Jarboe and Helen Money – Self Titled

ABX063_jhm_cover

It is almost frightening how spellbinding the collaboration between Jarboe and Helen Money is on their self-titled album, how immersed into its dark inviting depths and ravenously siren-esque shadows ears, imagination, and simply reality becomes. The release is quite extraordinary, embroiling the listener in a soundscape of harmonic drones and sonic distortion but equally a sinister beauty and psyche engulfing adventure. It should probably be no surprise the impact of the album. When you place the evocative invention, craft, and voice of Swans co-founder and former vocalist Jarboe alongside the creative dark majesty of visionary cellist Helen Money (aka Alison Chesley), something startling was bound to happen, though an understatement in the case of their album.

Neither lady is a stranger to the skills and adventure of collaborating, Jarboe having worked on over 63 projects with the likes of Philip Anselmo, Neurosis, Jim Thirlwell, Merzbow, Bill Laswell, A Perfect Circle, Colin Marston, Cobalt, Cattle Decapitation, Justin K. Broadrick, Jesu…and the list goes on, alongside her 36 solo albums, whilst Helen Money has linked up with artists such as Mono, Anthrax, Russian Circles, Joe Lally and Shellac over time. They are experiences and bold adventures which have added to their own subsequent imaginative creativity, something their album reeks of.

The delicious tones of Money’s cello is the first caress as album opener For My Father embraces ears, its melancholic voice provocatively coaxing senses and thoughts under a just as darkly lit ambience. The heavy emotional air parts just a slither for the instantly magnetic presence of Jarboe, her radiant tones instantly poetic like against the shadows and the crinkling texture of her keys. The track continues its increasingly broadening embrace as both ladies unveil further shafts of melodic light and doom lined expression through their respective skills. The song is simply mesmeric, a golden sunrise of enterprise and melodic temptation but equally a breeding of dark clouds and imposing drama. As expansive a minimalistic proposition you are ever likely to be lost within, certainly outside of the album, there is an immediate immersion into the heart of the release, external light not to be seen and felt again until the album decides.

The following My Enemy My Friend is similarly a swift fascination of noir wrapped radiance; the alluring string plucking of Money tensing the spring for the flight of intensive sonic and emotional exploration. Within seconds the instrumental is resonating through body and thoughts, the lyrical and social nudging of the first track seemingly spreading into the intimidating but seductive breath of its successor. Keys and cello create a labyrinth of haunting and ominous suggestiveness, an incitement the imagination tenaciously casts scenes with whilst emotions bow before the weight of the track’s rousing portentousness. It is meditative and unsettling, and quite riveting, a success matched by the outstanding Hello Mr. Blue.

The almost carnivorous opening of what feels like bestial bass is glorious, something to sell your soul for. Whether it is bass or a brilliant merging of keys and cello which is also possible as repeat listens twist and turn with indecision, it is an enslaving start which only escalates into a kaleidoscope of, well creative alchemy to be honest. The floating harmonies of Jarboe seduce with celestial beauty whilst Money’s cello flirts with darkly centred eyes, every note having a knowing smile to their heavy persuasion. As Jarboe unveils the warmly delivered narrative, the track in contrast becomes a brewing maelstrom of agitation and aggravation, egged on by the contagious rhythmic dance of the piece. Every track already has breached new plateaus and taken the listener into inventively denser and increasingly threatening exploits, and this continues that exhilarating success as its marches towards its controlled but vocally bedlamic closure.

Wired is pretty much what it says on the tin, its presence a fibrous mesh of sounds and sonic intrigue presenting an intensive and feverish climate for ears and a sea of opportunities for the imagination to interpret and develop further, whether through its voracious incitement or the more of a harmonic smoulder it also harbours. There is little time for those thought bred adventures to take long term root though before the intimacy of Truth inspires with its own reflective beauty. Keys and sublimely drifting harmonies soaked in an air of loneliness kiss ears first before Jarboe opens up her vocal heart in a theatre of those continuing initial croons and just as emotive guitar stabs.

It is hard with words to present the drama and emotive intensity which comes with every bewitching track and the pair’s creative ingenuity which unrelentingly and deeply works away once breaching ears, but easy to enthuse over the ever evolving experiences which re-invent themselves in sound and visceral adventure with every listen. The closing Every Confidence is a perfect example. We can only hint at the tempestuous nature and climate which seeds from and descends on the senses and psyche after an initial gentle mesmeric croon of sound, but rigorously recommend its rapacious hunger to stretch not only the listener and their emotions, but the creative emprise bred by the artists pushing their instrumental and vocal limits.

It is a challenge and success which applies to the whole of the album. It is an astonishing encounter, a scourge of everything bland and predictable in modern music which goes beyond being something merely to listen to. You feel and almost taste the dynamic and intensive atmospheres of the tracks, you breath the drama and emotional intensity of the sounds and their inspiration, and ultimately it is a journey provided by Jarboe and Helen Money which you take and will never be the same again after.

