Harsh noise wall is a genre with almost as many artists as listeners. This being the state of affairs, it is difficult to pick out the great ones. Not the classics, mind you – everyone understands that Vomir’s consistency and The Rita’s artiness and thematic variation make them the grand-daddies of the sub-genre. Finding new talent, or even defining what talent is, is the tricky part. We’ve previously covered Ivan Sandakov a lot, and will most likely keep doing so. The man has, perhaps literally, a hundred bands going. The one that has the “highest profile” (isn’t it odd how common terms and phrases in music criticism get a certain absurd tinge when deployed in a HNW scene context?) is without a doubt Sleep Column.
On White Door to Death, Sandakov keeps on doing what he does best. We get one 55 minute track of uninterrupted wall noise, covering the entire sonic spectrum. There’s a deep, electronically moaning bass, several layers (real or imagined) of fuzz and distortion and an absolute, principled dedication to pure harsh noise wall. The most obvious comparison is the aforementioned Vomir, but there’s a little less focus on complete immobility here. There are minor fluctuations, especially in the higher frequencies, and at least our ears let the bass also feel ever so slightly shifting under the hissing and crackling noise assault.
The noise carries you off like a binge drinking session as the brain picks out imaginary sounds and images from the crawling chaos. From gigantic, underwater machines to strong winds blowing through abstract landscapes – things keep on coming, until finally the track ends in the way typical of the genre: an abrupt break, leaving you only with a sense of peace and thoughts on what may lay beyond the White door to Death.
The album costs 2 measly Euros from Nihil Worship HNW. If you like your walls massive, without changes or compromise, White Door to Death is certainly worth at least that.