HeatdeatH: II
Static Station

When Tim Glenn's stampeding drums join Andrew Broder's strangulated guitar wail a dozen seconds into HeatdeatH's II, you'll swear you've been swept into the center of a hurricane. It's hard to resist such metaphors when Broder's axe roars at such a decimating level and Glenn's tom-toms and kick drums stoke such a tribal firestorm. In fact, the Minneapolis duo cranks its sound to an even more epic pitch by bringing electronic manipulations into the mix, and things build to such a feverish tumult halfway through side one that you'd better be sure you're strapped in when the hellacious mix hits its stride. Side two grows in intensity a little more patiently but by the seven-minute mark it too is in full broil and eventually works itself into an amazing climax spearheaded by razor-sharp sheets of monotone guitar roar. It's worth noting that II is “noise” music by design but it's not noise of the unpleasant, ear-shattering kind. Instead, HeatdeatH's wall of sound more often than not envelops rather than bludgeons the listener.

That the long-time collaborators (the two participated in a Minneapolis performance of Rhys Chatham's Guitar Trio, for one) issued their debut in March on Conspiracy Records (home to (Jesu, ISIS, Birchville Cat Motel, Nadja, et al.) should tell you something. Though II is being promoted as an EP, it's actually a mini-album whose two vinyl sides total about thirty-four minutes (the release is being issued in a limited-edition run of 300 copies which comes with a download coupon for high-quality mp3s of the record plus a seething, six-minute third piece unavailable elsewhere). II is the blackest of black holes, a searing vortex of immense power that collapses death metal, electronic experimentation, drones, and noise into an awesome, monolithic force. Imagine an improv between Naked City and Last Exit and you're almost there. And one final thing: don't even think of playing the material at anything less than maximum volume.

September 2008