Isis-ish, one-man show, dude was in Isis and all… a bit S. Barber and adagio for strings, alleged to me by a British man that it was about his (Barber’s, not the Brit’s) wife’s orgasm… slow and building, then world-shakingly powerful… very Pharoah Sanders-ish, very Spiritual-Blessing-ish… like bagpipes, swelling and receding sonically… sound like ocean waves on a beach with clear water under a single moon, ultimately God-like in power, yet only approaching a second at a time, patient beyond everything you know, swelling and pulsing, clit-like… majestic and simple… at times so oddly simple as to suggest backwards-played tape….
Drunk or High: perfect.
Otherwise: achieve Enlightenment, true peace and acceptance;
then, and only then, Completely Enjoy.
Here at SawtoothWave.com, we love Chicago’s The Atlas Moth. Previously reviewed here, here’s the newest wave of reasons why they’re awesome, and why their newest album, An Ache For The Distance, is balls-awesome.
Music like this should give you a good feeling about life in the 21st century, specifically about its tolerance about merging art forms: even 20 years ago, you would never have been able to produce something as genre-mixed as this: best description is emo psychedelic minimalist doom metal.
It’s Pelican, if they got Mortuus (Marduk) and Morrissey (Smiths) to alternate as signers– and then only covered tunes by The Church.
It’s weird as hell and I dig it. And make sure you listen to it on headphones– to hear how the two guitars are at the extreme left and right of the sound field, and how they nearly always play different parts. Their guitar tones are somewhat unique: they use very little gain, but are detuned all the way to B (a fifth below standard).
You get melody (clean vocals alternate with shrieked metal ones), and weight– one guitar usually slogs out a dirgy riff while the other plays a melancholy or angry melody over top it. It’s a fascinating, complex aural experience.
I’m not suggesting anything to you, my impressionable viewers, but I would imagine, hypothetically, that one would do well to listen to this work while chemically-augmented.
Songs? The whole thing is great and works as whole album, rather than a collection of tunes. But if you make me, I’ll cherry-pick you these three: “Perpetual Generations” “Holes in the desert,” and closer “Horse Thieves.”
Go listen, then get it.
[An Ache For the Distance is released Sept. 20.]
IS track one, “Building buildings,” a reference to seminal German industrial band, Einstürzende Neubauten, whose name roughly translates to “collapsing new buildings?” The track, with its spiraling, elaborating, layering on layers instrumental riffs, could be a lost track of theirs….
Track two, “Ruane” shows up as very similar to something Selaah might write, a single guitar riff (generally acoustic) that gets progressively more complicated and layered over with secondary and tertiary riffs and/or melodies….
It’s ridiculously soothing, late at night.
“Tyche” sounds like either a lost Sunn O))) track or the intro to Pelican’s “The Creeper” (both written by Greg Anderson), and “Fear of Stars” intro with solo bass guitar followed closely by the same acoustics we’ve come to love/like… “Event Radius” opens with feedback and never really evolves beyond a mildly-interesting soundscape (though in terms of “aggressive ambient” music, i.e., what you can listen to when you’re falling asleep yet also mildly pissed-off, it totally works), and final track “Dronolith” is about 10 minutes too long (it’s nearly 16).
It’s good, it’s not great. It’s nothing you haven’t heard before, but it’s worth hearing.
The perfect non-statement, that…
Track one, “Dawn” starts with acoustic hauntings via guitar, with a drum behind it… (Dawn to Come are a two-piece, à la Dark Castle or Black Cobra)– this set-up allows some improv (i.e., unless the guitarist obviously fucks up, who’ll know?) as well as massive riffage (cool cover photo, beeteedub)…
The recording is terrible, but the songs are cool, like being alive in 1967 and hearing Zeppelin at your local youth center (sorry, centre) in Burmingham….
It might not be, but sounds made up on the spot –aka improvizationalism– but, in the same way that Coltrane or Dolphy are fun to listen to just make shit up, Dawn to Come are… intriguing.
“When the Trees Were Born,” very nearly the same song as the previous, but as if it had come to ground, less acoustic, more riff… I know!
It’s The Cure as a doom metal side-project!
That actually fits pretty well.
These two re-issued albums = Ministry + Pelican, slowed down to about 1/10th of their normal speed and conducted by Henryk Górecki = Pharoah Sanders’ “Spiritual Blessing” masquerading as sculpted guitar feedback.
Do not listen to completely awake or completely sober– and it’s pretty cool stuff. Exactly what you might expect from Horseback, but cool.
US Christmas (USX) are Allison Krause gone stoner/dark psychedelic rock. Discerning minds might have already postulated this by seeing their logo, aka the “deer ouroboros.”
It’s one song, 39 minutes long. Like Sleep’s Dopesmoker. Or Roareth’s Acts I-VI.
Not a true 39-minute epic, like Roareth, not a great 5-minute song the band was too stoned to stop playing, like Dopesmoker– it’s more of a 39-minute remix of a single.
There’s surprisingly little hyperbole, though, to the above metaphors– there’s all sorts of “non-metal” instruments, which totally work, there’s a violin/fiddle in there, a female singer who tends to just double/harmonize with lead singer/guitarist Nate’s vocals… listening to it late at night in the dark is intensely soothing, as different instruments come and go, and it remains nearly silent for stretches of a minute or so at a time….
Sounds like it could’ve been improvised…? Are USX the laziest jam band in the world? I dig it.
The Valley Path transmits a feeling of isolation, of a dimly-hopeful solitude, like nothing’s around you now but something good might be coming– like looking out to see at night, with a CB radio you hope with come back with someone’s voice on it….
Great? Definitely not. But definitely very good.
Black Sabbath, covered by a Sioux tribe in the early 19th century.
Wormholes, man… fucking wormholes….
Ethereal Riffian, chanunpa in hand, apparently beseeched wakan tanka around several–
Dig “Part II: Beyond (The Search)”:
Track two, “Black Tusk Retaliation,” [Italian Black Metal etymology...? Anyone...?] seemingly taps directly into the Archetypal Fear of Man, when Mankind was mostly caves and cookfires….
Evocative soundscapes/ almost soundtracks for a wilderness, each track drops into rhythmic, almost “breakdown”-type parts to invoke the savage prehistorical dances of men around a fire at night, ecstatic with their however-temporary transcendence in appeal to God….
“Crest of the Forgotten” has cool 6/8 time choral section;
“As a leaden Sun shineth upon,” shows you what you’ve been suspecting about the music so far: it’s not the blast beats, or the open-chord over choral vocals, or the occasional gallops at 300 bpm (all the black metal staples, basically) that sets this album apart: it’s the chord voicings, plus the odd, dissonant chord progressions that stick with you: initially they can be very disconcerting to the ear (and so the brain)– the chords crash up against each other, sounding odd and eerie; however, after getting used to the alien beauty of the chords, “normal” chord progressions like you hear in every pop song, sound so bland so as to barely register as sound, let alone music: it’s almost like Ogen is so heavy that even their chord progressions, not the Black Metal parts, but the so-called “relaxing” ambient/drone parts (without lyrics, usually) are desensitizing in and of themselves.
A heavier Alcest?
Songs nicely economical; short….
Not Winter music, like the cover would suggest, but late Autumn music: music pregnant with the sadness of the coming loss, the things to die, the fear that they may not return, the fear that you’ve angered the sun, that the dark may not go away, that your best days are behind you… a very primitive fear, embodied in these chord changes.