Tapewyrm's previous demo EPs, 'Nightmares & Noisescapes' Vol. 1 & 2 may have been raw and somewhat naïve forays into the rhythmic noize end of the industrial spectrum. But what they did show was that despite the purposefully lo-fi style glossing over his relative inexperience in the genre, Michael Drayven has a good ear for a scarily catchy beat. And with band's like ESA and W.A.S.T.E currently gaining international recognition, his first full-length under the Tapewyrm moniker, 'Misanthropic Noize', is to be the first true test for the project.
Things start off a little slow with the somewhat tame 'Waking Nightmare', but the frantic mechanical beats of 'Debased' and the sinister groove of 'Edens Fall' quickly show that Drayven is on the right track. Yes, it's still very much the same formula as the previous EPs, but 'Misanthropic Noize' feels like the jump in quality that Tapewyrm needed in order to be seen as a serious contender. Songs like 'Marionette', 'Insomnia', 'Figments', 'Carbon Copy' and 'Rebirth' continue the trend with their groovy rhythms and savage synthesizers. But best of all, they show a willingness to play with ideas and incorporate different approaches to the songs, which wasn't all that apparent on the EPs.
The album is agian fundamentally lo-fi and the layers of distortion still tend to swamp the mix a little too often. But it no longer suffers from a quiet mix. Nor does it feel in any way restrained by uncertainty as the songs veer violently from slow, stripped back and sinister to frantic cacophonies. The only real downside to be found really is the use of samples, which feel a little tired and just sound as though they’re sat awkwardly on top of the mix. What would be interesting though, is to see how the songs would fare with some guest vocals thrown into the pot.
You could poke holes in a few of the tracks on 'Misanthropic Noize', but overall this is a big step in the right direction for Drayven. He may not have quite struck gold yet, but he definitely displays that he has the tools and tenacity to cut it.