AMN Reviews: Hijokaidan – Emergency Stairway To Heaven (2015; Cold Spring Records)

Unknown to many (including this writer), Hijokaidan is considered to be one of the first noise bands, having been founded in 1979. This 2015 release on Cold Spring Records demonstrates that the group is not showing any ill-effects of age when recording aggressive heavy improv. The clearly identifiable instruments are guitar and drums, both played in a freak-out, structureless style. Electronics and perhaps another guitar accompany. Comparisons can be made to some of Merzbow‘s recent work with the likes of Balazs Pandi and Mats Gustasfsson. Past collaborators include Merzbow (of course), Acid Mothers Temple, and Otomo Yoshihide.

This particular album is a double, featuring a 50-minute studio suite eponymously entitled Emergency Stairway To Heaven, and then another 65 minutes documenting two live performances. Great stuff if you enjoy unrelenting, ever-changing walls of metallic noise.