Bruno R. Julian’s Maussade is one of the many lesser known acts in the small but flourishing Harsh Noise Wall scene. With a handful of releases, most or all of which have been made on physical media, Maussade stands out in a genre whose hardcore participants often churn out massive amounts of material online with little thought behind it. This CD, released in 2011 but still available from the label, is a good example of how to do HNW right. The slim case cover, the CD slipcase and the sole insert, adorned by minimalist photographic artwork, complements the musical content very neatly.
The term “musical” is of course being used in its broadest possible sense. As far as the sound goes, À la néantisation de la vie par l’homme rationnel is pretty much as pure HNW as can be imagined. While not quite as static as genre luminaries Vomir, Maussade’s work is not exactly full of dynamism. There is a nice, basic crunch with heavy bass, and there are certain minor variations in the modulation of the feedback crackle, but basically this is one constant, crashing wall of thundering noise that never, ever lets up. Like much HNW, this is not exactly brutal, but played at the proper volume it is certainly powerful enough. Fans of the genre would do well to pick this album up before it sells out, as I am sure it is bound to sooner or later.