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Jig-Ai - Rising Sun Carnage

Jig-Ai - Rising Sun Carnage
22 short songs whiz by in an orgy of tinny blast-beat percussion and gravel-grit grind. The vocals are buried very deeply and are either super-low wet guttural grunting and growls or field recordings of high-pitched female screaming and agonised howls. These are the charms of "Rising Sun Carnage" by Czech gore-grind band Jig-Ai who sure love their Japanese hentai manga and anime and have found a way of combining their reading hobby with their love of death and gore metal. Since these guys have been recording together and plundering this rich vein of musical and lyrical inspiration for nearly 10 years, there's obviously a market for this branch of extreme grind, yecchy though it be to ordinary mortals. Track titles on this album are deliberately over-the-top trashy and are obsessed with sexual violence, true, but together with the cartoony cover art suggest that the musicians do not regard this stuff very seriously at all and most likely are just as bemused as the rest of us at the popularity of graphic and sometimes violent pornography in manga and anime productions among Japanese men and women. What the guys do take seriously is their music and overall it's a powerful and aggressive steamroller of steel-crunching bass rhythms, thrashy grinding guitars and whippy drumming. Individual songs are hard to distinguish as they're lighting-fast and texturally complex with deeply buried field recordings in some tracks and most don't last longer than 2 minutes and a bit, though there is one song near the end that comes close to a whopping 4 minutes in length. Early tracks are like "blink and you'll miss 'em" grinding blur but as the album progresses, more melody is introduced on some tracks and lead guitar gets to play some solo spots even if these last no more than 30 seconds or so. Several riffs are actually very good, deep, crunchy and even very rock'n'roll groovy so it seems a shame that the songs where they appear are so short and don't allow for their repetition and development as dominant track motifs. In later tracks, the music becomes quite complex and the drummer is allowed a solo break on one track. The 4-minute whopper "Animal Revenge" features field recordings of animal whistles and noises so the band does like to experiment a bit within the limits of their musical style. Some reviews I have seen suggest that the music is repetitive but that was not the impression I had while listening to the album. I suppose though that playing so fast and nearly always at the same speed, in such short songs in the same key, and with such sonically dense and gravel-textured music, results in the riffs and melodies sounding very similar to some listeners. At this stage in their career - "Rising Sun Carnage" is the band's third album - these guys can afford taking risks with the music by writing and playing longer and maybe slower songs with a deeper, harder sound. On this album, everything sounds cheap, tinny and trashy which I suppose suits the band's purpose and underlines the musicians' message that they are only having fun with the themes and concepts they play with and wish no harm to anyone. The guys could try a slower and deeper sound mixed with the lighter, faster music as a compromise and see where that takes them. The occasional bout of experimentation and improvisation wouldn't hurt either and would vary the band's otherwise very precise, tight and highly technical style. (Metallum Review)

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