Something hideous has come back to life in the state of Maryland. After disappearing below ground for almost three years (save for one transitory single released last year), two founding members of Baltimore Death/Grind/Hardcore/Thrash act Noisem have clawed their way slowly back up through the dank, fetid earth to vomit their third full length(ish) album all over our faces.
Joined by new vocalist/bass player Ben Anft, the original pairing of drummer Harley Phillips and guitarist Sebastian Phillips have successfully re-animated themselves and now sound more alive than ever before on new record Cease To Exist (20 Buck Spin).
Offering up ten seethingly cacophonous bursts of skin-melting noise coming in at well under half an hour, Noisem have returned purely to bite your ears off and liquefy your brains into cold, grey soup. There is absolutely zero fucking around as ‘Constricted Cognition’ erupts from the speakers featuring vocals which sound like Jeff Walker of Carcass and Joel Grind from Toxic Holocaust re-enacting the shunting scene from cult eighties movie, Society. The Toxic Holocaust comparison remains with ‘Deplorable’ sounding like ‘War Is Hell’ if it had been dragged backwards through a lawnmower.
‘Penance For the Solipsist’ is brutally unsophisticated, sanity-dissolving noise which will have probably already ended by the time you’ve looked up solipsism on Wikipedia. ‘Putrid Decadence’ begins with a genuine groove and ends up smelling like a week old dead cat, and ‘Filth And Stye’ is basically one minute of undignified mayhem.
After its climactic intro, ‘Eyes Pried Open’ explodes into more unbridled insanity but with the aid of an appropriately infectious ending. The unapologetic carnage of ‘Sensory Overload’ is followed by the Slayer-esque ‘Downer Hound’, the three-minute barbed wire wank of ‘So Below’, and closer ‘Ode To Absolution’, which begins with a slow, crunchy opening but soon turns into a screaming mess of distorted noise and feedback.
A twenty-two-minute eruption of innards and viscera which leaves you sopping wet and dripping with exhaustion, Cease To Exist is just the right duration for a record of this type: long enough for you to get to know all of its vile little flavours but not lengthy enough for you to become desensitized. A perfectly timed smash and grab session filled with savage riffs, skull-pounding blast-beats, and screechingly chaotic guitar solos.
7 / 10