Belonging to the generation of Japanese kids that started bands in the early 2000s inspired by the legends of Japanese 1990s hardcore punk such as Gloom, Disclose, CFDL and Frigöra, Isterismo is today one of the most important contemporary Japanese hardcore punk bands and one that continues to firmly put Japan at the very top of the worlds hardcore punk scenes. As always, Isterismo remain at the forefront of the contemporary Japanese raw noise hardcore scene along with peers Zyanose and D-Clone. Isterismo’s unique blend of noise is no doubt indebted to the older statesmen Gloom who lead Japan’s 1990s raw noise crasher scene mixed with a healthy fascination for classics of Italian hardcore, notably the loud message of ‘chaos non musica’ from Italian anarchists Wretched. In 2012, Isterismo is no longer the young upstarts of Tokyo hardcore punk scene that they were once coming up, but after a number of important records and regular gigs at home as well as abroad, today Isterismo is an established, hardened and mature band. The timing of the new Isterismo record, a 12” mini LP co-released by La Vida Es Un Mus and Crust War, is absolutely perfect.
In what will surely be remembered as their defining record, Folia Verso L’interno starts with the longest and slowest song of the record which like the calm before the storm builds up for the sounds of the nuclear destruction that follows. Spanning the best part of ten minutes, split by five tracks on each side of the record, consisting of minute long bursts of violent, chaotic and disordered eruptions of anguish, anger and pure unadulterated loudness!
Sound production of this new record is absolutely great! Despite the thick wall of Isterismo’s violent, chaotic and above all loud assault on all the senses, every instrument can perfectly be heard in the mix! While this may be the loudest Isterismo record so far—and likely one of the loudest records ever—it’s paradoxically Isterismo’s most accessible record to date. Above all, it is with this new release that Isterismo come into their own sound and style, making all cheap references to other bands entirely redundant.
The one word that best describes this recording is not noise, as many may expect, but finesse. You will hear finesse in the expert guitar play, with subtle solos and riffage hidden in the high distortion and messy chaos, drum rolls are complex while the bass guitar is crisp and loud. For sure, this is the most important Japanese hardcore punk LP since the Kriegshög LP.