Alchemy Records (1996)
My run of killer Merzbow records ends here, with Mercurated. There isn’t much information available on this release, other than it being part of a series put out by Alchemy Records (run by Jojo Hiroshige of Hijokaidan). Perhaps Mercurated has been overlooked because it’s…well….dull.
Merzbow keeps his palette thick and abrasive on this record, it’s all wah-wah infected scree and electronic static. Pure. Walls. Of. Noise. With very little in the way of nuance to keep the listener engaged. All four tracks spend the majority of their time scraping along upper registers, which makes Mercurated’s relentlessness all the more punishing and impenetrable. There’s a split second on Tree of Kusukusu where he peels back the wall and exposes some sort of synthesiser; Freezedgrume opens with a nice moment of rhythmic interplay; and Surfactant starts with a descending whistle that explodes like an old school Nintendo sound effect. But these moments are far too intermittent to carry Mercurated’s 73-minute length.
Those of you after brutal, unrelenting slabs of white-hot noise will find plenty to love here