EarthFlesh – “Embrace” Album Review (harsh noise/ambient)

We make our long-overdue return to reviews and lend our already-damaged ears to the harsh noise of Switzerland for EarthFlesh and their new release, Embrace.

Embrace is a 1-track piece clocking in at just around 58 minutes. Bruno Silvestre Favez, the warped brain behind EarthFlesh has created herein a sonically uncomfortable but pretty-well thought out composition. Bandcamp states: “The result is with no doubt one of the most demanding and challenging recordings in the young yet prolific discography of EARTHFLESH ; a deafening and relentless (to say the least) hymn to life, death and eternity.”

How can one create a “thought out” noise piece, you ask? Easily. He’s conceptually already got it down as it is apparent the artist’s command of depth and presence are there. Embrace already lays down a mid-tone groundwork of harsh noise like a rolling pot of boiling water, sporadically dripping over the edge of the pot. All the while, he’s manipulating the temperature. The point here is not to destroy. It’s to create unease/discomfort. The release appears to not be an arbitrary, pointless harsh noise wall whose point is merely to overwhelm your brain with a barrage of low and high frequencies…. No. EarthFlesh, I believe is more concerned with planting a sonic garden on rocky ground but planting in different locations. Perhaps that’s what he had in mind with the project name to begin with.

At some points in the near hour-long track, Embrace takes more of a free-flowing, unmanipulated form but still remaining in the mid-frequency range. But then later takes on more traditional harsh noise wall qualities. Perhaps it could be that the artist applies more manipulation toward the beginning of the piece and allows the natural flow of sound to breathe on its own later on. Not too many artists I think are mindful of the audience’s ears listening to transition between manipulated and free-flowing when it comes to noise. But somehow I think this is what EarthFlesh is hoping for.

In any case, EarthFlesh is an artist to watch as he’s putting Switzerland’s noise scene on the map. Currently, Embrace is available digitally on Bandcamp and as a short-run CD from the appropriately-named Short Run Industries.

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