Lightning Bolt : Hypermagic Mountain

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With vocalist Hisham Bharoocha gone to Black Dice, the vocal duties in Lightning Bolt have been turned over to drum wizard Brian Chippendale. Thus, the band now consists of him and the other Brian—Gibson that is. Lightning Bolt is back with a monstrous sound that could make a building implode. The noise of Hypermagic Mountain is so schizophrenic that not even a quadruple dose of Thorazine could block this album out of your head as you listen to it. The album, which was originally recorded as two track recordings, should not be heard by any person who has a pacemaker.

“2morrow Land” is a nice mix of some of a spazzed-out free jazz rhythm and a tree shredder as Chippendale’s vocals sound three-quarters of the way buried in the mix, like a living victim who has just been placed six feet under and is kicking and screaming for help. “Captain Caveman” shows splashes of doom metal in the riffs as Chippendale shows no mercy on his snare drum. It would seem that the only way it could physically be possible for him to play this song is if he had eight arms, each hand clasping a drumstick. The days of Ministry’s The Mind is a Terrible Thing to Taste are brought back to memory on “Birdy,” as its screams are similar to the ones that Al Jorgensen emitted from what sounded like an old, cheap megaphone on its last breath.

Part of what makes Hypermagic Mountain so nutty is the wide gamut of sounds that it makes. Gibson never ceases to amaze either. He makes his guitar blare this macabre hoo and howl sound on “Mega Ghost” which could be the noise made by a half owl/half timber wolf creature created in a laboratory. Being an avid fan of the History Channel I think I can say that the resonance of “Magic Mountain” is similar to that made by the engines of Japanese fighter jets flown by kamikaze pilots, ten seconds before they plunged into warships. Even the scattered madness of “Dead Cowboy” could make madmen like Richard D. James say, “Dude, this is totally fucking with my head.”

Lightning Bolt really does go the distance and then some with their noisy avant-post-rock this time around. Hypermagic Mountain may seem Gargantuan to the fresh ears of someone who has never heard Lightning Bolt. However, if you look beyond that and actually hear the process in which this duo plays, it will probably be the most rewarding album that you’ve deciphered all year.

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