En Nihil – Throes (C50, Enemata Productions)

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throesEn Nihil does not let up on this final installment of his loose trilogy started with Pyres. Throes consistently hammers the listener with sound over the course of 50 minutes, with seven tracks of destructive chaos providing a great ending to this series.

While En Nihil has done the power electronics angle well, on Throes the project mostly wreaks havoc with ever-changing noise patterns. There are baselines to the tracks, but side A in particular is a perpetual wave of sonic pummeling directed at the listener on every track. The breaks in between aren’t distinguished; instead of thinking of the first side of Throes as a set of pieces, it’s best to listen to it as though it were a long-running cacophony of churning sound. Otherwise, the listener will spend so much time expecting clear breaks between the noise that the crashing assault will be lost within too much thought.

The second side is broken up into three tracks, longer and slower than the side A. These have clear definition, and certainly the focal point isn’t necessarily to overwhelm with harshness. Instead, each take on cleaner drones, allowing En Nihil to punctuate background sound with layers of feedback or pangs. It’s a nice reprieve from the smattering of the first side, and it ends the cassette on a fine note that gives the listener a chance to reflect on the entirety of the tape.

Throes ends this trilogy well, but don’t think you need to hear both Pyres and Crimes before listening to this tape. It sits on its own, and it’s proof that En Nihil is capable of a wide range of material.

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