Ghost – Procession (CD-R, Slow Death Records)

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Slow Death Records really likes to deliver some mammoth chunks of harsh noise walls on their releases. Ghost returns on Procession with almost 80 minutes (!!!) of unchanging walls distributed over four 20-minute tracks. These are all relatively shiftless, and each has its own distinct take on the bass ‘n crunch that Ghost delivered on his previous disc.

The first “Untitled” track gives us 20 minutes of somewhat standard bass rumbles underneath crackling, patterned static. But the dynamism here is a really uni-toned buzz that wavers and carouses but never changes pitch, and Ghost carries this tone with the track for the entire duration. It might sound a bit boring at first, but I assure you that this undying buzz line really gives the track a hypocritical sense of both stasis and variation, or something of an unvariation.

Track two gives a more paired-down approach to static. Crumbles complement the sharp rumbles of bass, but again, a uni-tone staccato of squeak punctures the sound with a variable line of noise. It’s another unchanging, lengthy track that would easily fill one side of a cassette tape, but on Procession it acts as another submersive layer of uniquely-employed walls.

With “Untitled” three, we get more of a white wash of static, a heavy and walloping sound of very dense white noise that has a rolling bass behind it. While not as interesting as the other two tracks because the density of the static leaves little room for picking out the slight intricacies, this track is a nice change-up from the subtler other two.

And the last  wall sort of destroys that static sound for another blend of pattering bass rumbles, punctuated static bursts, and another unchanging buzz of a uni-tone sound the plays in conjunction with the other parts of the wall. This becomes similar to track one, but the pitch and background rhythms of the static differ for another ample experience.

On Procession, Ghost uses only analog equipment to create the walls, unlike the more digital approach he has used in the past. To be honest, it’s not that evident on the new album; yet this is a testament to the skill and patience Ghost brings to his walls, whether it be made on the computer or mechanically with amp and sourcing. Procession finds Ghost experimenting with singular, pronounced lines of sound that add a new dimension to the harsh noise wall, and it’s something the listener can easily focus on.

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