Werewolf Jerusalem - The Nightmares [4iB Records - 2018]The Nightmares is a recent CD release from HNW/static noise legend Werewolf Jerusalem- the discs takes in seven tracks, and has a runtime of forty-eight minutes. The sound here is very much darkly atmospheric wall-craft, with a few dips into more dense & dark ambient waters.
The disc comes in a clear case jewel case- and this features murky & inversed pictures of rundown or abandoned houses. On both the inside of the four-page sleeve and the behind CD cover we get a poem/ selection of prose from someone called Joseph Burton Brunk III, the piece is entitled Subconscious- and deals with bleak dreams, loss & self-doubt. The release comes in a most scene generous edition of 200 copies- so you should easily be able to pick a copy of this up.
Werewolf Jerusalem started in 2000, and is one the main/ key projects of highly respected & influential US noise maker Richard Ramirez. Over the years this project has released a truly huge body of work- and at present discogs lists seven pages of releases. The project has often focused in more on the horror-themed side of things, and The Nightmares very much follows this traditional with Ramirez offering up an album that moves from dense-yet-chilling wall-craft, sudden pared back static texturing, weird screams & eerier texturing.
The album opens with the longest track here “Did You See or Hear”, and this begins with a unsettling reverb mesh of screams. Then we're into the 'wall' this sees a rapid, ripping yet extremely atmospheric slice of noise matter, that brings together a tense & edgy blend of muffled & hazed bass rush, rattling & hammering mid-ranged descents, and hacking static texturing. Together these elements create a raging, yet slightly shifting noise storm that’s very much underfed by cloying eerier-ness- to me it felt akin to wandering around an abounded house, as the autumnal light fades, and a battering storm appears from nowhere leaving you stranded.
Later on, the track "Blackbirds"( featuring elements from A Week Of Kindness) finds a slightly jumping- yet- taut line of cable ripped juddering noise, fed under by a very mood & unsettling blend of weird amassed ghostly like chatters, springing & cluttering high pitched industrial texturing, and sudden loader grinds & wails. And the second to last track “The Phantoms Farmhouse” certainly stands of one the stand-out moment’s here- as the near twelve & half minute track sees a thick backdrop of blunt churnings, muffled skittering static grains, and swirling/ droned reverb. Over the top of this Ramirez adds the occasional snippets of either extremely hazed & muffled voice chatter, droned out industrial forks, and circling swam’s churning rattle.
The Nightmares is primed perfectly for those looking for highly atmospheric & skillful created wall matter. And it’s an album ideal for this autumnal time of year, either as a soundtrack to read spooky tales to, go for creepy pre-dusk walks in the foreboding forest, or just general unsettling oneself to.Roger Batty