Tara Jane O’Neil – Where Shine New Lights


    To say that Where Shine New Lights is spellbinding would not be overstating the enchantment and allure of the new album from Californian based multi-instrumentalist, composer, and visual artist Tara Jane O’Neil but it only gives one sense of the absorbing and provocative evocation going on. Like being wrapped in someone else’s reflection which is soaking up and breeding greater evocation from your own, the release is a maze of striking textures and tantalising explorations creating a journey and landscape which draws and immerses the imagination in an unique experiment. The album is an irresistible seduction but one which equally challenges the psyche and emotions with its absorbing breath and permeating radiance aligned to a sonic discord bred lucidity.

     The Kranky Records Where Shine New Lights is the artist’s seventh solo album in a musical career which has seen her as a founding member of Rodan, amongst other projects, and part of collaborations with a wealth of artists including Ida, Mirah, Jackie O MF, Mount Eerie, Papa M, Come, and Nikaido Kazumi. In addition her visual art has graced galleries all over the northern hemisphere whilst O’Neil has received four monographs. As boldly evident on Where Shine New Lights O’Neil has a freedom to her composing and music, an unrestrained and uncaged invention which is unafraid to search the darkest and deepest corners of herself and everything around her whilst coaxing out the beauty, hope, and passion of the same sources.

    The album opens with Welcome, a short piece of floating vocal harmonies and simmering melodies which caress and seduce PromoImagethe air without disturbing its tranquillity. At its seamless evolution into Wordless In Woods a sonic shadow edges into view and remains, tempering the following beauty of song which follows. O’Neil’s voice is as charmed and sirenesque as the sounds wrapping its uniquely enrapturing narrative, the blend inspiring the track to avail its warmth and sensitivity to all. There is a hidden bounce to the song, it seemingly swinging across the senses without raising gait or temperature, something which is less shaded and equally as magnetic in the following This Morning Glory. It is a sublime and sumptuous embrace which transports the imagination into its own disconnected yet emotively honed visual interpretation. The sultry climate of the song through the guitar and harmonies raises a bead of sweat on the metaphorical brow and a smouldering flame in the passions with its quite glorious croon.

    The rhythmically cast and almost shamanic Over. Round, In A Room. Found. comes next and again has thoughts and passions burning with a fiery hunger. Hypnotic and transfixing in its simplicity and dramatically textured reserve, the song is mesmerism at its most potent with the vocal sounds of O’Neil another instrument in the unveiling landscape which expands and then diminishes its presence as it evolves into the haunted arms of Glow Now. The captivating and sinister ambience brewed within the new piece seeps into every thought and emotion sculpting a state of emotional limbo but a feeling enriched by hopeful and rich melodic hues soaking its breath.

    Through songs like The Lull The Going, a tender and bewitching echo of deeply fed emotions, the equally beguiling and poetically harmonic Elemental Finding, and the dark dredging alchemy of Bellow Below As Above O’Neil leaves emotions clasping any ‘firm surface’ whilst thoughts are pushed into places previously unknown or certainly hidden away from light. Whether a shadowed scenery or melody soaked flight, the songs on the album permeate the imagination before moving into closed off emotive depths with ease and infectious ingenuity. Before the last of this trio makes its pass on the passions, the album does take a brief lull through the songs All Now Vibe, The Signal, Wind, and The Signal, Lift. All three are provocative and inciting but do not spark the same intensive involvement as elsewhere, though you know it is not an album issue but only personal tastes at work.

    The almost abstract fascination of New Lights For A Sky brings the excellent encounter to a close, Where Shine New Lights leaving ears to senses and emotions to thoughts drifting in a disturbed yet golden haze of ingenious temptation and incitement. This was our first experience with Tara Jane O’Neil but the doorway ahead and in retrospect to an aural temptress and sculptor of richly impacting reflections.



RingMaster 06/02/2014

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Father Murphy – Pain Is On Our Side Now


     It is fairly safe ground to state that Father Murphy and new release Pain Is On Our Side Now is not going to be for everyone whilst plenty of those brave enough to completely immerse in its scalding sonic explorations will need therapy of some descript right after. The band has consistently transfixed ears and psyche with challenging, at times uncomfortable, provocations but their new incitement disorientates and consumes the listener in their most hellacious nightmare yet. Released via Aagoo Records/Boring Machines and coming in two single-sided 10” vinyl incitements containing two movements intended for simultaneous play, Pain Is On Our Side Now is beauteous mental and sonic bedlam, Receiving a digital promo for the release meant we could only experience the four tracks consecutively and that was startling, intimidating, and haunting enough so playing the tracks in the way intended maybe having a psychiatrist on speed dial would be a good pre-plan.

      Consisting of Freddie Murphy, Chiara Lee, and Vittorio Demarin, the Venice born Father Murphy have released a trio of albums with numerous EPs and limited releases alongside which started with a debut album crafting twisted psychedelic pop. Their sound has evolved across each subsequent release, their 2008 second full-length And He Told Us To Turn To The Sun exploring a concept of heresy and a darker predacious sound. Gaining praise on both sides of the pond from an acclaiming media and fans such as Julian Cope, Deerhoof, and Michael Gira, the trio has constantly pushed their and our imagination and shadows. Pain Is On Our Side Now follows acclaimed 2012 album Anyway, Your Children Will Deny It, and a remix album titled Father Murphy: Heretical Review which featured interpretations of tracks on its predecessor from artists such as Black Dice, Philippe Petit, Sic Alps, Indian Jewelry, Thulebasen and E.M.A. Like its predecessor, the EP was recorded and produced by Greg Saunier from Deerhoof, and with its concept of failure guiding its tortuous ingenuity, makes for a frightening but thoroughly captivating violation.

