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Richard Pinhas - Metatron CD (album) cover


Richard Pinhas


Progressive Electronic

3.49 | 17 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
3 stars 'Metatron' is a far more 'Pinhas' centred album than the ultra noise monger 'Merzbow' from Japan. Richard pinhas' hero 'Robert Fripp' plays a large part on this recording despite being entirely absent, willingly or not, on this lengthy double album from 2006. There's a large amount of processed guitar trickery with 'Frippertonic' experiments at work on 'Metatron'.

From the outset Pinhas plays guitar through electronic filters creating a shimmering, floating atmosphere, which creates an hallucinogenic effect. Stand-in 'Magma' drummer Antoine Paganotti batters out some arrythmical jazz drumming over the top of Pinhas' flailing guitar. At times it gets too much, sounding like someone's thrown six bowling balls down some stairs. It's a mesmerising slab of art which is a bit like looking through one of those old kaleidoscopes. Everything washes around without any sense of direction in the most random way. I can tell you one thing - the vast majority of 'Metatron' is unscored and is clearly a free-for-all slowly evolving jam.

'Moumoune and Mietz' is the one true tune on this album and its wonderful. It's uplifting in the way the world's best National Anthem - the Italian - sounds. There's a lot of very odd, turbulent and off kilter 'Magma' drumming throughout which never repeats and is very engaging. It's like the 'Merzbow' Christmas Carol you never heard.

Intensely looped fragments of vocals appear on 'Shadda Blues' amongst swirling electronics. Let's just say that this is not good hangover material.

'Metatron' is an entirely instrumental album with occasional spoken words that has an underlying threat throughout. Like an albatross hanging over your shoulders, waiting for the ship to go down.

And now ladies and gentlemen, the historical bit: 'Metatron' is, according to Jewish medieaval apocrypha, Enoch, ancestor of Noah, who is transformed into an angel. I bet that grabbed your attention eh?

Now, if you can convert your brain into the vibe and oppressive atmosphere of 'Metatron' then you could well enjoy this enormous recording that lasts well over two hours. There's one or two moments of 'Heldon' territory that appear. In particular 'The Fabulous Story of Tigroo and Laloo'. Although it's not much of a story as no words are uttered at all. It is however reminiscent of 'Un Reve Sans Consequence Speciale' from '76. Full of wailing, stretched and groaning guitars while a jack-hammer 4/4 beat pounds relentlessly.

There's some unadulterated Robert Fripp guitar sounds on 'Tikkun part 2'. A shameless theft of guitar sound that 'Pinhas' is only too willing to replicate in respect of his idol. Not only that, he seems more than happy to let everyone know.

More impressive are the the beat-less guitar tracks such as 'Metatronic Rock' which display wobbly, reverberated and highly distorted guitars

This is a real mixed bag of lengthy tunes that sounds at war with itself, not knowing what it really wants to be. A lack of focus is the one criticism I can throw at this. It seems to wander from track to track, punching left and right but making no contact with anything. Thrashing about wildly, like a bag full of cats.

At the end of the day I find it difficult to identify the 'Merzbow' contribution. Of the 20 odd CD's I own by him I can't hear much of his input at all. Weird...

It's still a sonic electronic assault with all sounds being excellently produced and appearing crystal clear whilst played at high volume. Ultimately it's just all too long and drawn out. No matter how often I listen to this I hardly ever reach the end. Too much of the same stuff gradually wears me down. After two hours I've more than had enough. It seems like they could have done with a good editor.

Great in parts, but far, far too long. 'Metatron' turns into and endurance test for even the mightiest of minds.

Dobermensch | 3/5 |


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