Review Summary: A filthy, loud, and incredibly entertaining noise record
Throughout his prolific career in slaying the eardrums of many, Masami Akita, better known by his stage name Merzbow
, has been described by many as “the god of noise”. Whether or not he deserves that title is up for debate, however it is safe to say that he has some solid recordings throughout his overwhelmingly large discography. Pulse Demon
in particular stands as one of his most cohesive works, delivering head churning, apocalyptic squeals at obnoxiously loud volumes.
is perhaps his most violent recordings, even compared to some of his newer releases. To put it short, the music is much like the cover art; when you look at the simplistic cover, you can’t help but get a headache from the nauseating, seemingly pulsating curved black-and-white stripes. It’s loud, robust, unapologetic, and over all messy. The hissing layered with oddly mechanical percussion and scratchy electronic squealing in “Tokyo Times Ten” makes for a cluttered, yet oddly attractive introduction, which quickly leads into a large humming sound that is absolutely assaulted by a barrage of freaky, digitized explosions of noise.
The pacing of this record is very well thought out. The shorter tracks are placed at the very beginning, making it easier to truly get the overall gist of the disc without it feeling unnecessarily dragged out. By the time I reached the longer, 10+ minute tracks near the end of the album for the first time during my first listen, my interest in Akita’s noise improvisations have excelled to the point that I wanted to hear it go on for extended periods of time. The 25 minute “Worms Plastic Earthbound”, although, does loses it’s momentum through the halfway mark. It starts off fun and weird, with swirling screeches drowning within low-frequency growls, but after a while, it just becomes a little, well, boring.
Nonetheless, Pulse Demon
is an over all solid and respectable release that exemplifies Merzbow’s skills at noise music. It’s incredibly entertaining and makes for a good listen for those who want something weird yet rewarding. Seriously, to sit through the entire thing, all in one go, makes you feel accomplished and satisfied. It may not be perfect, but it’s definitely up there within the Merzbow catalogue.