Note: Jo was worried about this review. Even I was slightly concerned.
Maybe I had gone too far this time. So I did the unthinkable. I contacted
Michael Page and showed him the review. He then had a choice. Go with
it or ask for my serious back-up one to be used instead. Thankfully he
has a sense of humour. He hasn’t a problem with it. Please remember
this before you think about complaining about the content.
An imagined and total fabrication of a day in the life of Michael Page:
0850hrs. Woke up. Smelt the coffee. Nice. Got a day off work so think
I’ll record a new album. Can’t remember how many that is so
far. I’ll count them all one day. Better have some breakfast first.
A bacon bagel. Mmnnn. Tasty.
0925hrs. Fed and feeling good. Go down to basement which I’ve converted
to a recording studio. Check equipment. Modulators. Ok. Oscillators. Working
fine. Disruptors. Ditto. Amplifiers buzzing. Electronic gizmos and circuit
boards. Ready. Microphones. Have three to use. Might plug in another.
Computer looking sexy. Time to boot into Windows.
0950hrs. At last. Billy Gates has a lot to answer for. Open up my
favourite music making program. Hit some switches and press ‘record.’
Makes a squealing sound. Will keep that. Thump the gizmo. Great horrible
noise. Like it. Keep flicking switches and moving all manner of slides
and dials. Heck this is impressive stuff. How could things so small sound
so loud. Dunno but it appeals to me. I’ll limber up and do some
1036hrs. Finished with my scales. Now got to lay the vocals down. Growl
menacingly into the microphone. Sounds like phlegm stuck in there. Couldn’t
wish for a better effect. Make up words as I go along. Sometimes even
I scare myself at the thoughts that I pour out. Makes me sound like an
1106hrs. Record more music. Add more depth to the noise. Which is pretty
awesome as it stands. My ears start hurting. A good sign. Means I’m
doing something right. Throw my amps up to eleven. Can’t get higher
than that. Soon be finished.
1156hrs. Play around with my music making program. Move bits here and
there. Nearly done. Extreme music should be my middle name. Might change
it by deed poll. Fuck me if I’m not good.
1209hrs. Done and dusted. Sounds great. Very heavy and quite strident.
Lots of disorientating noise which is what my fans demand. Yeah…all
told I’m happy with this one. Just need a title and some artwork.
1249hrs. ‘Come Closer Cut Deeper’ seems good. Rolls off the
tongue. The pictures I found on the Internet to accompany it are not for
the squeamish or faint hearted but it sells it pretty well. Cut flesh.
Even I’m going all woozy looking at it. Will make some copies and
send them out for review. Sit back and smile at a job well done. Will
sleep for the rest of the afternoon.
Two weeks later:
1113hrs. Just seen the review in AP. The reviewer called it ‘an
exemplary display of extreme / power noise terrorising with the nine tracks
reinforcing my belief that Michael Page is an artist of unique worth whose
work will never be compromised’. Read some other shit in the review
but liked that bit best. Makes my day to be appreciated. Might just go
and make myself another recording.
NB…Ok…I’m well over the top there. The music making
process is long and torturous and can be soul destroying when it just
won’t gel. Michael Page knows this better than anyone. Noise fanatics
are well catered for with every release he sees fit to put out. Aggressive
and raucous with just the right balance to keep them from being a complete
overblown mess. Other should take note of his practices. Long may he continue
in this vein. The ego has been stroked and massaged.
Fire In The Head stands for brutal power electronics, it's been less
than two months since I reviewed his previous cd "be my enemy"
somewhere else here. With the coversleeve showing a sliced opened throat
and all in all everything packaged in brutal imagery. I am pleased to
get myself down into the dark noise of Fire In The Head.
Opening up a scene of violence with "what you can do", you
get straightly pushed down in a bath of green harsh rumbling noise, with
the vocals of Michael Page sounding psychotic, spitting out his lyrics
inbetween walls of harsh noise. With "lie to me" we get slowly
taken away to a more ambientesque feeled and industrialized emptified
landscape with huge planes flying over, feels like some futuristic soundtrack
for what gives me pretty much a dark and pessimistic feel of an empty
destroyed world.Blackened and burnt.
Although I wished I could keep getting lost in his darkened landscapes,
it takes about four minutes til I'm getting rudely awakened by "across
your face" with feedback manupilations, microphone abuse, contact
mics and his vocals. Harsh violent , sick and disturbing.
