Volhnn
Phallus Dei


3.2
good

Review

by Tristan Jones STAFF
December 30th, 2016 | 68 replies


Release Date: 2016 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Witching hour

Vulgarity and subversion have, to various degrees, been the backbone of noise music ever since the initial visions of French composer Edgard Varèse (possibly the inventor of tape music). The stereotypical disregard of unfamiliar music being “just noise” dates back at least as far as Varèse’s various lectures circa early 1900s, in which he posits all music being merely organized noise. Therefore, perhaps the blatantly seedy depictions found within various harsh noise works are an extension of this, serving as nihilistic critiques not only of musical appreciative standards, but society’s views on sex, violence, and drugs in general. It’s curious that ANW project Volhnn would title its most recent outing, Phallus Dei (basically, “God’s penis”), as such. Phallus Dei is hardly subversive or explicit in its construction, and could have easily been titled “Serenity” or “Meditations” or something else alluding to loneliness. The album succeeds in blending nonmaterial pleasure with highly physical sensations, sort of like erotic asphyxiation.

The first of two numbers, “SS-9 Scarp” seems to take the near-silence of a wilderness night and amplify it, as though the panoramic ambience is being condensed to fit inside a diving helmet. The track is underpinned with a texture that rumbles with a benign yet disconcerting mystery, like the Taos Hum. Over the course of 30 minutes, the song doesn’t alter much, as Volhnn patiently establishes a mood and lets it fester while the listener is lightly pelted with specs of noise, like bugs hitting a car grill. Roughly 20 minutes in, the static grows more restless, heightening the potency slowly. Follow-up “SS-18 Satan” is similar in that it doesn’t have much action, but is probably more effective in its construction. It creates a sense of precarious pressure, like looking up at a glass ceiling bearing the weight of more and more snow during a blizzard. There’s never a sense of outright danger, but the sense of agitation is always present, despite the soothing pulse. In a way, it feels comparable to a house-arrest form of imprisonment in how it blends a sense of forced assurance with the feeling of always looking over one’s shoulder. Phallus Dei is never outright offensive or brutally punishing; it’s a bit more sinister, maybe. We witness a neutered aftermath of something that’s never described in detail, but carefully implied. This could be the soundtrack of a wicked crime gone unpunished, and a rickety psyche just one straw shy of snapping.




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user ratings (10)
Chart.
2.3
average

Comments:Add a Comment 
JohnnyOnTheSpot
Staff Reviewer
December 30th 2016


6365 Comments

Album Rating: 3.2

https://reasonartrecords.bandcamp.com/album/phallus-dei

bigsoulja
December 30th 2016


356 Comments


likin' this revised version
good review staff : )

bigsoulja
December 30th 2016


356 Comments


sput's allergic to good music apparently.

hal1ax
December 30th 2016


9186 Comments


oh shii
bout to check
good review bae

Relinquished
December 30th 2016


36599 Comments


better than the extinction tapes or

bigsoulja
December 30th 2016


356 Comments


slightly less

Mort.
Contributing Reviewer
December 31st 2016


13290 Comments


really good review johnny

Digging: The Body and Full Of Hell - Ascending a Mountain of Heavy Light

JohnnyOnTheSpot
Staff Reviewer
December 31st 2016


6365 Comments

Album Rating: 3.2

thx moart

zaruyache
December 31st 2016


17912 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0 | Sound Off

lightly pelted with specs of noise, like bugs hitting a car grill



or the crackling of a fire.

JohnnyOnTheSpot
Staff Reviewer
December 31st 2016


6365 Comments

Album Rating: 3.2

maybe, but i think my description gives it the sense of dimension and physicality i was trying to go for. fire crackling is apt too

bigsoulja
December 31st 2016


356 Comments


fire crackling really isn't apt at all

zaruyache
December 31st 2016


17912 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0 | Sound Off

you're right; a campfire would've sounded better.

bigsoulja
December 31st 2016


356 Comments


neither works lol
the implication of warmth is perhaps as off-the-mark as could be

someguest
December 31st 2016


28859 Comments


the implication of warmth


are you fucking autistic?

Digging: Carpenter Brut - CARPENTERBRUTLIVE

bigsoulja
December 31st 2016


356 Comments


considering you're the one digging cheap basement-dweller//neckbeard music i'd say nah

someguest
December 31st 2016


28859 Comments


You have a drone/ambient album 5'd.

bigsoulja
December 31st 2016


356 Comments


lol it ain't either of those things tbh
and the 5 is disingenuous as fuck but hey, to use your words
"let's talk more about how my ratings upset you"

someguest
December 31st 2016


28859 Comments




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Volhnn
ambientexperimentaltag




Phallus Dei
2016

3.4
3 Votes

Extinction Process I
2016

3
1 Votes

Extinction Process II
2016

3.8
2 Votes



bigsoulja
December 31st 2016


356 Comments


putting that much faith in sput tags lol

are you autistic?

JohnnyOnTheSpot
Staff Reviewer
December 31st 2016


6365 Comments

Album Rating: 3.2

the sput tagging system doesn't account for "noise wall" so "ambient experimental" has to suffice



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