Birushanah CD reviewed by Luc Rodgers

Music Reviews
Birushanah CD reviewed by Luc Rodgers
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Dec 1, 2008, 03:35

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BIRUSHANAH 赤い闇 (Akai Yami) CD

Osaka, Japan's Birushanah are the latest in origin-centric metal now that metal has seemingly become accepted globally. Melding traditional Japanese instruments into their brand of metal (outsider/math/death/prog (breath)) the boys obviously wanted to feel at home while pounding your face into the concrete. This is not the first time a band has used its origins as a stepping stone (read: Taiwan's ChthoniC, Scotland's Alestorm, et al) but more often than not one finds it as an obvious attempt at an empty, national pride. With Brushanah the instruments (Japanese drum (whether it is Kakko or Taiko is unknown), Hyoshigi, and a Koto, to name a few) incorporate textural Japanese sounds to give new life to the  traditionals (new life actually meaning brutally murdering the sound but furthering the sounds nonetheless).

With “浄土 (Jyodo),” the opener, a stage seems set to engage and prepare the listener for what is to come. Or so it may seem. The gong echoes in the chamber and a distant, synthesized chorus slows the heart and the calmness permeates up until the faux-opera harking makes one question the seriousness of the project. (Seriousness not in questioning their dedication but in more of a Mike Patton sense – “Is he serious?”) Everything is quickly shredded when the title track takes off and all of a sudden everything you've known and loves is depleted to ashes all around. It makes no difference whether the lyrics are in Japanese or English (they're in Japanese) because the inflection speaks volumes in that one can only think, “Shit, he's going to kill me.”

After the well-deserved pummeling, “界雷 (Kairai)” comes in and one has to seriously consider if they are up for another 20 minutes of this onslaught. Fans of Sleepytime Gorilla Museum should take note, the prog begins to weigh in and, coupled with the sheer pissy-ness of the vocals, suddenly one finds them self completely entranced. (Yes, these traditional Japanese drums sound like beating trash to these American ears…in a wonderful way.) Anger has never been so hypnotic (and the baby crying twelve minutes in rounds out the creepy/dark aspect perfectly).

Japan has needed a good metal band to round out their stellar lineup of other genres (garage, psych, and crust, all of which Japan has some of the best) and it is Brushanah that will bring the pain and riff.  [Torque/Level Plane]

-Luc Rodgers

 AMAZON

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