ZENI GEVA  Desire For Agony  CD   (Alternative Tentacles)   12.99

Just found some more copies of this hard-to-find 1993 album of absolute grinding heaviness from Japan's Zeni Geva that has been out of stock for awhile. This is bludgeoning machinelike crunch delivered with a singleminded intensity on par with bands like Godflesh and Swans. Desire For Agony has slipped in and out of print over the years and I just managed to get another batch of this crusher back in stock-Zeni Geva are one of the more sorely missed Japanese underground outfits, and this Steve Albini-produced album is one of their finest.

Dual guitars engage in brutal locked-groove mathmetal riffs played in slow motion over some of the jazziest drumming of any Zeni Geva album, while ZG frontman K.K. Null lets loose with a onslaught of fierce samurai war-shouts delivered in a mixture of Japanese and English, and the song titles like "Stigma", "Dead Sun Rising", "Heathen Blood", and "The Body" continue to paint a morbid vibe that has continued to arc over ZG's albums. Songs like "Autopsy Love" speed it up with double bass drumming racing alongside some ripping speed metal riffs and chiming clean guitars; elsewhere Null and second guitarist Tabata drop in little melodic flourishes that reveal brief respites of prettiness in between all of the angular pounding, which only end up making the music sound even more paranoid and psychotic.

The result is something like Cop Shoot Cop, Swans, Godflesh, and Slayer rolled into one and fronted by an enraged ToshirŰ Mifune - yep, Zeni Geva are heavy and grim almost to the point of ridiculousness, an over-the-top industro noise-metal killing machine, but that's why I love 'em. Killer album artwork from prison researcher and editor of the now defunct zine Primary Concern, Marc Fisher.