Thursday, February 17, 2011

The winds they called the dungeon shaker



The world's a negative place, & that's the plane truth. Chortle. Stained Glass Revelations takes the formula of Et In Saecula Saeculorum & enriches its potent orthodox hex, creating a work that, if equal in midnight headphoning efficacy, exceeds in catacomb depth.

A macrocosmic spiral rattle, The Fall is falling, high on an organ hit, the bells, the bells, a gothy Bathory (the late Quorthon's birthday today, spin Blood Fire Death you bastards) trudge n' tumble before you're slapped & stabbed wide awake. Sure, Lamentations and Ashes black metalizes with classic panache, but look, pal, with a clarity Possessed by few. The murk is never the static moss & sediment but the acrid, turbulent gusts above, a gritty, tactile obscurantism often shunned &/or poorly plundered by this genre. One moment toes tap, the next they're grist for Hades' mill, check out that doom groove, accelerate, O roller coaster of hate. Hell's kitchen licks licked the greasy floor to catalyze this bit, voiceless opera 'til, I swear, a half-life measure of an Orbison fret ring. You didn't hear wrong, Angels of Veiled Bone, but you've only time to hear the echo quickly smothered in a relentless fusillade of galloping, Teutonic stop/starts.

The Third Hour, carefully excised soundtrack innards from a long lost Expressionist flick, marks the archaic majesty of The One and the Many, whose flagstone riff carries mad alchemist rants aloft, nearly lost in the cavernous architecture, defiant. A quick wisp of that breezy Charnel Spirit & I swear, All Souls is Ligeia's labyrinth of choice if she were a metalhead & not also a fictional character. Tragedians, you're conquered, for the reaper waits at summer's end. Subtle pall's the key, hitting where the riffs ain't. Purgatory's all gloom & tomb, but there's wizardry in The Number of the Word, sentiment hidden in between the lattice of text & sound, how about that finalé, fooled you, boom. Bach's brought in for Stained Glass Reflections' spooky church worship whilst the title track spills liquid ascension over descending lines, pick up this, did you hear that, over & again till the vintage climax. Remember when bands knocked the edifice down like that?

Busy without being a hive, beautiful without being beautiful, Negative Plane's filled an entire dimension with acres of discernible yet inscrutable sorcery à la early Mercyful Fate, a relentless dyad waiting to be explored, transporting the listener to somewhere better. Sure, better's a vision of the grave & all that jazz, but that's the point & if it's not, then what the hell are you doing here? Go play in the sun.

17 comments:

thatgirl said...

Even though I'm not nearly as metal-tastic as you, I'd actually listen to this stuff if I had my own Bat Cave, but as such, the Powers that Be might frown upon such sonic power wielded in these environs here in the Tower.

Randal Graves said...

I'm both shocked & unappalled. Now, ground work must be laid in order for you & my Bat Cave roomy to switch places. Sure, she'll be able to better utilize her vast faculty asskiss prowess for which the university community & myself would be eternally grateful, but I'd sure miss the choking stench of too much perfume &/or hairspray & a constantly ringing cell. Sob.

MRMacrum said...

The opening guitar riff promised us something special. And then the purposeful scathing and rancid voices kicked in nuetralizing that promise. But I guess that was the point.

I actually liked this tune. It plays as I type. Oh no, the voices again.......and then a calm while they regroup for the grand finale. Yep.....here it comes. Well shit, that was anticlimatic.

What you wrote worked well as it played. While it did not make me want to run out and buy the CD. I did consider burning a baby on a spit.

thatgirl said...

That didn't go so well when I tried, but who knows what may come as our Boomer Overlords retire. Believe me, I'd rather be Batcaving in t-shirts with tuneage any day of the week.

Liberality said...

I think they should be paying you to review their work. You make that music seem so doomy and gloomy, but in a good way.

Liberality said...

Hey Randal-I blipped your song. why aren't you blipping dude?

Randal Graves said...

mrmacrum, at least you're s-m-r-t enough to recognize that not every metal band wants to copy Rob Halford.

Don't forget the sauce as chicken's a lie; more gamey than you might think.

thatgirl, shit, now I feel bad. I better grab my axe and go darkthroning as compensation.

liberality, doom and gloom *is* a good thing. Imagine a world of nothing but happy music. Hell on earth. And because I'm lazy, duh!

ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© said...

...not every metal band wants to copy Rob Halford.

WHA????
~

Randal Graves said...

C'mon, copying means you're just a sinner, and that leads to genocide, everyone living beyond the realms of death.

Beach Bum said...

One moment toes tap, the next they're grist for Hades' mill, check out that doom groove, accelerate, O roller coaster of hate.

Excellent post, somehow while listening to the music and reading I came to picture Mitt Romney looking all Ward Cleaver-like and then after the doors close to his house becomes chief acolyte for the some baby eating cult complete with blood dripping from his fingers and with a sick grin upon his face says to his following "tastes like chicken."

I apologize, I'm off my meds and I'm out of beer.

The Ranter said...

Awesome review. I ituned! My bank balance curses you.

What do you think of Deathspell Omega? At the minimum, I love reading the lyrics...as ridiculous as they can be, they are fascinating torrents of wordplay.

Tom Harper said...

I like it. Along with all the metal influences, I detect traces of acid rock and '70s progressive rock in the mix.

susan said...

I tried reading your review without listening to the track and part-way through decided 'oh, what the hell'. Strangely enough, with the music playing the whole thing made at least reasonable (for you) sense. I'll give it a thumbs up.

Chef Cthulhu said...

All of what Tom just said, plus some "Spinal Tap" thrown in, to boot.

It's not bad at all...

S.W. Anderson said...

No, no, no, Randal, here is what they call the wind.

Now, to further your edumacation, go forth to find the Broadway musical that fine song came from.

Randal Graves said...

BB, wait. Are you saying that's *not* what goes on out in Utah?

the ranter, yay, another fellow metalhead besides poor, lonely Tom, this calls for a baby sacrifice, it does.

I love DsO. I do find it a bit odd that the album that garners the most praise seems to be Fas, when that's their weakest (Si is an all-timer and Paracletus is up there), but each of us is nuts in our own way. Thanks for stopping by & possibly contributing to your lack of a meal!

tom, no question. This one's a bit more textured than the first one, which paid more homage to classic riffwork.

susan, a-ha, my plan to conquer Canada through metalizing non-metalehads at the speed of a three-toed sloth in the Arctic is in high gear.

chef, every guitar-based band in the history of guitar-based bands has a bit of the Spinal Tap. Except Very Serious Artists, bien sûr.

SWA, Paint Your Wagon, though I'm only familiar with the film version. Clint and Lee should have left a higher body count though.

S.W. Anderson said...

Right you are, Randal. Frankie Laine and I commend you. :)