Through a pair of decent headphones, Plotkin's compositions -- a death-jazz amalgam of blast-beat double-kick drumming, thrash-metal riffing and heavy dub/prog bass -- become a kaleidoscopic backdrop for a teeming panorama of spectral sounds and shapes. "Scrolling Sideways" lopes out of the gate with a cyclotronic bass riff that rides David Witte's hi-hat crash wave, only to be mowed down by a flurry of Plotkin's treble-shredding guitar scree and inhumanly fast double-bass-drum fury. Stray voices, invoked by DJ Speedranch, burble up through the carnage, splatter across both channels and go silent. Ringing harmonics drift through the slaughter and dissipate. Paper-thin layers of sonics are folded over and over one another until they form a densely compacted monolith that opens unexpectedly to reveal vistas of space. Here, in these fleeting pockets, Plotkin reveals the skeletal mechanics of his music. Ethereal waves of drone and chime hang weightless in time, propping up the colossal beast. Then Phantomsmasher snaps its jaws shut on these delicate skeins of ectoplasm and resumes its charge toward noisy free-metal chaos. Or maybe that's just tinnitus creeping up on you, but who cares? Phantomsmasher's submerged world of beauty becomes ever more enticing as its volume drowns out the dull gray world of the living.
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