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10,000 Light Years

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Album Review

Zeni Geva had been together for nearly 14 years and 11 albums prior to this one, but the band's angular, psychedelic noise rock/metal hybrid sounds just as ferocious as ever here. Tight, focused, and apparently pretty pissed off, they tear through the album's eight tracks with the energy of bandmembers half their age. At the same time, though, Zeni Geva understands something many younger bands don't — which is dynamics: When shifting out of the quieter sections and into full-attack mode on tracks such as "Blastsphere" and "Tyrannycide," Zeni Geva sounds like just about the heaviest band on the planet. Leader K.K. Null keeps his vocals to a strategic minimum, leaving the emphasis on the band's jagged prog/math rock rhythms, the dissonant dual guitar riffs and textures, and Masataka Fujika's massive drumming, which benefits from a patented Steve Albini recording job. Most of this disc is not what you'd call catchy; in fact, a lot of it is downright ugly. But then again, this is Zeni Geva — what else would you expect? This band has become known for playing ugly, dense, and uncompromising rock & roll, and 10,000 Light Years does not disappoint.

Biography

Formed: 1987 in Japan

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '80s, '90s, '00s

One of Japan's more eccentric and intriguing extreme music exports of the late '80s and '90s, self-professed "progressive hardcore trio" Zeni Geva (their name derives from an ancient Japanese word for "money" and a corruption of the German "gewalt," or violence) forcibly fused elements of heavy metal, hardcore, industrial music, noise rock, and the avant-garde, gaining no small underground recognition in the process. Having already made a name for himself via several experimental outfits (Absolut...
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