Following in line is "the art of obliteration" where it really
interesting with Fire In The Head's his experimentings on feedback
manipulations and layers of rumbling and crackling noise. One of my
favorite tracks on here is definitely "malfunction" which features
lyrics from the almighty Cro Mags, mangled inbetween violent and painful
nailbiting powerlectronics. I love it when people combine hardcore/punk
with noise. Fire In The Head keeps on cranking up my head through "the
last thing you'll see" that has more of a dark ambient direction,
with some apocalyptic bursts and breakdowns inbetween the most instrumental
feeled composition on here.
With "come closer cut deeper" you get nine dark violent feeled
compositions, that range from harsh powerelectronics to pretty dark and
twisted ambient feeled directioned compositions. Fire In The Head drags
you through his landscapes and manifestos of sick minded violence, with
bloody bursts of harsh noise. I'm totally into this, and it's amongst
the cd's I can listen to without stopping. Beautifully released in a jewelcase
on Nihilist Records. Fire In The Head appeals to anyone into Sickness,
Slogun, Freak Animal Records, Facialmess and Japanese harsh noise.
Keep an eye out for Fire In The Head as he will be getting on tour through
Europe around May 2006 together with Burn Ward. Be sure to check it out.
Consider me totally down with Fire In The Head.
Outfitted with a warm and family friendly cover and released through
the US-based Nihilist Records, Fire in the Head's Come Closer Cut Deeper
is the artist's new offering to friends of heavy noise. Some parts of
CCCD are reworks of material from FITH's earlier demos, and as a pleasant
surprise the disc also contains a new version of the stylish Written Across
Your Face (now titled only Across Your Face) originally released on the
artist's self-titled CDr. Make no mistake, despite some familiarity this
is not a disc of recycled crud, because there's a wealth of stuff hear
not heard before, and even the familiar pieces have put on an entirely
FITH's grip is still as firm as ever, making Come Closer Cut Deeper's
music as loud and lyrics as cold and determined as his other works,
although compared to the magnificent Be My Enemy, CCCD's more direct,
harsh noise-like approach is closer to Mr. Page's earlier releases. Nothing
wrong with variation of course, releasing material that sounds exactly
the same would definitely be a worse approach.
Even though the sounds used in the tracks are very similar to
each other throughout the album, the compositions themselves are wildly
different in style, execution and general feeling. For example, Across
Your Face offers shrieking high-pitch sounds while What You Can Never
Do and The Art of Obliteration draw their power from a steady, beefy bass
making them feelmore immediate. As a good demonstration of the artist's
versatility, The Last Thing You'll See combines piercing distortion with
a choir-like background, which makes the track sound rather melancholy
despite its loudness.
CCCD contains no weak tracks, but as a whole it doesn't quite reach the
level of Be My Enemy. This should not come as a surprise though, since
the latter was in all ways so good that it'll be a challenge even for
Mr. Page himself to top. FITH's style is becoming more personal release
by release, and with such a combination of originality and quality I can't
but give CCCD a thumbs up too.
Michael Page's musical output is impressive. Only few months ago "Be
my Enemy" blasted through my speakers when "Come closer, cut
deeper" marks the next step in FITH's musical career. Just as "Be
my enemy" "Come closer..." sports harsh electronic eruptions,
spherical passages and blood drenched vocals. Though the styles blend
in perfectly "Come closer..." appears to be a little more on
the harsh side then "Be my enemy". Interestingly this album
gives the opportunity to check out what "Malfunction" of the
Cro Mags may sound like in the PE-way.productionwise it is still totally
hi-fi. Transparent, with maximum pressure and really brutal. If you are
into PE you should already be familiar with FITH's work and know of it's
class. Recommended album, go contact Nihilist-Records asap!
I don't know how to express myself more for Fire in the head then I have
in the last couple of reviews I've done. I wish he would return the interview
I sent him. Fire in the head is the 21st verison of what Slogun, Bastard
Noise or Merzbow did in the early and mid 90's: Mind altering, Sonically
Nightmarish Power Electronics meets Death Industrial. This is what all
bands have to compare themselves to. I really feel only Sickness, Emil,
Prurient and I:G even stand in the same light as Fire in the Head. This
is just another piece of the puzzle I look forward to every release more
and more . Now I'm done till the next masterpiece arrives.
This is a ripping experience, like being chewed in a turbine at 24 RPMS
in pitch black! At the same time, it sustains a subliminal level of beauty
& grace, unparallelled by any other artists in the genre. Vicious
attacks by one M. Page (USA) the visionary behind Come Closer, Cut Deeper.
Hostile extreme electronics slice through organs like sharpened blades
through ripened veal. Truly a masterpiece to be reckoned with! I cannot
recommend this release enough!
Photos of corpses and slit throats should help me to get in the mood
for this record. Again the walls of manipulated noise and screaming feedback
sounds are abundant, with angry texts spit out to make it more festive.
