MERZBOW  Bariken  CD   (Blossoming Noise)   11.98

Now this is how I like my Merzbow. Another release that seems to be influenced by Masami Akita's animal rights activism (it's sponsored by PETA and is named after his Taiwanese duck, the disc immediately opens with an ultra-crushing distorted raga-pulse that sounds like the first few seconds of a Sunn O))) powerchord trapped in an eternal loop. Bariken starts fierce and stays seriously heavy, working it's way through five epic tracks that climb up to 30 minutes in length. Much of Bariken is similiar to what Akita-san was doing on his seminal Pulse Demon album, but here his harsh noise is way heavier, anchored by minimalist, heavily distorted "riffs" that could easily pass for the kind of ambient black/sludge metal floating around currently (Nordvargr, Noisegate, etc), kinda like an extension of his collaboration with Sunn O))) on their Flight Of The Behemoth album. Take "Minka Part 2", for example: the two-note dirge riff that surges through the dense electronic storm on that track has got to be one of the heaviest things Merzbow has ever done. He follows that with "Minka Part 3", which is more of a percussion/harsh noise collage, but then it's back to the super distorted dirge with the 30 minute closing track "Bariken (reprise - Mother Of Mirrors)", which sounds like a blackened sludge metal band stuck in a perpetual 5-second loop and overloaded with som much distortion that they've become a monstrous smear of indistinct crunch.

The CD is limited to 1000 copies and is close to going out of print, and is HIGHLY recommended to anyone into the marriage of crushing blownout/distorted heaviness and extreme electronic noise.