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Chier - The Method Is The Madness [Altar Of Waste - 2019]

The Method Is The Madness appeared back in May of 2017 and was a five CDR box set from this prolific and often creative French walled noise project. The sets main theme/ influence is photographer Lauren Simonetti- who creates very eerier & darkly unsettling photo work- each CDR comes in their own DVD sized case, and these come inside a white card box. The cases & the box takes in examples of Ms. Simonetti photo work- with the ‘walls’ nicely fitting the photo work as it’s often brooding, lo-fi, and unsettling creative in its feel.

Chier is a one-man project from Toulouse, and it started off around 2015. For the first few years of its existence it was seemingly releasing numerous releases each month, and while its release schedule has slowed in the last year or so, the project is still a respected name with-in the euro wall scene.
 
The tracks here last between fourteen & fifty-two minutes- with two ‘walls’ per CDR. Each disc has it’s own sub-title, and the first disc is entitled Bent- the artwork for this one is a high angled black sheet covered staircase with two dead looking pair legs on the top step. Kicking off this first disc we have the just over twenty minutes of “I”- here we get a rapid, though highly dread soaked blend of constantly rushing grey low-end drone noise, that's topped with layers shuffling dead-air mids & thinner popping ‘n’ juddering static. The track nicely sets the grim tone of the rest of the set. The other track on disc one is "II"- and this takes up the lion share of the disc at the fifty-two & a half minute mark- this is another moody, though slightly more weathered ‘wall’ which brings together a mixture of thinner buffeting & ghostly scaping texturing, with a top layer of aged vinyl-like snap, crackle, and pop- this ‘wall’ has a most effective sort of disorientating 3D quilty about it- and it’s often difficult to stay focused on both textures at the same time, and when you do manage to do this we get really effective fake audio patterns appearing- when in reality there are none, and it’s a set bit of wall-craft.
 
Disc two is entitled Chaos In The God- and on this cover, we get a picture of two grey & white blurred/ smudged figures sitting on a throne together in a murky room- this rather brought to mind the work of Frances Bacon. The  first track is the just over twenty-five & a half minutes of "III"- here we find a nicely tight & reduced down ‘wall’- which sees the bringing together flowing-yet-slight rattle bound hiss, and two lines of compressed static gritting that’s fixed in scraping and worming feel. The next track is "IV"- and once again this is another longer track, that comes in at the forty five minute mark. This ‘wall’ is a lot denser & less defined bringing together a faint muddly rattling, that’s topped by churning ‘n’ snapping smaller grains of noise- again this had an effectively unbalancing feel, and you feel like you’ve been pulled into the detail storm rush storm of it.

 
The third disc is entitled Here There Be Monsters- the cover photo here is of an armless figure with its head wrapped in a curtain sat against a floral-like victorian wallpaper on an ornate wooden chair. "V" comes in at thirty minutes and fifteen second mark- here we get a thick and deeper rushing ‘wall' built around layers of similar-sounding popping ‘n’ roasting noise, throughout the track it feels like there is a feeling of awkward slightly pettering out occurring continual, so you keep thinking it may pare back or slow, but it never does. "VI" is a forty-four-minute affair- and it’s quite a detailed, almost 3d like 'wall' which sees skipping & rattling static, and a muffled industrial-like undercarriage.    
 
Moving onto disc four and this is entitled Hell Uninvited- the cover for this one is extreme sparse just featuring a distant skull-like face in the connor of a stark room, and a thick black & key on a string on the other side of the picture.  "VII" is just shy of the twenty-eight minute- and here we get a decidedly busy- yet ghoulish ‘wall’ built around lots of smaller snaps, pops & rips- from time-to-to time the whole thing nicely pares/ thins back for more subtle grim texturing. In my mind, this track brought to mind either shambling & rotting undead walking through a slow-yet-chill autumn rainstorm, or a ton of maggots that have just been throw on a pile of dried-out corpse- feasting their way through to try & find semi-moist meat.
"VII" carriers on nicely with the creepy/ feasting type vibe- this just under fifty minute track finds the pairing of extreme struck & distant ambient droning, with thinner layer of fiddling, rustling & feast noise matter- later on we get a more firm & defined layer of jittering static rising, but the creepy factor still remains. Here I get very much a hiding inside a creepy/ rundown house in the dead of winter vibe, as the cloth sack curtains get lightly buffeted & lashed by the stinging rain that’s half water & half ice. Over its length, this track really does generally creepy one out, and I don’t think I'd want to play this out & about at nighttime on my own.
 
The firth and final disc here is entitled The Baby And The Bathwater- and for this cover, we get a really unsettling photo of a shadowy Christ-like figure holding a battered baby doll over a grimy bucket. First up we have "IX", and this slides in at just under the fourteen & a half minute mark- here we have find a blend of buzzing grain play, which is topped by a layer of constantly bucking & snapping static play. This tracks ok, and if this was on any other ‘wall’ release I’d be most impressed- but it just doesn’t seem the same level of creativity & craftsmanship about it, compared to the other tracks of this set.
"X" is the final track here, and it rolls in at just shy of the forty-five & a half minute mark- and here we’re once again back deep in creepy unsettlement. The ‘wall’ starts out with this very muffled droning ringing tone- which maybe some form of modified church bells. Over the top of this rapidly rubbing & scoring texture, which is once again very hollow & faint in its attack. At around the eighteen-minute mark the now very much more busy rubbing & scoring has died back, and we’re left with this stark ringing drone- by around the twenty-first minute an uneven & extremely muffled jitter has kicked in with this cruel & hazed feast type vibe, as if it’s living rot that’s trying to eat away the rest of the track. So a nicely subtly shifting ‘wall’ that packs a nice uneasy edge.
 
 
In finish The Method Is The Madness is another very high quilty wall noise boxset from this respected French project- that once again highlights Chier skill for both creative noise texturing, clever textural control, and often deep in your boots creep-ness. This release came in an edition of just 12 copies, so it’s unlikely you’ll score a copy of this now…but you never know as I know from time-to-time AOW still have copies of older titles left, though I can’t clarify this at moment as the label's shop is down.                   

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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