The debut full-length by Japan-based noise-metal duo Legion of Andromeda, Iron Scorn, will be released February 20 on At War With False Noise in Europe and Unholy Anarchy in the US. (Pre-order it on Bandcamp.) The album is absolutely crushingly heavy. Like Swans in 1984, Big Black in 1986, or Skin Chamber in 1991, it combines relentless percussion, guitars that sound like car-crushing machines, and a general anguished-rage vibe into a sound that’s both overwhelming and unsettling at once. It’s like a combination of wall noise, industrial and doom metal, with your displeasure the primary goal.
Stream “Transuranic Ejaculation”:
The group’s vocalist, -R- (the other half of the duo is guitarist/programmer -M-), answered some questions by email.
One of you is Japanese, the other Italian—how did you first meet, and decide to collaborate?
We both live in Tokyo and our wives are colleagues. One day, while taking a break, they both expressed frustration toward the fact that we, their husbands, were listening to that annoying anti-music every day, such as playing Wold or Unsane for breakfast: so, they discovered that we love the same shit and decided to have a meeting and introduce us. I happily realized that -M- was a disturbed individual like me and we immediately started to share our passion, listening to loads of records together and going to shows. Knowing each other’s history of having played in different projects before, one day -M- asked me to start a duo together and I accepted.
The music is extremely dense and crushing, with programmed drums. Steve Albini, who worked on the record with you, is known for capturing the sound of a live band and particularly for his drum sounds. What did he bring to the project, and why did you feel he would be the right person to engineer the record?
Having both listened to Big Black for more than 20 years, them being a huge influence on us, and feeling penetrated by a sound that is literally physical every time we listen to one of his engineered albums, the choice of Steve Albini seemed not only natural, but almost mandatory. You’re right about the drum sound: just listen to Shellac and you can feel the drums literally hitting you. Instead of live drums, we have this drum machine, an old piece of junk that -M- stole from a high school party, that is a central part of our sound and Albini captured it perfectly: it’s so brain dead and so sadistic that we couldn’t ask for more. On the other hand, Big Black were drum machine-based and Albini made it always sound huge: in the beginning there was the drum machine! Of course the guitar and the vocals sound terrific too with that impenetrable density, that detonating power which perfectly captures our vision of total disintegration.
Do you perform live? What are your plans in that regard for 2015?
Of course we do, we’ll have a Japanese mini tour within a couple of months and we’re looking forward to tour both the EU and US in the future, but still no concrete plans yet: working on it anyway.
Is there much in the way of an ultra heavy industrial doom “scene” in Japan? Are there underground bands you see as your peers, who you’d like to recommend to Burning Ambulance readers?
We really don’t know, we’re still new in the scene, but Japan has always had many astonishing bands that often broke limits. In this regard we definitely recommend Endon…their mix of noise and black metal is the fucking shit.