Monday, 17 December 2018

Noisem - Release Redux


I've been thinking about putting one of these pieces together for a while but couldn't find the right band to write about nor the time to dedicate to it. Thankfully, I'm now on holiday till 27th Dec and I've found the ideal subject in Baltimore (MD) death/thrash band Noisem. The reason I've chosen Noisem is because I still rave about their 2013 debut LP "Agony Defined" and because they're heading over to Europe (and hopefully the UK, fingers crossed) in 2019, so I thought it was a good opportunity to talk about their later releases and also maybe give them a bit of extra promo. This piece captures the rest of their discography following "Agony Defined", which I reviewed here in 2014. I've tried my best to get the release order right using various sources, but if the dates or the order is wrong then please let me know.

Noisem/Occultist - Slaughter Of The Innocent...And The Damned Split 7"


Labels: A389 Recordings
Formats: Vinyl/Digital
Release Date: 19 Apr 2014 (I think!)

Tracklist:

1. Noisem - Slaughter Of The Innocent (Repulsion Cover)
2. Occultist - The Damned (Plasmatics Cover)

This split 7" formed part of the A389 Records "Record Store Day" split series in 2014. Joining Noisem on here was Richmond (Virginia's) Occultist. It was released on two different limited wax variants and featured covers of Slaughter Of The Innocent from Repulsion's 1986 album of the same name and The Damned, from the 1982 album "Coup D'Etat" by Plasmatics.

“Agony Defined” was a pivotal record for me back in 2013 as it helped guide me down a much darker path of death/thrash and here, Noisem’s cover of Slaughter Of The Innocent picks up where that album left off. It’s a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it rager that contains all of the thrashing mayhem that makes Noisem great. There’s no time for cheap frills and it’s completely in tune to what Repulsion originally wanted from the song and indeed the death metal sound.

Occultist’s take on The Damned is also sensitive to the band they’re covering, as it contains both the punk and heavy metal sound that Plasmatics strived to maintain. The tempo isn’t as fast here but there’s definitely more than a nod to Occultist’s own sludgier sound too. Melody is present as is an uplifting gallop at the mid-point, as the song descends into up-tempo chaos. The heavy metal vibe is well and truly present here, which adds heaps to this split.

One song from each band may not be enough to help you decide whether you’re down with them or not, but chances are if you’re reading the feature then you are. If you’ve not already got this split then you can pick it up digitally and on vinyl from Noisem's bandcamp page below, where it's also available for streaming in full:-



Noisem - Defiled 7" Decibel Flexi


Labels: Decibel Magazine/Audiosiege/A389 Recordings
Formats: 7" Flexi Disc/Digital
Release Date: 01 May 2014 (Roughly)

Tracklist:-

1. Defiled

Next up for Noisem was this limited edition flexi disc that was sent out with the May 2014 subscribers edition of Decibel Magazine. The song Defiled was recoded especially for it, as far as I can tell and it featured guest lead guitar from A389 frontman and Integrity/ex-Pulling Teeth member (amongst many others) Dom Romeo.

I don’t normally write about single songs but this formed part of a physical release (of which I’m lucky enough to own a copy), I felt it was only right to do so here. It was written and recorded during Noisem’s productive period in 2014 and as you’d expect, it follows in the same vein as “Agony Defined” and as their split with Occultist. Fast death metal with an upbeat gallop and chaotic rawness that works so well, especially on the format. Everything about it points you towards the euphoric current resurgence of old-school death metal and Noisem definitely were at the top here.

You can stream and purchase Defiled below via bandcamp:-



In terms of physical availability, there are flexi copies floating around on Discogs and or you can still buy back copies of the May 2014 edition of Decibel along with the flexi here via the link below:-


Noisem - Consumed 7"


Labels: A389 Recordings/Amputated Vein Records/Regurgitated Semen Records
Formats: Vinyl/Digital
Release Date: 02 Sep 2014 (I think!)

Tracklist:-

1. Consuming
2. Fear Of Napalm (Terrorizer Cover)
3. Aggressive Perfector (Slayer Cover)
4. Skull Full Of Maggots (Cannibal Corpse Cover)

This 7" was released back in September 2014 to tide people over before the release of Noisem's 2015 LP "Blossoming Decay". It was release via all three of the above labels at the same time, with each label having an exclusive colour variant and a different cover song (as far as I'm aware). Song-wise, I'm not entirely sure which label variant and what, but A389 Recordings put it on red vinyl in the US, RSR Records on gold vinyl in Europe and Amputated Vein Records released in on blue vinyl with an OBI strip in Japan. Aside from original song Consuming, Noisem once again took to covering songs by some of extreme metal's legends as a bonus. I'm going to review all of the tracks here.

