It could be a fairly neutral term, but as the editorial proceeds it becomes quite pejorative with many negative overtones.
The first mode of vibration gives the " fundamental tone," and the succeeding modes are termed " overtones."
But we have to remember that with strings, pipes and instruments generally the fundamental tone is accompanied by overtones, called also " upper partials," and beating within the dissonance range may occur between these overtones.
Let the two tones with their harmonic overtones be 256 512 768 1024 1280 1536 512 1024 1536.
The harshness of deep notes on instruments rich in overtones may be explained as arising from beats between successive overtones.