A slice of harsh noise wall and a piece of harsh noise are attached to this release on Datahex Records, where Ritual Stance maintains the more stoic approach of the static wall while A Night to Dismember alternates between abrasive noise and wall-ish textures.
Ritual Stance starts the split off with “She Wore All Black (Viking Messenger),” a heavy wall of rumbling bass with just a bit of static oscillations thrown in underneath. Not too much changes throughout the 18 minute length of the track, making the artist moniker a good representation of the sound featured on this split. I really dig the monolithic thundering that sticks throughout the track, and it makes the appearance of new static manipulations that much more apparent, which seem to occur mostly on the right side of the sound balance. At times, these static abrasions can become quite thick and heady, fuzzing in and out of the spectrum, while at others the wall remains fairly secure in structure. The use of one side of the balance for each part of the wall is a nice touch, and it creates a strong variation in sound while continuing to carry on that mammoth bass blast. “She Wore All Black (Viking Messenger)” perpetuates the idea that there are varying themes to be found in harsh noise walls as long as the subject is actively listening.
As Ritual Stance’s track continues onward into the latter minutes, the wall begins to deteriorate into some howling squalls of static, breaking up the rumbling of the beginning for some deconstruction. But this doesn’t carry on for too long – the track falls back into the rigidity of the opening as the last few minutes wane, bringing us back where we started but not before some static licks the left balance of the track as well.
“Rabid Werewolves” starts off with high-end squeals and it’s mastered loud. Lots of crunchy fuzz along with blasts of harsh feedback, somewhat falling into a rhythmic beat of stabbing loud sounds and crumbly background waves. This is harsh stuff, sometimes like a train slowly derailing and trilling its horn in a loud plea for help. These sounds carry for much of the track, continuing the tone but pushing the feedback behind the crunch. For a little while the track drops into a mid-paced pattern of hard-hitting bass beats, only to erupt into more fuzzy feedback-laced shrills. The best parts of the track are when it falls into a loop, a hypnotic swarm of buzz. Like Ritual Stance’s track, “Rabid Werewolves” makes good use of pattern and continues to evolve the sound without fully leaving the realm of where the track began.
This is a fantastic split from two promising noise artists. Both have achieved a level of independence from the strictures of harsh noise, opting for a unique sound that toys with some of the genre aspects of HNW without relying solely on repeating tones for long periods of time. Two lengthy tracks of crushing static are what you’ll find here, and the free release is definitely worth spending time with – and the download comes with original artwork to gawk at as well.