"File Under: Noise" reads the top of the press release for Metal/Crystal — French experimental musician Richard Pinhas' transcontinental sonic experiment with fellow noise artists Merzbow from Japan and Wolf Eyes from the United States. With half of the six songs here exceeding the 28-minute mark, this two-CD set represents the knotty intertwining of some truly ear-melting electro-acoustic arrangements that may slowly but surely kill you.
Metal/Crystal is the second collaboration between Merzbow and Pinhas, but it is my first exposure to Pinhas' clinical, often terrifying, musical mayhem. Parts of "Hysteria (Palladium)" are so screechy they're practically unlistenable, Pinhas' sonic signature forged in abstract anger. It could very well be the soundtrack to the apocalypse.
"Schizophrenia (Silver)" is imminently more enjoyable; it sounds darker and possesses a subtlety that better defines Pinhas' art. The song also boasts wicked heavy-metal guitar that makes total sense, even though it seems completely out of place. There's more of that nasty but liberating guitar on "Bi-Polarity (Gold)" — a killer piece of experimental music that borders on shred. More songs like these would have given Metal/Crystal broader appeal – but certainly not too broad.
1. Bi-Polarity (Gold)
2. Paranoia (Iridium)
3. Depression (Loukoum)
1. Hysteria (Palladium)
2. Schizophrenia (Silver)
3. Legend (Bonus Track)