The first ‘proper’ (e.g. released in an edition of more than 13) Prurient album in four years, Frozen Niagara Falls is a 90-minute, double-disc opus that spans the different regions of Dom Fernow’s practice across 16 tracks, from brooding atmospheres to howling harsh noise. Expect a suitably cold aesthetic.
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9/10 Ant Staff review, 15 May 2015
Dominick Fernow has become somewhat of thee “noise” poster boy in recent years. If such a thing would appear to be anti-noise then you can blame the internet for that. He clearly works tirelessly with his Hospital Productions label and over the past 17 years has produced an immense discography. His output as Prurient has slowed down a little in recent years, making time for his many aliases, some of which have bled into his current work as Prurient. Listening to ‘Frozen Niagara Falls’ it feels like a culmination of all that’s gone before has been pointing towards this, quite possibly the defining and most focussed album of his career. An epic 2CD set, and at the time of writing forthcoming 3LP.
Generally speaking I’d say ‘Frozen Niagara Falls’ is Prurient’s most polished and accessible work but there’s more than enough harsh/ intense/ extreme moments to keep the old fans happy, assuming they don’t mind their power electronics and primal distorted screaming occasionally laced with glacial icy synth and the odd melancholy melody. The collision of repulsive Whitehouse style noise and extreme beauty is an interesting one, with the beauty seemingly winning over most of the time, working as a catalyst to the extreme noise, creating something far more melancholy. There’s so much to get stuck into here from pounding industrial racket (Traditional Snowfall), to lush synth orchestrations (Jester In Agony), folk tinged guitar (Green Point) , spoken word (Wild Flowers (Long Hair With Stocking Cap)), visceral ‘Cocaine Death’ style vocal destruction and so on.
Fernow puts so much of himself into his records he really achieves a very distinctive sound and that’s evident throughout the album. ‘Frozen Niagara Falls’ is so much more than a disposable quick fix of blistering racket, rather it’s the clearest window into Fernow’s soul we’ve had the opportunity to look through.
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