I’m sure every metal fan on the planet has been told “metal is just noise” or something similar at some point in their lives when discussing their musical preferences. An unfounded statement in most cases, but if you had been discussing Jyotiṣavedāṅga then it would be a justified response – this single-sided cassette demo released last year is among the most lo-fi releases I’ve ever heard, and for a genre like black metal that’s really saying something. Half space-ambient, half noisy black metal, this 21 minute release seems unlistenable at first, but once you’ve become acclimatised to the production, or lack thereof, it’s a really interesting listen that packs in a lot of good ideas into a short space of time.
Jyotiṣavedāṅga is named after an ancient India text called Vedāṅga Jyotiṣa on the subject of astronomy and astrology. Fitting as the static tape-hiss throughout the demo, caused by cosmic background radiation, seems to be used deliberately to add to the cosmic sound of the album – whether the spacey ambient/noise interludes or the pieces of scathing black metal, it rumbles away evoking the nothingness of space. Noisy electronics, tape-hiss and an unmelodious eerie synth tone make up the first piece Alien Voices, sounding like it could be the background to a grainy black and white sci-fi horror film, before the noise fades into Great Annihilator, where the harshness of the noise amps up over some of the rawest black metal ever heard. The rumbling bass, guitar, blastbeats and over the top-processed screamed vocals all meld into on deranged wall of sound where it takes an inquisitive ear to even make out the instruments from one another. But despite this war-metal meets harsh-wall noise approach there’s actually some substance underneath the sheer harshness of it, the evil sounding riffs are impressive, even bringing to mind the spaciness of Bolzer, and the vocals so insanely harsh it really makes it more than just a wall of sound. After this just going back into a straight forward space ambient piece with synth, low-key noise and electronics for the next piece unfortunately just dissipates all the tension with so little happening, luckily just briefly before delving back into another blackened noise assault on Black Brane Metaverse where there’s even some industrial sounding syncopation to the guitar work and drums among the static harsh wall of sound, as well as wailing guitars at the end of the track. The EP continues in this manner, eerie if unconvincing noisy space-ambient followed by lo-fi blackened noise. It’s harsh and uncompromising, and even for most black metal fans it will probably be too raw and difficult to listen to, but for those that can make it through Cannibal Coronal Mass Ejections is definitely a strange, but enigmatic and cosmic release.