     Opening track Let The Wrong Rise With You is a hell bred snarling beast of an incitement, a sonic predator with slavering -3noise sculpted jaws and deviously deceptive intent. A slow stalking yet voraciously breathing mix of industrial like scarring and psychedelic ambient seared with melodic cinders, the piece envelops the senses and emotions, its dawning and slowly towering presence revealing the bowels of hell and the beauty of submission. A mid-way calm or rather respite is the doorway into an even stronger haunt, choral breezes soaked in discord flirting within the dank once hallowed now corrupted jowls of the song’s cinematic intent. You almost feel the band has missed its time in a way as they would have made the perfect complement and antagonist to the films of Dario Argento.

     The first song on the second disc is They Will All Fail You, which played together with the opener creates a new disturbance under the name Let Them All Fail With You. Violence is soon followed by a discordant drone and sampled female vocals/shouts/cries. It reaps the darkest nightmarish possibilities but with a restraint which threatens and plagues the imagination whilst allowing some sense of escape. That is until the demonic beats and a howling sonic slow ravishment emerges to deepen the mental mire. You can only imagine the result of the combination of songs without the physical forms to toy with but it certainly does not promise to be healthy but you suspect will be enthrallingly invigorating.

     The second pairing sees Bones Got Dry and Despite All The Grief laying upon each other for Grieving for our Bones. The first of the two is a rasping, ground dwelling pestilential sonic scraping of the senses with a heightened drama to its walls and climate. It is a chilling and cold fall into the darkest, blackest Gehenna which the second piece you can only see accentuating and deepening with its own pit spawned humming and heavy background malevolent drone.

     Pain Is On Our Side Now is a startling and insidious confrontation when taken as single tracks and you suspect must come with an intensity to leave whimpering a suitable response when combining those elements. Father Murphy is a band to devour and cower from, a proposition which can only do you harm and good, if you dare brave their invitations.




RingMaster 06/02/2014

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Omnizide – Death Metal Holocaust


     The title tells you all you need to know about Death Metal Holocaust, the debut album from Swedish metallers Omnizide. The ten track onslaught is a corrosive and exhausting scourge of intensity and accomplished craft, a release holding an equally potent blackened breath to its death metal heart and though maybe it does not ignite the imagination and passions as dramatically as some, it is impossible not to be drawn into its impressive tempest and enthuse unreservedly about its insidious toxicity.

     The beginnings of Omnizide start in 1995 with the formation of black metal band Belzen by vocalist Mikael Nox and guitarist Anders. Without any releases to mark them, the band split a few years later with Nox joining Craft and Anders starting up Avsky. The band’s re-emergence began from when Nox provided some guest vocals on Avsky’s album Scorn Anders, the founding pair deciding to bring Belzen back to life but under the name of Omnizide. Drummer Gaddur (Kafziel) was then recruited and the band released the Pleasure from Death EP in 2011 to extremely strong receptions. Expanding to a quartet with the addition of guitarist Jesper, the band recorded their first album last year, and stretched their personal soon after with bassist B-Force (Dark Funeral) completing the current line-up.  Released via Carnal Records on February 7th, the resulting Joakim (Craft) mastered record is a pestilential examination of the senses leaving a thick expanse of satisfaction in its corruptive wake.

     A stark wasteland of sonically sculpted ambience within a haunted atmosphere makes the initial contact, its few seconds unnamedmenacing before the full weight and toxicity of Rotting Flesh Parade rampages through the ears. Intensive riffs and matching rhythmic destruction is soon rabidly accosting and seducing the imagination, a lingering groove igniting the appetite whilst the rasping malevolent vocals of Nox contaminate and expel the imposing lyrical narrative onto the welcoming psyche. It is a compelling if uncomfortable engagement which, much like the album, increases its potency and temptation over numerous excursions of its merciless vitriol.

The excellent start is continued and accentuated by firstly No Remorse, a track with lethally addictive grooves and antagonistic rhythms consuming the senses from the first second, and the following intimidatingly weighted Monolith. The first of the two merges an all-out rapacious attack with a slower intensity drenched prowl of the emotions before returning with even greater spite to the original hungry onslaught. It is a masterful concoction of suffering and persuasion honed into a thrilling sonic violence and though not quite matched by the second of the pair is reaped of its most venomous essences for an unbridled predation within a whirling sonic maelstrom.

     The predatory heart of the previous song is brought to stronger riveting life through The Eternally Damned, its stalking gait and winding sonic bait as contagious and viral as any airborne pestilence. It is a captivating intimidation with vocals and rhythms a bleeding causticity within an invigorating and inciting melodically bred enticement provided by the guitars creative acidity. As with many of the songs, there is a repetitious suasion at work across the infection posing as a song, an unrelenting bewitchment rhythmically and sonically that drives the track whilst allowing flames of malicious enterprise to flail the senses.

    The likes of the uncompromising and the viciously ravenous Crystals of Death and the savagely envenomed Damnatio Ad Bestias keep the imagination and passions fired up whilst others tracks such as Dead Planet and Nuclear Strike leave a very healthy hunger in the belly for the album, though they do not quite reach the same heights. Some of that is from a less adventurous urge to their intent compared to other songs but also for the only slight negative of the album, their use of the same or closely similar riff, hooks, and raging grooves as found on previous songs. It is not a major flaw but does defuse their impact even after numerous plays.

    Completed by two bonus tracks, Pleasure from Death and Desecration Art, the two songs which made up the Pleasure from Death EP, Death Metal Holocaust is a rigorously pleasing and aggressively satisfying provocation, one not creating a major ripple within death metal but an album providing a stirring and vigorously potent additive to its ranks.



RingMaster 06/04/2014

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