Pale Sister is a mystery Noise project that has released 4 known cdrs and a cassette since 2010; Ostomy,The Altar, Embrace, and Beneath the Marble and this cdr Ordeal. Described by the label as an ‘absolute mystery cult band of noise hermits.’
Ordeal opens with accelerated pulsating drum machine beats that fall into a muffled assault, sounds then become more abrasive and everything begins to dissolve, forming a low wall of distorted noise. This is followed by a single sharp aggressive pitch of frequency that serves as an intro to the following wall of noise which differs by standing as a more aggressive built up harsh wall; inside of this, pitches of sharp feedback shriek inside the wall, combining to rise to harsh inner frequencies. This is followed with only the sharp feedback sounds remaining and continuing the assault. The sharp sounds then disintegrate in resonance to become a fractured static Morse code. The harsh wall is then fully reconfigured with lower frequencies being thrown about within this thicker density of assault. Sharper blasts of noise then cut through; suppressing the static, as this wall dies out a new wall continues the sonic attack for a brief time. This gives way for passage of harsh noise; severe sharp sounds and clattering metal kick build a large assault that thins out as it progresses.
As this happens certain elements are isolated and emphasized over others to take the lead at different times. A shattered very brief jingling passage makes way for an overall metallic clatter that is reinforced through a shifting cacophony of building feedback that is gradually cut down. A passage of punkier American abusive noise begins, screeching and scraping harsh noise that seems to fight within itself to form a larger build up. The sound then begins to stumble and clutter around as if trying to find direction unknowingly realizing it already had done so previously. Things move on with the re-emergence of more static mass walls that again punctuated by sharp pitches of sound and high frequencies that make the wall seem transparent. This slowly dies out into a more ambient atmosphere. A sudden final chaotic sputtering distortion chokes the album to death.
The album has mad (Gacy) clown artwork with a cut piece of 7” vinyl inside for the cd to attach to, This makes for an odd multi format release; I could actually play the last few seconds of the cut out vinyl on my record player. It was a kind of funky soul track, I could not identify. In more ways than one this record is a mystery.
Ordeal showcases focuses on two ways of making noise; walls and passages of Harsh Noise. Interest within each wall is maintained by both the blast of static noise and the different things that happen within that dense mass. It hits a lot of high points and also revels well in the less full on assaults. I don’t think Ordeal had to be cut into separate tracks; it would work better as either longer pieces or as one long passage. The album could have been made as one long track, as the longer walls and assaults of noise achieve a lot within themselves. Everything also seemed to move from one track into another through sheer brute force; as if shoved together in a vice until everything stuck together and worked, still perhaps that’s the key to Ordeal’s success.
14 Untitled Tracks