steering clear of the mainstream
since 2001

june 2010

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info opinion

Heathen Noise

"Sturm und Drang" CDR


Genres: experimental, noise

Mar 24 - 30 2003

Apparently a homage to German actor Klaus Kinski, Heathen Noise's Sturm und Drang could be one of the most frightening albums I've ever reviewed.  Despite the fact that it is comprised of one twenty-five minute composition, it is a remarkably accessible release.  The three people behind Heathen Noise have used all sorts of sounds and effects to create the scarescape that Sturm und Drang is.  Organ, guitar, and percussion are the only traditional instruments, while the rest of the piece is evened out with bizarre noises and soundscapes, as well as various film samples (presumably from some of Klaus Kinski's movies).

The track reaches a its best bit about halfway in when the band really start using the electric guitar effectively, attacking the listener with an onslaught of echoing, deranged guitar, haunting, tribal percussion, and desperately disembodied film samples.  Suddenly this noise cuts out, replaced instead by eerily pondering guitar, more creepy samples, and the hissing of a broken radio tuner.  At this point it's quite obvious why the band namecheck Popul Vuh in their liner notes.

In all its creepiness, I really like Sturm und Drang.  I can't wait to see what else Heathen Noise can do; I can only hope a follow-up album is in the pipeline.


Fun Fact: Klaus Kinski starred in many films over the duration of his life, including "A Time to Love and a Time to Die," "The Counterfeit Traitor," "Doctor Zhivago," "For a Few Dollars More," "Grand Slam," and many others.  He is famed for working with director Werner Herzog - collaborations between the two include "Woyzeck" and "Nosferatu the Vampyre."

Matt Shimmer

[Vitals: 1 song, distributed by the band, released 2002]