Merzbow
Merzbear


4.0
excellent

Review

by TheWayfarerElectric USER (7 Reviews)
February 21st, 2010 | 22 replies


Release Date: 2007 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Merzbear is a shining achievement that is as chilling as it is emotional, as scathing as it is listenable, and most importantly, completely interesting.

Merzbow, the alias of Japanese musician Masami Akita, has almost been set up for failure. Combine Merzbow's prolific nature and several decades in the music industry, and you get nearly inevitable stagnancy. Oftentimes bands reinvent what they've done to prevent this tragic occurrence; other times, bands move on to completely different styles than their previous work(s). However, Merzbow has strayed from both paths of renewal and decided to make minor alterations to his patented. recurring noise sound. These minor alterations are no new feat for Akita however, as he has been combining noise and other styles of music for years. Case in point, Merzbeat saw Akita taking the combination of rock and noise to more notable extremes. Venereology saw Akita experimenting with denser variants of these sinister, scathing noises. The outcome: cacophonous tracks that utilize the infamous “wall-of-sound” technique. The concept that rings true on earlier releases like Pulse Demon does not translate on Merzbear, thus proving the point that Akita is constantly expanding upon the foundations of noise music.

For example, the foundations shown on Merzbear have been long in the making. Beats that were once just minimal inclusions are now becoming more evident in Merzbow's sound. Bass lines are now not only being expanded upon, but becoming part of the thick, boisterous soundscapes that make up Merzbear. In some cases, a destructive bass line may conflict electric, carefree bleeps and bloops to illustrate the album's concept: Animals should be respected. Protesting against treating three-dimensional, complex creatures as second-class citizens has always been associated with Akita, but he's never really let the message take form aurally. Plagued by seemingly uninspired, one-dimensional sound, the works Akita's created that deal with such themes have come out shallow. Again, Merzbow alters the foundation he built to create a release that shows all sides of nature. This augments the value of the theme behind his work. By doing so, he's brought the bestial society to life. He's illustrated the dangers of these wild creatures with his terrifying electronic squeals, distorted rhythms, discordant, jumpy dissonance, and so on and so forth. On the flip side, said animated bleeps and bloops show the playful, energetic, youthful spirits that are in such stark contrast to the malevolent beasts. If such layered, rumbling music is so emotionally-based and experimental, then it should be equally interesting. Never one to disappoint, Akita delivers intriguing soundscapes for those looking for a cantankerous experience. Boisterous noise is captured within the four tracks present on Merzbear, and it does not only show the ongoing progress of Merzbow, but it shows the evolution of the genre as a whole. Certainly not the best of the genre, Merzbear is just the groundwork for better releases in the future. However, it doesn't disappoint by any means. In fact, it is a shining achievement that is as chilling as it is emotional, as scathing as it is listenable, and most importantly, completely interesting. Merzbear is a fantastic musical fare that proves that the smallest things make the largest of changes.



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user ratings (16)
Chart.
3
good

Comments:Add a Comment 
Zettel
February 21st 2010


602 Comments


Sir, I did not understand a word from your review. It could be better if you wrote it in Latin.

TheWayfarerElectric
February 21st 2010


154 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Idk how to speak latin.

ECRbubs
February 21st 2010


687 Comments


So this won't murder babies like Pulse Demon? Sounds good

TheWayfarerElectric
February 21st 2010


154 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

It is. I'm a big fan of Venereology and Pulse Demon, yes, but this is far more eclectic, original and heartfelt. Think 1930 meets a very small amount of J-Pop

TheWayfarerElectric
February 21st 2010


154 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

And you neg because of that?

DivinityOfPan
February 21st 2010


85 Comments


Fuck Count, this review is gold.

DivinityOfPan
February 21st 2010


85 Comments


Just a joke; this review is pretty good though

Plutonio
February 22nd 2010


474 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Nice work, Wayfarer

TheWayfarerElectric
February 22nd 2010


154 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Thank you, Plutonio.

Waior
April 16th 2010


11461 Comments


This a good review, Wayfarer, especially for how long you've been reviewing. It gives me a pretty good idea of what this album sounds like, which I know is sometimes challenging for releases like this, so kudos. I like your summary a lot, even if "shining achievement" is kind of a weird thing to say.

The one thing I prompt you to keep on eye on is the way you transition one idea from the next; you have a tendency to erratically jump around your points and it makes reading a little but awkward - but I trust with consistent reviewing, this'll change.

edit: google chrome sucks at formatting posts


TheWayfarerElectric
April 16th 2010


154 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I see what you mean in the first paragraph. I wrote a new review out of pure spirit, so I think perhaps some of this has changed.

Athom
Staff Reviewer
May 4th 2010


17225 Comments


i really need to get this. great write up

Bitchfork
July 28th 2010


7584 Comments


This is really, really good Adam. But, if you don't already have it, Venereology is, hands down, his best release. And, since it's his take on death metal and grindcore, you'd probably have a better appreciation of it.

Fapper
July 28th 2010


649 Comments


I'm completely ignorant to this type of music I guess.. the review was too much for me to comprehend without having any previous experience in this genre, this artist, or any of the related artists.. what the fuck is this?

Bitchfork
July 28th 2010


7584 Comments


Do you remember back in the mid nineties when you were most likely listening to Nirvana in the wake of Kurt Cobain's death on your boombox, but you were also trying to go online? You remember how the modem connection was basically a static abcess? A whirlwind of grating noises flying all over the place, coming together to form a screeching crescendo? Yeah, that's what most noise music, this included, sounds like.

Fapper
July 28th 2010


649 Comments


I'm not going to lie, that sounds like it might give me a headache. But something so abnormal could be surprisingly awesome, so, downloading nao.

Bitchfork
July 28th 2010


7584 Comments


NO VENEREOLOGY IS SO MUCH BETTER NONONONONONO DOWNLOAD THAT

Fapper
July 28th 2010


649 Comments


Is that an album or an artist haha

Bitchfork
July 28th 2010


7584 Comments


That's Merzbow's opus. A classic (also his take on death-grind).

reaganomics777
October 29th 2010


401 Comments

Album Rating: 1.0 | Sound Off

Great troll review.



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