Merzbow Dharma

Four tracks of eardrum-wrecking, speaker-rattling noise that will send your stereo well into the red, if not blow the speakers outright. Merzbow has been prolifically releasing material for several years and has attained something of a cult following, even though his albums tend to be hit and miss as a result of being such an uninhibited spewer. I am not certain what the sample sources for Dharma are - the liner notes make mention of a blow torch, an alarm bell, egg shells and videogame drones - but the piece is so ambiguously written that it could be the mere poetics. Dharma is harsh and piercing, but thankfully the recording has been mastered well enough for the listener to appreciate the sonic textural gradations at a safe volume. To my ears, this recording sounds like a fierce laser battle set in the vacuum of space, accompanied by much carnage - ideal for walking through abandoned industrial districts to heighten the post-apocalyptic feel. If the listener is open-minded enough and willing to engage Merzbow in the right headspace, they may find Dharma enjoyable. (Hydra Head)