SKULLFLOWER  Pure Imperial Reform  CD   (Turgid Animal)   11.98

Another new disc from the mighty Skullflower this week, Pure Imperial Reform captures Matthew Bower's heavy psychnoise outfit in the live

setting from a concert last year in Belgium. For this performance, Skullflower appeared as a duo with Lee Stokoe from Culver joining Matt Bower, a new lineup

that has carried over onto the new Desire For A Holy War album as well as a bunch of other forthcoming releases, and man does this burn.

Three songs in forty-two minutes, "Forest Chasm", "Nailed To The Stars", and "Mist Of Solitude", all sequenced together as one massive track on the disc.

Now, after listening to this all week on top of the Holy War disc, I'm thinking that Skullflower may have put the sunburnt hypno-psychedelia and

Hawkwind/Sabbath worship of Orange Cayon Mind and Exquisite Fucking Boredom on hiatus, 'cuz this new stuff is even blacker and more vicious

than the hard turn that was made with Tribulation. Where those two aforementioned albums felt like they were assimilating some of Sunroof's high end

raga-skree and blissed out feedback into the 'Flower's lumbering rock beast, Tribulation and everything that has followed makes it look like a bit

of Bower's old Total project is rearing it's head. Hell, this disc especially reeks of Total, and it's a sound I love to hear. All lines intersect in time,

it seems. So with this set, Skullflower manufactures a massive wall of feedback and amp roar, and even with the live recording it's thick as hell and just as

heavy; two guitars generating brutal skree and an ocean of midrange buzz, and lodged deep in the mix are those sizzling kosmiche electronics, tortured

screams and wailing reaching up and out, and one hundred concurrent melodies all squirming together in the scraping metal chaos, almost obliterated by the

screaming amps and sheet metal violence. One of their most brutal celebrations of the incinerating power of guitar noise since Tribulation, thats

for sure...and due to the live, mixed-together-as-one-black-hole energy of the recording, this disc is even comparable to the fullblast noise wipeout of

Japanese noise groups like Incapacitants and Pain Jerk. Put that together with some crudely designed packaging and a bunch of pilfered Albrecht DŁrer images

and you get one nicely blackened bout of crushing freenoise carnage from Bower and company. Limited to 1000 copies.