Noises of Russia – Experimental Structure

Noises of Russia - Experimental Structure

CD-R0, Zhelezobeton, 2008
www.noises.ru

“Experimental Structure” documents a live performance by Noises of Russia in St. Petersburg. Musically it is quite an excursion from the deep death industrial that I had learned to associate with the band. Gone are the grinding loops and the sacral atmospheres that characterized the early releases. Here they are replaced by, most likely improvised, collages of field recordings from nature, treated instruments, shamanistic chants and sparse industrial noises. Together they form a soundscape which conveys an impression of the performance as a very esoteric experience. This is further confirmed by the seamless way the ten untitled tracks flow into each other. Therefore, the album is best experienced as whole from start finish and viewed as authentic audio documentation of a ritual.
This ritual character, however, is also the biggest shortcoming of the album. Rituals never rely just on soundscapes; the way they are performed plays at least as significant a role. While listening to “Experimental Structure”, it is impossible to escape the idea that there is much more going on than what meets the ear. Without the visual component, some of tracks are too often just sparse collections of unedited sounds. However, when things get more structured, like in the melodic and droney fourth track, in the mantra-like chants of the fifth track or in the noisy, but hypnotic eighth track, strong mystical atmospheres are evoked. These resemble in a very positive way the artists of the Aural Hypnox family. Unlike them though, Noises of Russia is more of this world – primitive shamanism over transcendental elementalism. Also, despite not being particularly aggressive or noisy, the album carries a nice raw old-school industrial edge, which is emphasized by the crude live sounds and slightly imbalanced mastering.
“Experimental Structure” is an album which is an acquired taste, and even then takes patience to be fully appreciated. It gives a glimpse of a probably great live show, but manages only partially to convey the feeling of actually being present. Therefore, it necessarily leaves a feeling of slight dissatisfaction and missed opportunity. The improvised and raw nature of the recording, however, carries a certain unique charm, which should be appreciated by people into primitive industrial and ritual atmospheres.

[5/10]

— Ville L.