Jarboe and Helen Money’s album is available now via Aurora Borealis as a black vinyl LP, on CD and digitally.

http://www.thelivingjarboe.com/     http://helenmoney.com/

RingMaster 04/03/2015

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Pyrrhon – The Mother Of Virtues

pic Caroline Harrison

pic Caroline Harrison

If an unstoppable pestilence sets its sights on our souls let us hope it comes in the same manner as The Mother Of Virtues, wrapped in corrosive beauty and seductive ugliness. The new album from US progressive death metallers Pyrrhon is a destructively bedlamic onslaught of deathly malevolence, tortuous psychedelia, psyche searing experimentation, and irrepressibly addictive.  It is not an easily accessible or comfortable experience, arguably the most painfully contagious and intrusively crippling of the past year but deep in such creative adventure and vicious intrigue that if it connects it is equally one of the most rewarding pestilential offerings too.

Brooklyn hailing Pyrrhon was formed in 2008 apparently after a chance meeting on a subway platform. Since that moment the quartet of vocalist Doug Moore, guitarist Dylan DiLella, bassist Erik Malave, and drummer Alex Cohen has been twisting and challenging sounds and senses. The band’s 2010 debut EP Fever Kingdoms was the first of their releases to receive wide and strong plaudits, the acclaim increasing when their first full-length album, An Excellent Servant But A Terrible Master, was released a year later via Selfmadegod Records. Intensifying their sounds and invention over the next couple years, Pyrrhon set about creating their new sonic torment The Mother Of Virtues. Tracked and mixed by Ryan Jones (Today is the Day, Mutilation Rites, Wetnurse) and mastered by Colin Marston (Gorguts, Krallice), repeating his work on the band’s previous releases, the Relapse Records released album consumes and suffocates the senses and reality with a rigorously diverse maelstrom of extreme metal, a torment to awaken nightmares and ignite impassioned slavery to its toxicity.

From its first breath the album is savaging and twisting ears and imagination inside out, opening track The Oracle of Nassau cursing with 12 Jacket (Gatefold - Two Pocket) [GD30OB2-N]sonic rabidity and an annihilatory ravishment. Rhythms and riffs converge in a torrential tsunami of spite and eager decay, strangling senses as guitars and vocals unleash their scourge upon the wounds. The track spews enterprise and vitriol with every searing note and poisonous syllable, creating the perfect threat and welcome into the belly of the beast.

The following White Flag opens on probing beats soon joined by a stalking bass riff. Instant intimidation within a cavernous ambience engulfs the imagination, its scenery caustically painted and expanded by the initial graze of guitar which soon evolves into a bestial predation. The track prowls with a doom bred lilt and noise sculpted breath, constantly lashing ears with acidic ventures and ferocious intensity. It is a thoroughly compelling and merciless proposition, a black hearted contagion of jazz spawned rhythmic bombardment courted by animalistic riffs and synapse stripping ingenuity from the guitars, all governed by the guttural spewing of Moore.  It is primal and quite bewitching, especially the stretch of melodic elegance which whispers for a brief moment at the eye of the storm.

Sleeper Agent accelerates the hunger of the rabid appetite in place by its appearance, the delirious mania of guitars and rhythms frisking then violating everything from ears inwards. Searching deep, as with all tracks, there is an order and sensibility to the unleashed viscerally driven plague, but you sure have to dig deep and with determined energy to unveil the additionally potent intent. The track is outstanding, preying on the disorientation and suffering already expelled previously with relish, as does next up Balkanized. The first single from the album firstly lays down a few seconds of cyber coaxing which is then thrust aside by a roving throaty bassline and an anarchic squall of flesh scything guitars and groaning vocals. More violent than its predecessor but employing a similarly ‘lighter’ weave of erosive invention, the track lurches and leans heavily on the senses with sounds which combine like a pack of voracious predators.

Both Eternity in a Breath and Implant Fever spiral deeper into the depths of mind and emotions, the first an invasive merger of serpentine ambiences and rapacious rhythmic enticement which casts its own growing vindictive spoils over the listener the further into its dark festering depths you go. Its successor is not as dirty as the previous song but certainly is not a light of hope and hope either, the encounter lyrically and musically a warning and warring menace. The pair turns the cerebral battleground darker with their own individual hues of inventiveness and voracity whilst Invisible Injury churns up their landscapes with its own specific institutional mayhem.

The album is completed by the exhaustive brilliance of The Parasite in Winter, a track which is lighter on the touch but heavier in the animosity with a sonic design that is mouth-wateringly infectious and barbarically controlling, and the closing epically severe soundscape of the title track. Over ten minutes of noise dementia and rancorous exploration which is all quite ingenious and thrilling, the track alone tells you all you need to know about the brilliance and nastiness of Pyrrhon.

