I originally wrote my review for this album on March 13, 2023. A day I just couldn't sleep and at a point in my life where I was constantly struggling mentally. My review for it wasn't good at all and seemed to less talk about the sound of the album rather than my experience with it, but at that point I hadn't really realized how good this album was for me. A dark, brooding, long box set to help me deal with my insomnia at the time and to my surprise it did help. It helped a lot. This album was really fucking therapeutic for me, and I don't really blame myself for rewriting this review, but it's been a long time coming I needed to get my ACTUAL thoughts out.
As a starter album that basically got me into this style of Noise Rock; it was honestly just mind blowing. As many other albums were at the time as I was trying to re-invent myself and my music taste, going deeper into the obscurities and niches of music. This album was basically my introduction to Fushitsusha and actually my introduction to Free Improvisation which was.. a weird area for me at the time as I had no idea what to make of it.
Fushitsusha as a band are probably the most important for the obscure world as they have really re-defined sound and the expression of sound. Their avant-garde style is captivating to say the least, but what interests me most about this band is how mysterious they are. I can't help but feel some sort of connection to Haino's style as an artist and honestly it just makes me emotional really. To bring out so much emotion in a live set is just astounding and impressive to me. The feedback creates a serene and hollow atmosphere in a cold empty forest and at a point it no longer becomes so dark and brooding as I once thought, but beautiful and lush. That's why this band is so special to me I believe. They really just perfect the style like no other band could and Haino himself is still innovative today. They perfected what it means to make rock music.
So I guess the question is, is Secret Black Box worth it as an experience? A 6 hour long box set full of long and loud noise rock sections to inaccessible, weirdly vocalized free improvisation sections? I think if you ever want to explore the obscurities of Rock then yes. It's just a perfect album through and through and every song feels like a new discovery waiting to be made. As a whole, it's just weird to me that a band that would typically be past their peak at this point; can perfect Rock music as late as the early 2000s. So I guess that's what makes it special? I don't know, I'd say listen first. It's better to listen than take my word for it.