x
the_deli_magazine

This is a preview of the new Deli charts - we are working on finalizing them by the end of 2013.


Go to the old Top 300 charts

Cancel

Node Pic

Avant

Node Pic



Liturgy gets operatic with "Origin of the Alimonies"

If Freidrich Nietzsche were somehow alive today he would conceivably be the biggest metalhead in your local university’s philosophy department for there is no other musical genre in existence that so clearly and ably illustrates his theory of the Apollonian and the Dionysian. When it comes to the latter, heavy metal has long been notorious for its Dionysian side due to popular associations with primordial urges, raw power, and a fixation on subjects like madness and sex and unbound chaos. But equally true, if less acknowledged, is that metalheads are often unabashedly nerdy--enter the Apollonian side of the equation--and just as fixated on control and mastery and order as on sheer anarchic energy with said control expressed through disciplined instrumental and vocal mastery, elaborate lyrical conceits and album concepts, and a tendency to adhere to established conventions whether in death/doom/black/thrash/glam/power/prog metal at least until the next musical leap forward.

Speaking of philosophical concepts and musical leaps forward is perhaps as good way as any to introduce Liturgy’s latest release, a literal “rock opera” titled Origin of the Alimonies. Led by Hunter Hunt-Hendrix, Liturgy established themselves out of the gate with their 2008 debut LP Renihilation (the title a neologism for the countervailing and balancing force to “annihilation”). By the time their widely lauded but also widely debated follow-up Aesthethica was released in 2011, Hunt-Hendrix had composed an elaborate manifesto on "Transcendental Black Metal" written for an academic symposium, granted one held in a nightclub and bar. This intellectualized approach to metal ruffled more than a few feathers, while the band itself stood accused of being “Brooklyn hipsters" by many in the ruffled-feathers contingent. So yeah there were some big words and big ideas in effect and a sculpted beard or two in evidence but does it really stop the rock? The clip below circa this time period offers evidence to the contrary. 

Fast forward nearly ten years and Liturgy has doubled down, maybe more like quintupled down, on their ambitious approach by releasing an album that comes accompanied with multiple YouTube lectures covering an assortment of musical, philosophical, and cosmogonical concepts relating to their new music with the promise of an accompanying full-on opera soon to follow. Building on their surprise 2019 release H.A.Q.Q., Origin of the Alimonies features a chamber ensemble playing strings and woodwinds, church organ and harp, that's just as heavily featured as the musicians in Liturgy. 

The notion of a religiously-themed opera couched in Lacanian psychoanalysis and Deleuzian philosophical concepts being released by a band that's in any way associated with black metal will come as a surprise to your average man on the street (gender choice deliberate) who likely associates the genre with church burnings and the physical desecration of deceased bandmates. The book Lords of Chaos has a lot to do with the familiarity of these images, based on some undeniably sensational real-life events, which have since sedimented into stereotype. But for a smaller group of initiates the music of Liturgy is in keeping with a New Wave of Experimental Heavy Metal (a clever play on NWOBHM) and the queering of metal and its boundaries advocated by Hunt-Hendrix and some others. 


Whatever one's perspective it's hard to deny that the music of Origin of the Alimonies effectively balances out its Apollonian conceptual grounding with some seriously Dionysian furor--as much in the quiet bits as in the guttural howling and seismic burst-beats which are Liturgy's version of blast beats. In its overture section Origin starts off not unlike that other staged musical work that got a riot going on with its depiction of "primitive" human origins, namely Stravinsky's Rite of Spring. Both these works open with a vulnerable sounding solo woodwind (flute for Origin, bassoon for Rite) that's soothing for about a second but quickly becomes uneasy with its sense of lonely, aimless wondering. And then more unnerving still as more instruments enter the picture adding layers of tension-generating dissonance and you can just tell something "wicked" this way comes. 

And indeed it does when Liturgy enters the fray and by the beginning of the third track “Lonely OIOION” (you’ll have to watch those YouTube videos if you want to understand the titles, or just wait for the debut of the opera itself) we’re off to the races. Again this feels like a parallel to The Rite and the "Augurs of Spring" section in particular where likewise a few minutes into the ballet the whole thing gets blown wide open, and it does actually sound like an early 20th-century orchestral equivalent to blast beats. This is where the Parisians started really losing their shit supposedly and it didn't help that the dancers were stomping around like rabid orgy goers forming an ballerino/ballerina mosh pit on stage.


