Artist, multi-instrumentalist and part-time shaman Michael Donnelly is back with another heaping slab of molten sonic weaponry to pour into our ever-waiting ear canals. This time around, he?s serving up a four-course meal of discombobulating bliss, a la carte from a beautiful green hand-painted menu. There?s no hesitating, eat it all up and beg for a second helping.
?Fortress of Eternal Smells? finds Donnelly wandering through minefields of noisy static and stumbling upon caverns where unspeakable rites are taking place. On this collection of songs Donnelly ups the dosage of dissonance, to great effect. Thick slabs of suffocating static and feedback are juxtaposed with ornate instrumental passages, often multiple times in the same track, such as in opener ?Bangh, the Transcendentalist.? The echoic vocalisations in ?Empire of Church Organs? represent the shaman at work; Donnelly?s voice fits perfectly alongside the arcane rhythms conjured up by the guitar and drums. Even though we can?t make out what he?s saying, the preternatural inclination is clear.
?Magnetic Paper Tapes? is a brief voyage through diffracted light. Plucked strings and violin squiggles provide a brief moment of calm, contrasting the pandemonium that leads in the final track, ?Wave and Field.? A punch in the face loses its meaning in the wake of feedback and clatter ? Donnelly?s got a rocket launcher aimed directly at your gullet, and you don?t stand a chance. Thankfully, the limitations of technology allow you to survive this onslaught and to prepare for the next. Believe me, it won?t be long ? get ready!! 8/10 -- Bryon Hayes (27 June, 2006)