NOEYESFIEND - Assault on Reality
This review was commissioned through Ko-fi. However, it bears no weight on the score or decision. All reviews are written from an unbiased standpoint.
What I can tell you is that NOEYESFIEND, from the get-go, attempts to utilize shock tactics and ear-piercing screeches in order to instigate a response from his audience. At least that’s how I felt at the beginning of ‘Schwarzwelt’, the first song on their forthcoming album “Assault On Reality”. However, these played-out maneuvers I’ve felt echo throughout so many other harsh noise outfits trying to be as aggressive and out there as possible just for the sake of being out there and aggressive does not come off as mature, but as annoying and redundant. Thankfully, that screech was only present during the beginning of the song and soon went away, but fact remains that after my second play of the album or so, ‘Schwarzwelt’ became a no-go-zone for me simply because of that screech. The rest of the song isn’t that bad, using tape loops, thumping percussion, and vocal samples to charge through industrial barricades, but why the need for such a terrible introduction is beyond me – and should be dropped as a staple in the noise scene.
Thankfully, ‘Moment of Creation’ doesn’t dive down that route, and instead invites us onto a spaceship where blinky computer buttons and other sci-fi tech out of an old 50’s B-movie reign supreme. This does not last long as NOEYESFIEND tries to mutilate hardstyle / gabber music into noise. What remains isn’t deserving of being played at even the most underground rave; and the sampled voice within I believe belongs to Samuel Hayden of Doom – just further distorted which wasn’t necessary considering Hayden’s voice acting was already incredible enough. If that isn’t Hayden, then fuck me. Because it sure sounds like an exact replica.
‘Transmission Interrupted’ sounds exactly just like that – a song that’s trying to get through on a radio receiver but fails to complete. What we get is a jumbled up drum’n’bass track that’s lacking the bass portion of drum’n’bass. Instead, we get drum’n’very’quiet’noise. It’s not necessarily a song, but not readily appeasable to a noise crowd either. It lacks substance for either audience. Then we come to ‘Hell Outside’. Do you know what a harsh noise wall sounds like? Yes? Well, there ya go. That’s what this song is. A harsh noise wall. Generally speaking, when you’ve heard one, you’ve heard them all. And this one lasts eleven-minutes and sixteen-seconds. Joy.
I do have to give credit for NOEYESFIEND’s work during the intro of ‘I Have Become Death’. An eerie synth oscillates during the beginning of the song, giving a bit of a haunting ambiance. But then it dives into that hardstyle / gabber / noise mash-up that doesn’t work a la ‘Moment of Creation’. I can say much the same for ‘Dying in a Bullet Storm.
‘Light Cannot Reach You’ is entirely skippable. It’s four-minutes and four-seconds of overblown noise without any rhyme, reason, or structure. The same can be said for the final track on the album, ‘Oblivion’. ‘Death In a Cold Place’ is quite the opposite, however, falling into dark ambient territory. However, it’s repetitious and doesn’t have enough texture to compete with other artists within a similar field. This sounds more like an incomplete demo that still needs time to cook in the oven.
One of the aspects of harsh noise that so many have chosen to embrace that needs to be dropped is the idea that louder is better, no structure is better, and that general raw sound design is the way to go. I believe all three of these aspects have popped up on NOEYESFIEND’s “Assault on Reality” multiple times. And it’s not pleasant. I understand that harsh noise isn’t meant to be easy listening with dancefloor sensibilities; no, that would be ridiculous. But there’s a way to commit to the genre while progressing forward. And this is not it. I can’t find a redeeming quality aside from a few synths but even those are amateur at best. This isn’t fun, interesting, or shocking in any way, shape, or form. It’s simply boring. Two out of ten.Aug 16 2022
I've been writing for Brutal Resonance since November of 2012 and now serve as the editor-in-chief. I love the dark electronic underground and usually have too much to listen to at once but I love it. I am also an editor at Aggressive Deprivation, a digital/physical magazine since March of 2016. I support the scene as much as I can from my humble laptop.
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