Metal Psalter

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Metal Psalter

Message  Moulinette le Lun 2 Aoû - 14:55

Penumbra, one of France’s premier goth/death metal acts, has been on hiatus for some time but lead singer Asphodel has been keeping herself quite busy in a various other bands. The oddly named band Pin-Up Went Down is her current focus as she joins band founder Alexis Damien (ex-Carnival In Coal) and his brother Nicolas Damien in one of most bizarre and delightful avant-garde metal combos I have discovered in a long time. The band has been very busy in a short period of time, having dropped their debut 2 Unlimited last year and the recently released 342.

Just to clear the air, if you are a genre purist or prefer very little mixing of various musical genres then Pin-Up Went Down will have limited or no appeal. If you enjoy knee jerk genre changes every few seconds/minutes then Pin-Up Went Down is a wet dream come true. The band hops, skips, and leaps across nearly every musical genre that you could name and several that you probably never knew existed. All the while, maintaining a surprising thread of connectivity that literally defies any earnest examination. You just have to hear it to know what I am talking about. Asphodel has a stupendous range and inexhaustive number of “voices” in her repertoire that closely mirrors her male counterpart in the world of strange, Mike Patton (Faith No More, Mr Bungle, etc.) The world of the strange is a good way to begin to describe the collection of songs on 342. Take it from me that it’s a lovely world so there is no reason to proceed with trepidation.

The whole affair starts off innocuous enough as the intro of “Diapositive” is awash in dreamy trip-hop jazz, adorned with seductive baby doll like vocals. This does not last long as it quickly mutates into a beauty and the beast (Alexis) growling exchange backed by a stew of pseudo opera, Twilight Zone freaky effects, alternative rock, jazz and avant garde. It threatens to become an incomprehensible ball of confusion but in the end still manages to right itself. When Asphodel sings in her “normal” voice, she sounds delightfully like Anneke van Giersbergen (Agua de Annique, The Gathering). That voice is on display in the beautiful “Escargot” where she gets to duet with herself over top a busy telephone dial tone. This and “Home” are the most conventional songs on 342. Asphodel starts to show her vocal versatility on the slow roaring “Porcelain Hours” that is interrupted only briefly with a jangling acoustic guitar. The sweetly tongue in cheek farce of “Essence of I” swerves into FNM territory when Alexis brings his growls and funky instrumentation to the party, echoing FNM’s “Surprise! You're Dead!” before Asphodel handily takes back the reins steering the song’s outro with alternating stabs at sweet pop and tribal chanting. See? Nothing is easy in the ambiguous world of Pin-Up Went Down. Contrast all of that with the exotic “Khabod of my Aba” replete with mock Gregorian monk chants with big organ accompaniment and opera vocals that evoke strains of the Catholic hymn “Ave Maria”. Soon it descends into madness with the most bizarre grouping of samples blended with mind-bending sound effects and hyper intense instrumentation. The band successfully corrals this wall of noise into a brilliant free form interpretation. Your mouth may be agape at this point. I think that’s what they were going for; to confound the listener with an exciting yet schizophrenic banquet of sounds.

The rest of the record is just as challenging and rewarding. It’s more mental than metal, but that concern is negligible when talking about one of this year’s best releases. Arguably, no stone was left unturned in the process of making a transcendent and highly enjoyable record that defies categorization. Many times I found myself almost pleading with the band through my speakers, ”Don’t change, don’t change! I love what you are doing right now!” but alas, the band never heeded my cries. I can live with that because I often loved what I heard when they did change. 342 has so many twists and turns like an engrossing thriller; for me to tell all, would simply take away from a first time listener’s pleasure in discovering its marvels. After listening to this numerous times, I (almost) feel the need to carefully place it back in its wrapping and frame it. A piece of art.

28 July

Pussy Worship
Pussy Worship

Nombre de messages : 259
Age : 23
Localisation : Drôme Provençale
Date d'inscription : 09/06/2009

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