CD, Tympanik Audio, 2008
Just when you thought rhythmic noise hadn’t much left to offer, along comes this beauty to whack some sense in to you. ESA, aka Jamie Blacker, is known for his no-holds-barred approach to the genre, but this time around there seems to be a whole lot more going on. This time around, ESA is a much more focused beast, and 110% more evil – if one can even begin to imagine that.
“The Sea & The Silence” is unrelenting, from the beginning beats of “Tasting Nails”, through to the epic double opus “The Devil Worships Me! / All You Brought To Me Was Fucking Nothing!”, which nears twenty minutes in duration. It quickly becomes obvious that Jamie has brought a lot of his metal sensibilities into this new album, and they mix really well with his rhythmic noise sound. Additionally, the addition of vocals to most of the tracks, rather than just the odd couple (as happened in previous releases), makes “The Sea & The Silence” really stand out. Particularly worthy of notice among these tracks with a strong vocal component are “Dead Fucking Desire”, with male and female vocals (provided by Jamie and Riotmiloo) and reminiscent of Atari Teenage Riot/Hanin Elias, and “Randomly Selected Drawbacks Of The Human Condition Pt 2.” which sounds vaguely similar to some black metal tracks, bearing in mind the ethereal female vocal parts. However, it’s not all full-on for the entirety of the album; there are much more calm moments in amongst the noise, some beats that border on the tribal, and even some time for some spoken word in the form of “Open To Me, Your Black And Bitter Heart”. Basically this album covers pretty much all frames of mind, whilst still being rhythmic and noisy.
Decidedly an intense release, “The Sea & The Silence” isn’t an easy ride, but it is immensely satisfying and entertaining, and perhaps it will give rhythmic noise the shake-up it desperately needs. One can only look forward to seeing what ESA comes up with next.
— Kate Turgoose & Miguel de Sousa