MERZBOW  Zophorus  CD   (Blossoming Noise)   10.98

Merzbow's Zophorus came out a while back on Blossoming Noise, but I never got a chance to check it out until just recently. I was missing out, too, as this 2007 album is one of the more psychedelic of Masami Akita's recent albums. Well, all of his stuff is pretty psychedelic, but Zophorus is even more so, with seriously dense noisescapes that have some fantastic melodic motifs squirming beneath the roaring chaos that he constantly returns to over the course of the tracks. The opener is a perfect example of this; for more than thirteen minutes, that first track soars through an immensely thick and textural cloud of whiplash oscillations, Hawkwind-strength synth freakout, waves of fuzz and distorted sub-bass, shards of electronic glitch and whir, but underneath this massive bleeping, roaring, grinding slab of mind melting electronic chaos, a simple two-note melody loops over and over endlessly, and it continues to repeat itself throughout the entire track, wavering back and forth, an eerie melodic undercurrent that gives this a strange kosmiche quality that you don't often hear in Merzbow's pure noise constructs. The other tracks on Zophorus are more formless and brutal, each featuring tons of frenzied oscillator abuse and throbbing low-end distortion, and much of the album actually reminds me of Bastard Noise, but even when the Merz-blast is at full tilt here, these fragments of melody continue to surface, like the eerie flute-like figures that surface on the third track, and the weird orchestrated tunes that manifest on the fourth track, pieces of prerecorded music sped up to light speed blur, pounding mechanized percussion, the wall of sound becoming almost like a fucked-up, hyper-abstract kind of digital grindcore at times, which also makes it one of the album's most vicious pieces. The final track just about rivals it, though, with a massive wall of sputtering percussive noise and brutal locust-swarm noise. Zophorus is as crushing and heavy as anything that Merzbow has released, and sounds like much of the noise may have been guitar generated. If you want pure sonic catharsis, this disc most definitely delivers. Packaged in a full-color digipack with artwork from Masami Akita himself.

Track Samples:
Sample : MERZBOW-Zophorus
Sample : MERZBOW-Zophorus