Last Updated on Monday, 18 June 2007 20:19
CD Title: Exit Ritual
Reviewer: Matthew Johnson
Date: June 1st, 2004
Converter’s Scott Sturgis made a name for himself by being the hardest-hitting act on the already hard-hitting power noise label Ant-Zen, so it catches you off guard how mellow his newest release is. Exit Ritual starts off with a dark atmospheric piece called “Dronr(itual),” completely bereft of beats, before launching into the only marginally more energetic “Bloodsex.” By the time “Nightmare Machine” starts off with a low, distorted thrum, you’re wondering if you’ve put in the right CD, but then a series of earsplitting shrieks reminds you that yes, this is still Converter, after all. The song finishes off with some militaristic samples that are vaguely reminiscent of Death In June’s more experimental pieces. Hard core noise addicts need not fear, as Exit Ritual features plenty of rhythmic noise at a fast enough tempo for dancing. “Cloud Eye” starts out slow and muffled and then erupts into explosive beats, while “Order/Creature” mixes Sturgis’s signature mechanical screeches and distorted sirens with a mid-tempo club rhythm. “Fallen” even introduces elements of drum ‘n’ bass before finishing the album out with a heavily processed voice rambling incoherently about Christ and Satan. Surprisingly, though, it’s the ambient material that really draws you in, the soothing waspy buzz of “Night Swallows Day,” the gorgeous layers of feedback of “Soulstealer,” and the fuzzy foghorn drones of “In Ruin…” It’s still dark and noisy, of course, but Exit Ritual surprises you with how contemplative and almost soothing noise can be.