Friday, May 14, 2010
Hellas Mounds - New heaven/New Earth (Saw Her Ghost Records 2010)
I cut my teeth on : Isis, Pelican, Nadja, Mouth of The Architect , Sonic Youth, Godspeed You Black Emperor, and countless other bands, who manage to go from perfectly silent to airport runway loud in seconds without any hint that the change is coming, but just through sheer intuition and genuine improvisation they pull it off. Already hooked on the SHG label through the heavy and gnarly sounds of fellow labelmates: Beast In The Field, and Supracontinent, I knew that I had to give this one a try and they say third times the charm, and this one not only blew everything out of the water…it fucking blew the entire Pacific Ocean right out of the entire rim!!!!!! There’s fathomless depth within this music that far surpasses accurate or even fair description in words, it’s as if I’m trying to explain a vivid dream and expect anyone other than myself to understand the feeling and experience. This is personal music, the exact expression through music of that perfect moment of inspiration when you begin to feel as if you’re floating.
Based out of Phoenix/Tempe Arizona, this group chooses to bring to us the imagery of the prehistoric rock formations with the sandstone colors of a sunset etched with the stories of Earths volatile and constantly evolving lifetime. It’s as if you were actually walking in a Dali painting, with the ocean hovering above the seabed, hour glasses run upside and the clocks melt against a vibrant colored horizon. I don’t normally go into this much detail, but I’m so mesmerized with this band that I feel the need to drag you all into it with me. This stuff is so intense that it almost makes me cry for some reason although it’s not due to sadness, but rather an overwhelming sense of emotion coming to the surface.
Passage I: The sound of bells ringing and a gentle dessert breeze lures you into the next track.
Movement I: The surreal and intricate arpeggio introduces you to the feeling of freedom and pure open space as a mildly reverb effect guitar swoops slowly in like a bird from behind the massive rock formations. The amount of detail caught in the sound alone is as overwhelming as a perfect dream that you force yourself not to wake up from out of fear of losing that sensation. If there was an authentic and accurate way to describe what it would feel like to leave ones own body this album would be it. At times it reminds me of part Isis “Oceanic”, where the music is as equally ethereal as it is mysterious and almost sad, sort of like the feeling of being lost and wandering without aim or ambition. I also distinctly hear hints of La Otracina “ Tonal Eclipse of the One”.
Movement II: On a continual flow from “Movement I” the heaviness of the guitar comes in to deliver riffs in waves that crash against the geological formations as you stand at the bottom of what once was the bottom of an ocean. There’s a psychedelic, still Tonal Eclipse, sensation that continues to feed the listeners state of higher consciousness as it’s 10 minutes of psychedelic bliss wash over in gentle waves of reverb guitar as the almost silent “Passage II” guides you farther along into the next movement.
Movement III: Another melodic, dreamlike experience comes your way as the climax begins to make its presence known. A distorted psychedelic guitar solo surrounds you as swirls and spirals like cosmic waves through space. Listening to this album reminds me of the experience I had seeing the Mermen play last summer, it’s this odd feeling of euphoria through emotional and serene reverb and tremolo effect, no vocals or words to distract you…it’s just an absolute etherworld trip done without any physical travel. And one more thing that makes it so damn genius is that they get you into this trance then they come in loud and strong with the climax that spins your head and causes your brain to melt.
I rarely hear anything this dynamic to where I can actual feel the story of the Earths formation and continual transformation through a mind altering listen without any chemical help. Music that moves like this stuff does is truly timeless, now if only I could luck out to get to see these guys live sometime soon