Some tracks slow the pace a bit down, like the intense soundscape ‘Lie
to me’, while others are almost rhythmic (’The art of obliteration’).
‘Malfunction’ uses lyrics of a classic Cro-Mags track, which
I wouldn’t have recognised if it weren’t mentioned in the
booklet. A piece I quite like is ‘The last thing you’ll see’,
which combines uncomprimising noise with an ominous ambient background.
From Vital Weekly:
First I have to set the record straight. For a couple of times we
mentioned in reviews that Fire In The Head's frontman Micheal Page was
once a member of Slogun, but this is not true at all. Slogun is just one
man, and Fire In The Head is just another thing by someone else. Correcting
this is the best way to do another review of his work, following last
week's review of his CD for Eibon Records, here is a new one. Already.
One might think he's going for the full Merzbow experience? Not sound
wise, as Fire In The Head continues what he does best. A fine combination
of power electronics, piercing loud, but not just banging on the distortion
pedal, there is strong undercurrent in this music that is related to ambient
industrial. Throughout 'Come Closer Cut Deeper' seemed to me louder and
noiser than last week's 'Meditate/Mutilate', which had a few calmer moments
to spare. Also a little bit less varied than that one. But Fire In The
Head is a noise force who knows what he is doing, still. This new one
might appeal to the die hard fans.
The world is populated by some real sick *censored*ers out there. I’ve
perused the web and seen things no sane person should or would ever want
to get into. I’ve read stuff in newspapers and books and felt society
losing its grip. The weirdos are everywhere. I see them in my streets
all the time. Dressed in *censored*ed up hand me down clothing to match
their crap haircut and adorned with stupid *censored*ing tattoos. Let’s
not forget the body piercing. Walking pin cushions one and all. *censored*s
they are. *censored*s they will forever be. Get a job. Get a grip. Get
*censored*ing life. Sick bastards. These are the sort of people who will
get a kick out of Fire In The Head. Music that bares none of the hallmarks
of music. Anti music for societies great displaced and unwashed. Anti
music made just for them so they can prance and preen around and say how
hip they are. Michael Page…Mr FITH himself…caters for these
sick individuals. He’s made a career out of releasing ‘no
holds barred’ anti music that falls in-between power electronics
and extreme electronic music. The 9 tracks on ‘Come Closer Cut Deeper’
follows along similar lines. Tortured vocals are occasionally added to
the devastating aural assaults of the screaming electronics but for the
most part it is a hellish racket that assaults the ears. Noise that annoys.
Noise capable of melting flesh from the bone. Noise that only the insane
could really appreciate. And the weirdos out there will love it. Love
the way the whole
recording never lets up from first to last extreme muscle laden musical
note. Love the aggressive and raucous anti music, with just the right
balance to keep it from being a complete overblown mess. Love the uncompromising
stance taken by the artist. Love the fact that Michael has created music
just for them. Love the disgusting cover of cut flesh which they, the
weirdos, will proudly display. For ‘Come Closer Cut Deeper’
is sick music for all the sick *censored*s out there. This is their world.
And I have no place in it.
From Club Debil:
Schon das Cover der CD lässt wenig Zweifel daran, was den Hörer
erwartet. Ein Closup von einem Menschen mit durchgeschnittener Kehle macht
klar, dass dieser Tonträger keine angenehme Unterhaltung enthält.
Stattdessen bieten Fire In The Head, das Projekt des Amerikaners Michael
Page fetten PowerNoise mit Sounds an der Schmerzgrenze. Richtungstechnisch
scheint hier eher MK9/Death Squad Pate gestanden zu haben als der oft
Zusammenhang mit Page erwähnte Slogun-Macher Joe Balistreri. Gelegentlich
fühlt man sich auch an Japan Noise erinnert. Krasse, kreischende
Sounds, Nervzerfetzendes Gefiepe, Übersteuertes aller Couleur und
nicht zu vergessen, die, wenn auch etwas spärlich eingesetzten, aggressiven
Vocals. Alles wie gehabt also und wie in dieser Sparte üblich. Ein
wenig ungewöhnlich und im Seitenprojekt Sky Burial stärker ausgeprägt
sind die klaren Keyboardflächen, die gelegentlich unter den Krachattacken
liegen. Das lockert den doch recht harschen Sound ein wenig auf. Eher
ungewöhnlich ist auch, dass Michael Page eine Coverversion auf sein
Album gepackt hat:
"Malfunction" von den Cro Mags. So recht zu erkennen ist das
Original allerdings nicht mehr. Insgesamt ein recht ordentliches Genrealbum,
das Freunde von "Musik, bei der die Ohren bluten" sicher zufrieden