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Scarlet Diva - To Sleep And Wake Unafraid [Self release - 2021]

To Sleep And Wake Unafraid is a two-track example of tautly tense ‘n’ churningly atmospheric walled noise from this New Jersey-based project. The release originally appeared late last year as a C30/ digital release on Detroit based Anti-Androgen Records- then got a digital release from the artist early on this year.

The cover artwork is an effective blend of beauty and the murderously ghoulish unsettlement- as we get a picture of what seems to be a just dead woman, with blood spray and a single fly on her cheek.  The Scarlet Diva project has seemingly been active since 2020- with just over thirty releases to its name thus far. Behind the project is New Jersey-based noise maker Thomas Puopolo (Black Leather Jesus, Fistfuck, Celebrity Sex, etc).
 
Each of the two tracks here slides in at the fourteen minutes and forty-seven seconds mark- with them simply titled I and II.  "I" finds a constantly unreeling blend of tightly weaved and descending static spit ‘n’ spat, grainy feast, and mid-range crackle bound noise. The ‘wall’ largely remains very firm and fixed in its oppressive churn and tangle- though we do get two examples of weird/sudden tone pitch sustains at just shy of the eight-minute mark. The way Puopolo blends and mixes the layers together is both nicely detailed and nuanced, though neither of these thankfully take away from the oppressive and contracting feasting of the ‘wall’ as a whole.
 
"II" brings together a muddy and trudging low end, and a churning ‘n’ chugging hiss. The low-end is nicely lumpy and weighty in its awkward flow, while the hiss feels persistent and tensely pressing its attack. Together both of these textures create a most appealing and entrancing ‘wall’, with the low end seemingly get muddier and slowing as it progresses, and the hiss getting more speeding/ blurring- though I think both of these shifts are a trick of the ‘wall’. 
 
 
Just like any other sonic genre walled noise releases often utilize similar types of tones and textures- with formulaic/ predictable structure. So, it’s always nice to hear artists that are trying something different/ fairly unique within the wall noise form, and that’s exactly what we find with To Sleep And Wake Unafraid.  Both tracks feature an interesting blend of textures and an expertly mixed wall, that is both atmospherically tense and rewardingly oppressive. I very much look forward to checking out more of Mr Puopolo work shortly!.

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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