You can definitely hear the Slayer influence on Consuming, which isn’t a shock at all but Noisem doesn’t overplay the influence. Their sound is still their own and they mix fast thrashing passages with  down-tempo sections that sound dirtier than they should. Flailing intensity. The first of their three covers features Fear Of Napalm (by Terrorizer) and it all sounds slightly more stripped down, which is probably in tribute to the song itself. The bass is more obvious during the build-up, which makes up half of the song. Things soon speed up and Noisem just steamroll their way through it with no messing and still retain their own originality. 

Aggressive Perfector is a completely logical song for them to cover as it more than matches their furious approach. Where Slayer’s version is more audible, especially in the vocal department, there’s a much rawer take on things here. The instrumentation is just as heavy and the solo mid-way through is glorious. Choosing to cover Skull Full Of Maggots (by Cannibal Corpse) is a solid choice considering Noisem’s death metal background and this is more interesting than the original in my opinion, mainly because I’ve never been a huge fan of Cannibal Corpse. I just think there are better death metal bands out there (cue people telling me I’m wrong), though that’s not taking anything away from their legacy. Anyway, this is over before you know it and it rounds out the EP in destructive fashion.

They say that quality is better than quantity and in the case of Noisem, it worked for them in between albums. Putting longer releases out more frequently wouldn’t have worked but like the EP and flexi before this, these shorter releases proved just enough to keep fans hooked before the big second LP.

Stream and purchase "Consumed" digitally below:-



You can still pick up physical copies from the links below:-

Amputated Vein Records (Japan) - http://www.amputatedvein.com/onlineshop-e/

Noisem - Blossoming Decay LP


Labels: A389 Recordings/Daymare Recordings
Formats: Vinyl/CD/Tape/Digital
Release Date: 28 Apr 2015

Tracklist:

1. Trail of Perturbation
2. Burning
3. 1132
4. Replant And Repress
5. Hostile End | Hollow Life
6. Cascade Of Scars
7. Another Night Sleeping In the Cold
8. Graining Enamel
9. Blossoming Of The Web

Next we move onto Noisem's second LP, with its elaborate record sleeve art and design. This was always going to a difficult record, especially given the impact that "Agony Defined" had and it was the last full release with the then current line-up. Tours alongside Repulsion and Soulfly followed soon afterwards too. Once again it was release via A389 Recordings, with a special cd version being released in Japan via Daymare Recordings. 

Given the delivery of the “Consumed’ 7” prior to this release, Noisem’s death/thrash was never going to be anything other than intense. The majority of the song’s on “Blossoming Decay” are short, which should be a give-away. Album opener Trail Of Perturbation kicks in after an ambient intro and even without a great deal of melody, it manages to take hold of you with warp-speed, grinding madness and technical thrash flourishes beneath the constant barrage of deathly drums, guitars and vocals. 

Apart from the pauses between the tracks, there isn’t much time to take cover. Burning carries a lot for the musical elements from their extreme forefathers and turns them into their own wall of noise that’s impossible to escape from. 1132 pretty much follows in the same way. It’s like being stuck in a constantly spinning washing machine, though slower sections do help to break it up somewhat. 

Replant And Replace goes by in a blur and leads straight into Hostile End | Hollow Life, which after nearly sixty-seconds of head-splitting heaviness, breaks into another passage of ambience that’s much like the intro to the album and continues into Cascade Of Scars, which at over four-minutes is one of the longest and most haunting songs on “Blossoming Decay” as the layers build and lead to off-kilter riffs and mid paced percussion. It’s these layers that really add something to the music and shows what can be done when Noisem decide to slow things down for a more prolonged period. That said, it’s not long before they’re back to full speed again.

From one extreme to the other as Another Night Sleeping In The Cold is a disturbingly violent and blasting slab of grinding death, reminding you of all of the ills in the world. Graining Enamel includes some great guitar work that adds extra elements to an album that feels like it’s coming to an end, almost breathing new life into it at the same time. Album closer Blossoming The Web is a huge blast of fire-and-brimstone riffage with seemingly no end in sight. Off-kilter rhythms and mesmerising roars make it a journey in itself but one that’s totally worth headbanging away too. 

At risk of dampening “Blossoming Decay” and it’s sheer heaviness, it doesn’t seem quite as focused as “Agony Defined”. Whereas, that first album was very much death metal orientated, “Blossoming Decay” is more of a straight up grinding hardcore record with thrash/death added for good measure. Nothing wrong with that though.

You can once again stream "Blossoming Decay" and purchase it digitally below:-



Physical copies are available below:-

Daymare Recordings - https://diskunion.net/diw

At this point I mention that Noisem did release an album under their previous moniker Necropsy back in 2012 called "Endless Aggression", which went onto be re-released as "Agony Defined" after the name change. They also released a live tape via A389 Recordings called "Live 11.07.14".

As I write this, I've just found out that a new song was released at the end of October as part of the Adult Swim singles series called Sin Rash. Stream it below:-



Also, here's was inspired this feature:-


All of the social media links you need are down below:-

Regurgitated Semen Records - https://www.facebook.com/RSRec-Hate-Ape-Prod

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