Expectations exploded, intentions fleetingly revealed, faith justified. A new album from Keiji Hainos Fushitsusha is always going to be a major event. And to make the release of Origins Hesitation even more significant, it is the first new album from the group in almost two years, the first studio recordings by the new duo line-up, and the first Fushitsusha album on PSF since 1994s stunning Pathetique. The popular perception of Fushitsusha has usually been as a rock band, albeit one that pushed the definition of that term further than anyone had ever done before. While the groups approach has always been (and remains) rock to the core, the outside manifestation of those intentions have gradually moved further and further away from the rock framework. Shockingly, on this release, Haino takes the process to its natural conclusion and has decided to eschew the guitar entirely. In its place, nothing but the eerily empty hiss of overdriven amplification. Here Haino sings, plays drums, and conjures with spectres. Consequently, the sound palette is starker, and Hainos intentions plainer than they have ever been before. The no overdubs policy remains, though both Haino and bassist Ozawa work with realtime loops. The unique dynamic hallmarks of the group are preserved, the focus on individual sounds and their interaction underlined. Attack, duration, beginnings and endings all merge into one heartrending, emotionally eternal present. This is a hugely important, hauntingly insistent, spectral blast of a record. Quite simply and beyond any doubts, one of the releases of the year. - Alan Cummings.