REVIEW: KONFLICT/REEK OF THE UNZEN GAS FUMES – “Conflict is Control/Poisonous Gas Thrower of Jigoku”
The Asian underground extreme music scene has always produced interesting and thematically-diverse bands over the years, and we have been seeing more of that in recent years. Konflict is a Sri Lankan black metal/noise-grind band that delivers bludgeoning waves of hellish pandemonium. Reek of the Unzen Gas Fumes is a black/grind/noise band from Japan and are purveyors of incessant and harsh pounding. Both the bands dwell in themes like ultra-nationalism, anti-religion and war. ‘Conflict is Control’ is the Konflict part of the split release whereas ‘Poisonous Gas Thrower of Jigoku’ is the Reek side.
Conflict is Control:
Intense! Konflict display chaos and devastation in auditory form. The drum trigger onslaught occupies tumultuous landscapes in a way that suffocates and strangles your gut. The vocals sound inhumane, and the black-grind tracks bulldoze through anything that stands in the way. ‘Conflict is Control’ starts off with a power electronics segment that sounds immensely thick. Under all the layers of horrifying noise is some solid war metal riffing at solid speed. Tracks like “Haplogroup R-M124” (the haplogroup found in South Asia) and “Aryan Cytoarchitecture and the Handle of a Weapon or Tool” focus on the noise textures sometimes decorated with spoken word samples. The production is wretched and gritty and works perfectly with the music.
Poisonous Gas Thrower of Jigoku:
With Reek of the Unzen Gas Fumes, the presence of grind influence is more prominent, and you will find some more melody in this part of the split, unlike with Konflict. The traditional elements like the guitars and drum machine are slightly louder in the mix, and the distorted vocals add the perfect bit of spice to the insanity. Again, the tracks rip open comfort zones at absurd paces. Tracks like “Dehumanizing Cesspool for Future of Humanity” and “Fatal Psycho Warmonger” have catchy guitars which, while seeming weird for a record of this style, adds to the psychosis.
Both these bands succeed in creating an uneasy and stifling atmosphere, albeit using slightly different approaches. The vocal distortions are exceedingly terrifying, and the noise elements unnerving. These are bands to look out for if maniacal blackened noise-grind is your thing.