oppressive & crushing slabs walled noise. The release comes in the form of a C60 or digital download and was released late last year on Stockholm based Ominous Recordings.

The J.S.H project started in 2012, and at that point it had an industrial/Power Electronics focus- over the years it’s morphed into more of harsh noise/ walled noise venture. Behind the project is Johan Strömvall Hammarstedt- also of Gamiani & Rien, and the owner of Ominous Recordings. On this release, the sound is very much focused towards walled noise/dense harsh noise scaping, with each of the two half an hour tracks here been as pressing & crushing as each other.

The two tracks are simply entitled I & II. So first out of the door on the side A we have "I", and this is best described as thickening mass of noise- it’s built around a very crowded & thick weave of noise textures, that are set into a completely impenetrable wall of sound. The dense mass is truly overwhelming, airless, and constricting in it’s feel- there really is zero space anywhere in the mass, and the way Hammarstedt has created the track it feels like he’s adding on more & more layers as the seconds tick by- but in reality I think there is a fairly firm & fixed structure. The ‘wall’ is a blend of sluggish & muffled low-end churnings, spiting ‘n’ hacking static splutter, mid-ranged chopping ‘n’ snapping tones, with a selection of snapping & clicking sub-tones. The track gives one the feeling of constant pressure- as if your head is either stuck in a vice, or been pressed on by a massive weight from above.  I really enjoy the sonic trick this track plays on your mind, and on the whole, it’s one of the the most intensely thick walls I’ve heard in some time.

Flipping the tape over for "II", and we get the audio equivalent of slowly thickening stream of laver. With a mix of muddy, slurred & swirling low-end, with jittering ‘n’ hacking amassed static grain. Once again Hammarstedt creates the feeling of movement within the wall, and this time the illusion is of constant-yet-never stopping thickening; but once again I believe the track is very firm & set in its structure. "II" is a worthy companion to the first sides track, and together they a make for truly crushing pair of ‘walls’.

The release came in a physical edition of fifteen copies, and at present, the label still has copies available. With each of new release I’ve heard from Hammarstedt over his three wall-ish projects, he seems to be focusing & firming up his craft, and Thrown To The Wolves. Now Packleader is another prime example of this trend. If you dig dense & crushing noise this really is something you need to check out.

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

Roger Batty
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