Monday, November 16, 2009

Crucial Blast on Sword Heaven


SWORD HEAVEN Piles 7 INCH VINYL (Bloodlust!)

There aren't too many bands in the current noise/industrial scene that can be described as sounding genuinely "heavy" in the same sense as a metal band, but Sword Heaven are one of the exceptions. The Ohio-based duo has developed a stripped-down but bludgeoning sound out of a simple setup of drums, voice and electronics, through which the band creates a suffocating, toxic atmosphere that's as harrowing and extreme as any harsh noise project, while anchoring their chaos with a drummer who sounds like he'd be just as comfortable playing in an extreme doom metal band.
At a show in Columbus, Ohio in August 2006, somewhere in the middle of their set Sword Heaven played an extended version of their song "Under The Face" which broke off halfway through into a sprawling slow motion dirge; the song normally clocks in at around two minutes, but here the band went berserk, bashing their way through a time-stretched industrial freakout that went on for more than seven minutes. They ended up recording that set, and the extended dirge has been titled "Piles" and captured on this limited edition 7", the two halves of the jam split across the two sides of the EP. Sword Heaven doesn't get much heavier than this: the glacial drumming lumbers through a thick chaotic mass of malfunctioning electronics, demonic screams, warbling tape machines and junk metal percussion, with everything in reach smashed together into a violent screaming pile-up of shrieking noise and brutally heavy percussive hammering. The label describes this as sounding like early Swans crossed with the dystopian industrial vibe of Kollaps-era Einsturzende Neubauten, and there really isn't a better comparison for the sludgy motorized assault that Sword Heaven belched out during these seven minutes. This is simply pulverizing. This was released in a limited run of 300 copies on white vinyl, and comes in a plain white jacket with a black and white xeroxed insert