The Monday Grind: 黒い樹海 (KUROI JUKAI)
It’s Monday and Mondays suck, so let’s grind it out with 黒い樹海 (Kuroi Jukai).
It’s been three weeks or more hasn’t it? Where does the time go. And no, that’s not a question. It has been longer than that since we’ve heard any new material from Canada’s Kuroi Jukai. Which makes sense because they’re defunct. However, a little less than two months ago, Sentient Ruin Laboratories (who deserves all the support in the world, go buy something here because they rule), announced that they were going to do a vinyl release of their one release. Let’s brush up on some of the powerviolence/noisegrind/power electronics that was Kuroi Jukai.
The band’s name is literally translated “the black sea of trees.” A fitting piece of imagery after listening to the incinerating ten minutes of music they blasted out. Eleven tracks in total and not one second of reprieve or mercy. No titles, just bleakness.
What you’ll notice quickly into Kuroi Jakai’s work is that they don’t operate with the same parameters as most powerviolence bands. Opting for more of a noisegrind approach that keeps it just heavy enough to float between the two genres, but without the thick, sludgy breakdowns. Instead of kicking it Weekend Nachos, the band fills space with harsh noise/power electronics, making the aggression on the album up its ante twelve-fold when the do decide to break things down. It acts as a mask or a wall or maybe more aptly put: a depth charge.
The first three tracks grind by so quickly they’ll probably gel together for you. However, once “III” kicks on and that phase shifter hits, you might start to notice how much this sounds like Endless Blockade, Column of Heaven or noisegrind-era Knelt Rote. What’s more, this might be rawer than any of those. Kuroi Jukai are a monstrous force to be reckoned with.
The band is most impressive in how they handle their chaos. Beneath the insanity is a healthy dose of hardcore/punk amidst all the powerviolence, grind and noise. Not surprising considering hardcore’s role in the genres, but the band has some old school tendencies at times when it comes to rhythm. “II” and “VIII” come to mind with their punchy, circle pit worthy bits.
This won’t be for everyone. There’s powerviolence ala Infest, No Comment, Spazz, Uzi Suicide, and then there’s stuff like this. Kuroi Jukai was incredibly forward-thinking with their sound and deserves a lot more attention. If you’re a fan of the rawest forms of grind, powerviolence, or noise, then this is for you. If not, you can probably still set your house on fire with this and hopefully get an insurance claim. Get grinding!
The Monthly Grind is here.