Picture the scene if you will… most of the house is absolutely freezing, but I’m sat up in bed… the sun is pouring in through my window and I’m feeling pretty good… yeah the sun is providing me with warmth… but the real heat is coming from the speakers… not only the music, but the vibrations that that they are putting out with this Dhidalah album you would think would be enough to power a small town on their own.
In other words ‘Threshold 発端’, the debut album from Japanese band Dhidalah, is fucking heavy… and it is fucking loud! And if you think it’s like that at the start, just wait until you’ve had 35 minutes of it… seriously if I hadn’t had been writing this in bed I would have had to retire here with a fit of the vapours, my head and its contents pummelled by its relentless pace and energy… it is also a set that has a number of ‘fuck me’ moments… highlighting that this is not just sturm und drang but brilliantly arranged as well.
Dhidalah first came into my radar with their 10″ release ‘No Water’ back in 2017. Comprising two excellent tracks this, sadly long sold out, record is beginning to exchange hands for silly money… such is its excellence.
The album opens with ‘Neuer Typ’, like with the Minami Deutsch debut the very title tells you that you can expect something that is going to be a bit Germanic…Krautrock-like if you will, and there is that motorik beat in there… but this is not overpowering in itself… rather the whole track from the feedback explosion at the start is just a complete masterclass is sound and pace as the band fairly power through the gears in a way that doesn’t pinpoint any influence in particular… I swear for instance there’s an element of Killing Joke in that rhythm section which is heavy and tribal.
Next up is ‘Adamski’ which, each time I hear it I think, ‘fuck me that sounds like The Heads’… which leads me to think that, actually it does. It’s certainly heavy enough and the vocal is definitely of that ilk… but it is that relationship between the crispness of the riff and the almost total carnage that it going on underneath that really seals the deal for me. ‘Adamski’ starts intense and just gets more and more insane… stunning!
Whether it’s the cumulative effect of listening to this album, I don’t know… but each track here seems to get better than the previous one. ‘Jovian Sky’ starts much more panoramically (the ‘sky’ bit I guess) before you are plummeted straight into a maelstrom of guitar that carries you along for a couple of minutes until at about three minutes you get a 20 second bridge and… fuck me… the bloody thing just EXPLODES!!! From there on I can hardly think straight listening and writing at the same time… almost off the scale good (I can’t go too mad because I know what’s coming next)… with each bridge this just goes up… next level… next level…
OK… so forget all previously held superlatives…here comes A.U.M. which starts, and then starts again even better… and then again. This ten minute megalith is almost a suite of tracks which initially heads off at a fairly perambulatory pace in the context of this set… still fucking heavy… then at around 3’45” it begins to take off big time with some real Ashra Temple shit going down before at six minutes it begins to drop down into a sort of dub Sabbath for 30 seconds before going full blown Iommi… this is a great section particular because you know that this motherfucker is going to explode at any minute and… fuck me… there it goes off into soaring vortex of sound which just builds and builds gradually coalescing into a massive black hole before fading into the big bang at the beginning of ‘Neuer Typ’ as the whole megatron of an album begins all over again.
‘Threshold 発端’ is available to order now on Guruguru Brain records here.
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