Monday, January 31, 2011
Birushanah & Drain the Sky (Japan & USA) - Split (2010)
Drain the Sky
3. Prelude to the Pendulum Swing Back
4. Three Winds Spread the Ashes of Our Memories
5. Failure is an Orphan When Victory Has Many Fathers
Total playing time 36:34
Birushanah is a folk sludge band if there ever was one. Also just about the fastest sludge band ever. Still, nobody in their right mind could call them anything other than just that - sludge. There's something frightening about the Japanese and their tradition, starting with the Emperor's noble samurai (see their code of conduct, Bushidō), declining inversely in parallel to industrialization, inevitably left on the backs of a few, just as "noble" madmen like Yukio Mishima (see his 1960 short story, Patriotism + the story of his life and suicide), but it goes on to this day, this (now) paradoxical devotion and excellence in art and cultural things in-general. Steeped in Japanese traditional music (most of all, rhythm), Birushanah provide but one song, Anagura, on first listen not insanely complex like their earlier works, but ultimately their most epic, exhilarating chapter in eighteen and a half minutes of a great catastrophe composed (relevantly, I wonder when Corrupted’s coming back?). Even if you don't care about extreme music or whatever, Sougyo's playing ought to fascinate any the slightest bit interesting bass player.
The other half of the release pertains to Drain the Sky, a band hailing from the States, delivering four speedy, emotionally loaded, hardcore punk-born (e.g. His Hero Is Gone) post-sludge songs (refuse to use the brand of neocrust, although others might) without the build-up-inducing intensity of Osakan folk sludge, even much less atmospherically enthralling, although exactly atmosphere is what they seem to aim for very often, but take what I say with a grain of salt ‘cause I’m certainly biased toward Birushanah’s indisputable superiority over most of contemporary extreme music (based on composition, at least / yes, riffs). The split's a joy to listen to any way I choose to put it.
Get it on CD (S.M.D.) or 12" vinyl (Destructure).