Review: Serrater – A Hermetic Plot (Serrated Tapes, Apr 30)

a3332274516_10 (2)Some of you may be noticing a pattern among my 2021 reviews: I’ve been especially concerned with releases of the harsh variety. This may be because the offerings at this particular time happen to be exceptionally excellent, or because I haven’t been to a noise show in over a year and miss them so goddamn much, or both, or neither—maybe I’m just broken. Beaten, defeated, laid out across the ground, we sink into the soft loam of the cemetery and past the subterranean network of interconnected crypts, from which emanates the sounds captured on A Hermetic Plot. There must have been a delicate process for exhuming this auditory gunk and preparing it for (living) human ears because that mezzanine murk still permeates every second of the two ten-minute slabs. Each lumbers with the rotting, earthy immobility of death while being shaken and ripped through by currents of life and pain as the armies of decomposers start in on their projects. The dense bricolages of rumbling gloom-choked distortion, contact mic intrusions like massive salivating jaws swinging blood-speckled jowls to and fro, and sporadic shrieks of feedback are at once punishing and alluring; many of you are probably familiar with the “appreciative grimace” response, but this is different—more like a capitulating look of faint horror and disgust. This is truly bleak, filthy stuff, bolstered by both its bloated stasis and its volatile disintegrations. “PLAY LOUD FOR ALL TO BE REVEALED.”