From the perspective of an outsider looking in, Japanese noise seems like an untouchable universe of legendary proportions. Names like Hijokaidan have inspired artists and fans alike for decades now, and the lore backing this seems to grow stronger and stronger as time goes on. For a kid growing up in some shitty town like so many of us did, the point of no return is often the discovery that this universe intersects with the little world you call your own— whether it be in your friend’s basement, in some awful bar that doesn’t actually want you there, or in some space you could have never imagined, but appears to be the perfect home for something you thought barely existed outside of your head.
Demonologists are a staple of this distinctly American noise experience. Operating out of Indiana since the mid-2000s, they are one of several prolific acts to crop up after the “noise boom” surrounding the increased exposure given to experimental music at that time. Appearing on splits with To Live And Shave In L.A., Gnaw Their Tongues, Cock E.S.P., Wasteland Jazz Unit, Blue Sabbath Black Cheer, and more alongside a stellar discography of their own, the unit has forged a dark and bizarre sound which confines you within the walls of a psychological hell.
Their collaboration with Junko is no different. Her signature vocal style is maddening, and the onslaught never lets up. With this serving as a guide throughout the passages Demonologists traverse, the entire disc feels as if it could be one long nightmare hallucination. Elements of noise, industrial, and the electronic avant-garde weave in and out for the duration of the six tracks found here, leaving you stranded in the depths you’ve been dragged down into. The pairing of these two is a natural horror— there is not even a glimpse of hope in sight.
– Matt Boettke