Merzbow – Space Metalizer (Alien 8) 1997


If you frequent Merzbow and noise forums on even a casual basis you will most likely find Space Metalizer in a lot or people’s Top 5 Merzbow records. A reader from Brooklyn got me onto this and it has fast become a favourite of mine. The difficulty I have is where to place it in the contest of Merzbow’s discography. I know that Merzbow has said that his titles have no relation to the actual noise he releases but there is something psychedelic, metallic and vaguely futurist about the squall and scree he unleashes on us with this one. If I compare it  to the albums that he released around the same period such as Oersted, Pulse Demon and Venerology I think it is fair to say that Space Metalizer is a little friendlier on the ears. I’m not sure whether it is because it feels less dense or whether I have a greater comfort level because there are smatterings of things that some of us might recognise as instruments (I won’t go as far as to say music). It’s hard to say really. What is important is to tell you that many of the tracks display the same brutality but  for whatever reason it is a lot more listenable than some of the other records he produced around the same time. In between the brutal assaults there are some quite gothic bubble-pulse moments like the first couple of minutes of Son of Zechen but like all good Merzbow he obliterates that light with layers of what sounds like a very loud faulty phaser. If you are going to delve into Merzbow’s back catalogue then you probably need to add this one. Like everything else he has released on Alien 8, Space Metalizer is very good Merzbow indeed.

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