Cherry Point Black Witchery

[PacRec; 2006]

Rating: 2.5/5

Styles: harsh noise
Others: John Wiese, Prurient, Damion Romero

There’re only so many times you can reinvent the wheel, and I’m getting so tired of reviewing same-sounding harsh noise CD-Rs that I can’t even think of a better cliché to use. BLLLLEEEERRRRRGGG SCREECH BLECH. The majority of artists who make these records sound great live, but on record they sound as if they are creating the same song over and over again. This is not to say these artists are lazy. Most of them weave intricate sound embroideries and have dedicated fanbases of listeners who will respect the intricacies within the brocades. This is simply stating that I, S. Kobak, am tired of putting BLLLEEEEAAARRRGGGG BANG SCREECH into words. It’s not that I am becoming lazy. It’s just getting to the point where the John Weises and Sloguns are getting outnumbered by faceless drone clones that do not deserve the energy required to transfer their abstract musical methodology into coherent sentences about sound.

Cherry Point almost make the shortlist. “Devil’s Witch,” one of the three compositions on Black Witchery, deserves intense scrutiny. Originally released on a CD-R for Audiobot, the arrangement is a heady adventure. An excursion into darklands, the piece moves through landscapes with a buzzing drone underscore as a vehicle. The 20-minute sound picture begins with the buzz and an over-layer of high-pitched rat-like sounds and guitar feedback crescendos. The creepiness builds as the journey lengthens. Sound layers stack until chaos ensues. Eventually, the song is consumed by its own fire and it fades with a flicker of decaying fuzz.

The remaining two tunes tread the normal harsh noise territory, presenting blasts of sonic cacophony. Both squeak and buzz with a noise wall reminiscent of the sound of dying animals’ last cries while burning in a giant forest fire. For adventurous ears uninitiated in the world of harsh noise, Black Witchery may be a revelation. To me, it’s one tune away from being a bunch of clicks and whistles.

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