Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Foresight is 20/20

I hate surprises. Don't be daft asking why, everyone but the terminally spontaneous knows they're hideous blots upon the paper, the ruinous mirror to cherished overthought, the afterimage of people themselves Jake says ewww, or perhaps fate's too successful cloning of such rough beasts. Rules & exceptions, rules & exceptions except when a surprise rules, a royally gnarly proof. Rumor & hearsay, a new platter cometh from those neo/medieval/folk/kitchen sinkers, Unto Ashes. 'tis true, as rumor & hearsay go, Burials Foretold lying in my purple fingers, & surprise, one that doesn't direct me to Plath my Yorick: maestromind Michael Laird is rejoined by Natalia Lincoln (after a one-album absence) & Ericah Hagle, i.e. a nice slice of the temporal lobe trust responsible for the majority of the band's initial triptych, i.e. I'm doin' the Snoopy dance.

Such musicking for the terminally moody spades the first dirt with the guitar & viola da gamba title track, one of those short, intriguing stabs (viz. Interpol's Interlude, Witchcraft's Merlin's Daughter, Sabbath's Embryo, Kyuss' Capsized) you wish the spiders would spin further but are secretly ashamed to be glad they plucked because, like the best horror, the unseen/heard always trumps showing too much. Voices don't enter till they shadow the percussive bagpipe of Pilzentanz, lyrics lifted from the authority-whipping twelfth century Apocalypse of Golias. Then, boom, boom, shroom, Laird's hazy emulsion running over French horn (She Binds Away the Night); his no bullshit willow wisping 'oh it's dark' on glinting teeth & eyes, as the earthy soprano-less chorale enters 'with gloom/Night Is Coming Soon,' reminding why I swooned over this sound in the first place; some are just in our spectral wheelhouse.

A tradition, laying notes below third-party verse: Fire + Ice, a reinterpretation of Empty Into White's wrathful Flayed by Frost, itself originally inspired by Robert's masterpiece in miniature, the circle squared; Bierce's satirical [ed. note: Redundancy Department of Redundancy] Worm's-Meat gnaws on a gentle undulation; & a hurdy-gurdy lilt for illustrator Cicely Mary Barker's Spring Magic.

Piper's Song leads Bart Farar's cover, a single wary, weary eye lodged in washed-out burnt orange flesh, its companion long rubbed out as the world's wont to do, towards the old shuttered rooms of Witches' Rune, Sonnet 87, Estuans Interius. See Hermes T: "I beget the light, but the darkness too is of my nature."

Showing they could make a buck or three as one of the world's finest cover bands -- see their original-what-original stab at the Cure's The Drowning Man, & the hauntingly [ed. note: this overused word applies with perfection, trust me] deconstructed (Don't Fear) The Reaper. Now, stripped of Eddie's crunch, Mike & Alex's manic pulse, & Dave's ah yeahs, Van Halen's Runnin' With the Devil, here Running; youthful defiance is now experienced resignation.

Kept short n' bittersweet, only one track pointing above four minutes, polaroids of a broken tongue only able to spill ichor accompanied. I'd relate -- but would still keep quiet, I'm not that strain of fool -- if it wasn't for this keyless, bird-killing warble; I don't even sing in my car. Blood For My Lady's solo-in-spirit coursing & the molded sole-on-industrial-glass that scratched hither & tiptoe through Grave Blessings & Songs for a Widow have vanished, the latter more than the former, exorcised by the vocal entanglement of old (Young Men Leave for Battles Unknown), the British folk of Too Late to Begin, Lincoln's piano from a silent film denouement (Rubine).

A loamy ouroboros of raw-head & bloody bones salted with a decay-fueled rebirth, one reading of Burials Foretold is a reflection on band breaks up/gets back together (yeah, a stretch, given the myriad folks who've picked, hit, crooned), another is that mythic macrocosm, a third, fourth, tenth is the listener's personal. In any, either, all case(s), while there's nothing immediately otherworldly clutching as Widow's The Snow Leopard, & Empty Into White remains (Moon Oppose Moon? Saturn Return? Magic 8-ball says ask again later) their finest, I get the sense that the fifteen songs about love, sex, death [ed. note: every song ever written, once you peel the rank, absurd layers of the human onion, is about either love, sex, &/or death, except that one, you know which] on Burials Foretold relish the chance to go chord to chord.


ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© said...

That's a solid wall of words, young man.

I did understand "snoopy dance".

Prunella Vulgaris said...

yay! Randal Reviews!

Randal Graves said...

if, the secret to the internets, grasshopper. Since everyone stops reading after the twentieth word, toss up a few more paragraphs and look real s-m-r-t.

duchess, is this like Reading Rainbow?

Tengrain said...

Graves, you swine!

to Plath my Yorick is my phrase of the day.



Demeur said...

As the record arm bumps in its' last groove memories of smoke filled hotel rooms and the after after parties now a long faded memories as grey haired musicians stretch knobbed fingers for frets once imagined and hit just that one time at the Palaces' crescendo as the head bobbing crowd hit the groove. Is it time to load the bus and don't we play Cleveland tomorrow? Good night Detroit and thanks for the memories you were such a great crowd. A fun time of sex drugs alcohol and debauchery. How'd that mirror get broken and where's my socks? We got a bus to catch. Oh that's right the grand kids are waiting and the memories have faded now find my medication. Did we already eat? Is it before with or after meals just can't seem to remember?

So we now have the Critic de la Clevelandia. See what ya have to look forward to when the Stones are no longer stoned and who knows the Who. What was that group? You remember played back in ought 3 when the kids were little. Time devours us all so all ya got left are the memories...

Beach Bum said...

I get the sense that the fifteen songs about love, sex, death [ed. note: every song ever written...

Throw in either a train, a dog, or getting out of prison and you have a country music hit.

Laura said...

I only read the first sentence. Then I scrolled down to see how far you were taking this post and got intimidated.


Randal Graves said...

tengrain, a darkthrone a day keeps Plathing the Yorick away.

demeur, these guys/gals are quite dissimilar from the Stones. For example, they've access to better coke.

BB, there's a billboard here for the local country station: Real Life Set To Music. If that was real life, I'd Plath my Yorick.

laura, that's not very nice. I spent at least 5 or 6 minutes on this post.

susan said...

I'm happy to sing when I'm alone in the car so long as I'm ear-budded to my i-pod whose volume is enloudend.

S.W. Anderson said...

Let me see if I've got this straight. If your spectral wheelhouse is well stocked with raw-head & bloody bones, you're a satisfied customer.

But, there was never a doubt in my mind, Randal. It just sort of figures. :)

Jim H. said...

Once again introducing me to new music. Chthulu bless the YouTubes.

love, sex, &/or death. Or surfing or cars. Beach Boys bitchez.

Randal Graves said...

susan, how do you avoid the onrushing 18-wheelers that you can't hear?

SWA, sir, I'm rarely satisfied, but I'm also too lazy to do anything about it.

jim, egads man, the Beach Boys? A pox upon thy Walkman!

Jim H. said...

Who says 'egads'?