Murderous Vision / Kuru - _Blood Brain Barrier_
(Somnambulant Corpse, 2003)
by: Alvin Wee (8 out of 10)
The innocuous exterior of this classy, DVD-sized package belies the restrained fury lurking within this split release. Murderous Vision rumbles in with snippets of distorted dialogue and vague metallic scrapings in the background, gradually layering on an unnerving, tribal-mechanical beating as portentous waves move in and out of consciousness. Things heat up with the second track breaking into a vicious vocal attack and modulated feedback, accompanied by a subtle, yet threatening backdrop of hard-edged analogue drones and a pulsating rumble. It's clear within the first few tracks how adept MV is at creating an atmosphere of unease and tension, with even the highly descriptive track titles (e.g. "Stumble Upon the Scene", "Crushed, Then Removed") fitting the disturbing music uncannily. Excellent stuff, with apparent references to both the atmospheric German scene as well as brilliant moments of American-style aggression, that takes a while to fully work its eldritch magic on the listener.

Kuru (brainchild of the Somnambulant Corpse label-boss) blazes in with a barrage of high-end squiggles and wails (not quite as deafening as Sutcliffe Jugend), a nice follow-up to MV's brutal closing piece. Ferocious, yet surprisingly atmospheric, as a near-overwhelming rumble is broken up by short blasts of delicious feedback. More restrained and ambient than MV, Kuru's material prefers to sneak in under the skin with varied passages of bristling, low-end guitar-distortion and eerie drones, occasionally breaking into more intense bursts of noise. Lovers of the traditional German style should find no problems with this second half, which plays excellent counterpoint to the harsher opening minutes of the disc. Highly recommended (despite the intentionally abrupt ending) to even the most jaded p.e. freaks; and with the effort this label puts into selecting and packaging their releases, I'm hoping to hear more from them in future.

Contact: http://www.somnambulantcorpse.com

(article published 6/9/2003)


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