Masami Akita as Merzbow has been a big name on the experimental noise front for decades and MONOAkuma continues to grow the discography without pulling any surprises. It’s almost exactly fifty minutes of extreme noise, distortion and grind, blending analogue and digital elements into an affronting wall.
New elements arrive with varying levels of abruptness throughout to keep you on your toes, most notably the more structured pulsing that comes and goes quite abruptly from around the 32-minute mark, and the almost quirky foghorn-like feedback sound that flits briefly across the plain a few minutes later.
Somehow it manages to carry you along with it, transforming the baseline of your sonic perception throughout. It leaves you, at the end, feeling like you’ve just had a nearly-hour-long sonic bath in electrified gravel- an experience that ought to have been horrible but which in practice is inexplicably gratifying.