Chernogray - Likho [Required Rate Of Return - 2018]Likho is the third release from Russian walled noise project Chernogray- it finds two hour long examples of often dense, storm-bound, though at times layer active wall matter- presented as either a double CDR or digital download on French label Required Rate Of Return
The two CDRs appeared in a slimline double black DVD box – this features decidedly grim monochrome artwork of a bellowing & huge black monster like face, full of crude yet ghostly white teeth.The theme of this project is Slavic folklore- with this release taking its name from Likho- the embodiment of evil & bad luck, that’s often portrayed as a tall, white, and skinny witch with one eye. Sadly the two disc set is now sold-out, so your only option is now the download
Chernogray is one of the few wall noise focused projects of Sergey Pakhomov( rain Cemetery, Bitumen)- it’s seemingly been active for a year now, and as mentioned this is the projects third release after tape & digital releases- compared with Pakhomov other projects this is a lot denser, less controlled & detailed, with a more intense mix of layered textures.
The two tracks are simply titled Ëèõî. ×àñòü 1 & Ëèõî. ×àñòü 2- with each track taking up a full CDR. The first track starts with a slowly fading in burring & tumbling textural mesh, at around the five minute mark things kick-in a lot denser- with a mixture deep churning grain, skittering sweeps, gritty feast, and thinner jittering sears- the whole thing is present in a decidedly lose & shifting manner, though it’s only really the layers that move- not the intent of the wall its self. I guess at times I’d say this does go more towards wallish harsh noise- though I guess its best described as more primal wall-craft, with a particular leaning towards storm-themed HNW. The tracks certainly eventful, and there are some effective textural blends here- I just personally wish he’d dwell longer on some of these.
Moving onto the second track and this begins with a caught buffeting meets juddering grind- it’s a most effective blend that starts things off in a fine fashion. At around the five-minute mark, the textures start to seemingly tangle & blend together- initially, this was quite interesting, though it quickly started to feel a tad messy. As we move through the track the ‘walls’ here are even more active, as well as shifting in their total layout- so we go from blends of taut whipping judders & hissing bound rumble, onto deeper grainy grinds mixed with buffeting & swaying static grain, onto mixer of shill feasting hacks & sudden crisper darts. Though to mixers skittering grinds, choppy descents, and cluttering hack. Once again I liked moments here, but ultimately I felt it all seemed bits too lose & overtly shifting for my liking.
There’s no doubt that with Chernogray Pakhomov shows another facet of his noisemaking skills, and the project & Likho doesn’t really sound like any of his other projects. I certainly enjoy elements of both tracks here, and the concept behind the release is neat- just as a whole release didn’t grab me. Roger Batty