 

By the time the dust settles on Origin of the Alimonies you’ll have heard everything from violins played with screwdrivers to a very angry demon baby playing a piano (admittedly I'm taking some stabs in the dark here) to a trap music beat to a free-jazzy-ish interlude to a glitching CD player (neat trick since there’s no CD player in sight) to a fourteen-minute piano-and-metal-band adaptation of a work written for cathedral organ by French composer Olivier Messiaen in 1932 (talk about literal heavy metal heh-heh-heh, sorry). In other words this opera is a great deal of fun despite the seriousness. And I figure God up in Heaven is grateful He’s finally got something new and kick-ass to listen to meaning that He can finally get rid of that Stryper cassette that's been stuck in His Walkman for the past several decades. 

One final note regarding the quite striking cover image to Origin of the Alimonies (strategically cropped in the YouTube video above) which is in keeping with the theme of binaries and their subversion in heavy metal and in life in general. This is best expressed in the words of Hunter Hunt-Hendrix herself as taken from a recent Instagram post alongside the uncensored album image in which she addresses the process of actualizing and ultimately presenting as transgender: “I came to terms with my gender over the past five years in part through the somewhat torturous development of this piece, and I was only able to turn it into an album and put vocals on it upon deciding I could play the role of the female protagonist. That’s the importance of having exposed breasts on the cover.” 

When one considers that the music of Alimonies is only one element of the overall Gesamtkunstwerk still to be unveiled, you had better prepare to have your mind blown all over again...

|
Node Pic



Cordoba "Specter"

Cordoba recently channeled the scariest parts of 2020 into a spooky new album, Specter, which dropped the day before Halloween. The sextet uses their signature left of center jazz fusion grooves as a bed for lyrics that touch on topics like gentrification, police brutality, and escalating social unrest.

The group's lead singer Brianna Tong was on the most recent episode of the wonderful podcast Music Therapy with Jessica Risker discussing the new album, it's themes, and how to stay creative in these times.

|
Node Pic



Pure Adult debuts new song in 10.16.2020 live set

It was just over a week ago that Pure Adult played a raucous set on BABY TV, the socially distanced version of indie venue Baby's All Right, and this writer is still recovering. The Brooklyn-duo-turned-live-foursome is known for filtering adult concerns--e.g., late capitalism, social control, granny panties--through a childlike impulsiveness whose end result is a big wonderful mess of burbling synths, stuttering drums, gratuitous guitar pedal abuse and brief spasms of strutting rawk. Pure Adult’s mix-and-match aesthetic is not unlike a kid let loose with a 128-count box of crayons, fresh piles of Play-doh and a prescription of Ritalin. The set below opens with the band’s as-yet-unreleased “Ain't I A Woman” (shout out to Sojourner Truth) segueing into “The New Guillotine” (see underwear fetish above), a track from the band's debut EP S/T (self-titled, that is). In these five minutes you get a pretty good idea of what they're about: a feral Foucauldian funhouse ride that's equal parts “queasy listening” and raw ecstatic rush. (Jason Lee)

Node Pic



Gramps The Vamp "Rendezvous"

Gramps The Vamp have released the lead single, "Rendezvous", from their forthcoming LP, Keeper of the Void, which is set to be released on October 23rd. This is the first new music from the unique Jazz group since their 2016 album, The Cave of 10,000 Eyes. The new single is an homage to the classic spy movie themes of '50's and '60's, and comes complete with a Dominick Gray directed video.

|
Node Pic



Emily Kuhn "Roses"

Trumpeter Emily Kuhn has released the opening track and first single, "Roses", from her forthcoming debut album Sky Stories, which will be released on October 30th via Bace Records.

This album is Kuhn's tribute to Chicago, it's Jazz scene, it's landscapes, and it's atmosphere. On the album she performs with two different lineups of musicians. The first, and the one featured on "Roses" is called Helios and features Kuhn, Max Bessesen, Mercedes Inez Martinez, Evan Levine, Gustavo Cortiñas, and more. The second line-up is the combination of Kuhn, Joe Suihkonen, Katie Ernst, and Nate Friedman.

|
|
|

- news for musician and music pros -

Loading...