Recording information: Audiolab, Toronto (12/2008-03/2009).
This split album grew out of a show the two bands performed in 2007; released three years later, it's the type of thing where the anticipation for it almost overwhelms the impact of the music itself. That said, the extremities called up by both bands, however beholden to their own particular approaches to sonic overload rather than fully experimenting with new styles, still makes for a strong, hard to ignore listen. The Bastard Noise's own take on metal and power electronics, perhaps unsurprisingly, starts with a combination of several styles at once on "Fallen Species" -- the vocals may be pure black metal but the bass-heavy riffs come from a different spot, as does the near prog-nu-metal breakdowns after each verse. "Mutant World of Shame" and "Underworld" hold to that general approach but "U.S.A. Today" takes a different route, a drumless rumble and bit of squealing feedback feeling more like something off of Load Records at their most violently cryptic. The Endless Blockade, in contrast, take a far rougher approach on the quarter-hour-long "Deuteronomy," their vocals a strained rasp but not a complete vocal extreme, feeling almost like a classic Gravity Records act gone prog. "Advanced Directive" and "Model 49 Rebreather," in intriguing contrast, are remixes of tracks from their Primitive album, by Noah Creshevsky and the Rita respectively; both are strong listens but it's the original here that deserves the most attention. ~ Ned Raggett
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