DANIEL MENCHE – Terre Paroxysm


The messages delivered by the fury of natural elements are probably the scariest, yet Daniel Menche’s sensibility transforms peril into sublime awe. Following Blood Of The Land, on Ferns, Terre Paroxysm was again built upon impressive recordings of wind, ice and rain, unfolding in four specifically characterized movements. Despite previous attempts in the same area by a number of colleagues – with various degrees of success – Menche’s stab is hardly comparable.

First comes a share of classic roar: an inexorable cloud of distortion and melted percussiveness, acrid gas saturating a small room without openings. A sudden conclusion precedes a calmer but still ominous section, a sort of pressurized murmur accompanying downpours and trickles. The environmental stranglehold is superb and the impact on the psyche effectual, principally when huge subterranean bumps appear at the end of the segment.

The third chapter begins with unsteady acute pitches apparently denoting a presage. Sure enough, droning matters escorted by underground vibrations arise, immediately shooting the tension level’s vu meters on red. This is perhaps the disc’s zenith, an engrossing fusion of stupor and repressed violence spreading germs of inexplicability. It could even elicit panic in the feeble-minded, though it mixes splendidly with the birds who sing around the house. The head buzzes, the body feels uncomfortable. Do I hear crickets in there?

The final track is harsher, a sandstorm slashing a sun-dried skin. Amidst the textural erosion, tracers of synthetic light emerge as a flicker of hope in an otherwise irreparable catastrophe. They’re soon engulfed by the swarming mass, becoming one with the concoction of sonic brutality and ensuing amazement that the Oregonian’s records inevitably produce.

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