Olekranon: {bilal}
Housepig / Inam Records

A year in the making, {bilal} is Ryan Huber's Olekranon follow-up to the equally blistering Identi. The new release features ten of what he calls “heavy and discordant electronic-noise-ambient explorations,” and on most counts he's right on target, though one would have to look fairly closely to find anything remotely resembling ambient as it's generally understood; “Deka” is admittedly quieter, if you can call a track that in certain moments suggests the squealing of a butchered pig quieter, while “Sunblind” slows the tempo to a nightmarish dirge and the overall intensity level is dialed down ever so slightly. At times, {bilal}'s material resembles a kind of droning metal-sludge where low-slung bass lines and beats keep the grime-coated guitar maelstrom happening above from destroying everything in its path. Emerging like an organism from a dirt-covered shell, “Adamkan” rubs its bleary eyes and then kicks into full-throttle mode, with Huber's wall-of-sound powered by a buzzsaw attack of guitars and drums that's so loud it verges on punishing. The tidal wave of shriek and howl generated during “Brng Yvwh” and “Master Swine” is likewise awesome, and the guitar-driven battering ram that is the title track detonates with the subtlety of a nuclear explosion. {bilal} is obviously prepared for those who like a generous helping of noise added to their musical appetite. Nirvana for metal-heads and noiseniks, in otherwords; hell on earth for grandparents and respectable citizens in general.

February 2011