The Mother Of Virtues will undoubtedly only be for a certain psyche or should that be masochist but if band and release find favour in your artistic aberrations and according to the press release if you have a taste for the likes of Gorguts, Ulcerate, Cryptopsy, Portal, and Deathspell Omega, then you just might be listening to an album of the year front runner.

https://www.facebook.com/pyrrhonband

http://pyrrhonband.bandcamp.com/album/the-mother-of-virtues

9/10

RingMaster 28/03/2014

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Sannhet – Known Flood

     sannhet     Known Flood is an extensive and challenging journey through desolate landscapes, pervading shadows, and far reaching sonic climates, but most of all it is an album which ensnares thoughts and passions with some of the most descriptive ambiences and sounds brought to metal. The album is the masterful work of Brooklyn band Sannhet, a trio who infuse the widest array of sounds from black, sludge, and doom to groove and post metal. They have created a flight of impacting and inspiring imagination through nine startling and enthralling instrumentals, pieces which captivate everything from senses and thoughts through to the heart. One would suggest the band with their debut is only starting out on their creative discovery and still have a depth of promise to explore, which makes the release all the more impressive and a future truly exciting for them and us.

Consisting of Christopher Todd (drums and samples), John Refano (guitar and loopers), and AJ Annunziata (bass), Sannhet first released Known Flood on vinyl through US Sacrament earlier in the year and now it receives its worldwide CD unveiling with ConSouling Sounds and it is hard not to expect the album to make a deep impact. Already the recipients of strong acclaim for their live performances which has seen them alongside the likes of Black Cobra, The Atlas Moth, Hull, Enabler, Yakuza, and Altar of Plagues, the trio looks set to take things to another mighty level once the Colin Marston (Krallice, Behold… The Arctopus, Dysrhythmia) recorded release works its magnetic and inventive alchemy on the globe.

    Absecon Isle opens up the dramatic adventure, the track immediately charging through to the imagination with urgent hungry sannhet[1]rhythms and scorching melodic acidity as the rugged land of the invading soundscape opens up its bleak yet wondrous arms. Powerful and captivating the song eventually slows enough for the listener to take in the sights within the exhausting soundscape and for visions to shape their own mystery and the picturesque intimidation around them. It is a riveting start soon built upon to deeper pleasure by the following Safe Passage, its bulging rhythmic invitation a towering beckon to start off another breath stealing venture. As the drums continue to cage and disorientate, the guitars create a sonic mist which invades every pore and thought whilst the lingering yet drifting ambience is a stark evocation with sinister overtones especially as vocal samples whisper in the shadows. There are a few vocals additives across the album but all are textures and further facets to the narrative rather than any beacon to cling on to and add further richness to the invention.

The second track moves discreetly behind chilling chanting into its successor Invisible Wounds which in turn darkens the skies and brings in imposing intense clouds and rays of sonic beauty within the rapacious rhythmic confrontation from drums and bass. The track offers up harsh and intrusive breath but at the same time mesmerises with a melodic colour which paints a refuge within the demanding scenery exposing its claws.

As the songs Endless Walls, Moral, and Slow Ruin, the first a tempest of bedlamic emotion and intensity with a wall of rhythmic hypnotism, lay down their individual raw vistas the listener is pulled deeper into the expressive and at times spiteful depths of the unforgiving but rewarding world being unveiled. Whether it is one massive unpredictable realm or a journey through separate majestic heavy and unrelated terrains is up to the individual to interpret but as the last two of these three songs show as they take the senses into their own coarse grasps, it is an easy and fluid transition from song to song which is borne of craft and imagination from three openly outstanding composers and musicians.

The tremendous Haunches which again blends a rhythmic seduction that is irresistible with a sonic flailing wrapped in melodic insidiousness, pulls the passions up to another lofty height. The track, featuring guest squalling and ravenous vocal sounds from David Castillo from Primitive Weapons, is merciless as it softens up the senses further before making way to the biggest highlight of the album Still Breathing. From its dark but restrained doomy beginning the song evolves into a gallop of again inciting delicious rhythmic compulsion within a sonic wash of emotive provocation from the guitars. It is a gentler and more vibrantly hued atmosphere which envelopes the ear but no less hungry and voracious than any other of the more caustically paraded track.

With Flatlands providing a final lingering corrosive embrace, it is an outstanding end to a richly impressive release. A venture inspiring new hopes and fears with each traverse of its invention, Known Flood is the declaration of a new emerging force, and one which will set benchmarks ahead you only suspect.

https://www.facebook.com/sannhet

8.5/10

RingMaster 08/07/2013

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Listen to the best independent music and artists on The RingMaster Review Radio Show and The Bone Orchard from

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