Wednesday, 17 July 2013

Reverend Bizarre - III: So Long Suckers (2007) | 100%

The hymen of my sanity is broken


You were probably expecting this if you knew me, I had to write a review for this band, it was destiny and it was written under the pussy in the sky. I always liked adventures and epic tales and ''So Long Suckers'' is definitely a legendary achievement both in form and content. Encompassing the wackiness of leader Albert Witchfinder in a mere two hours physical entity, the album is a voyage, pack your things and join the fellowship of the Reverend till we reach the apex of the monument. Closing the coffin lid of one of the most seminal modern doom bands, this double album served as a catalyst for my appreciation of this metal genre. The hyperbolic nature of the album can of course be a repellent for the easily bored listeners but I couldn't see a better testament to the spirit of the reverend.

Dark and self loathing, it's pushing the doors of perception of traditional doom metal to their utter limits. No one ever came close to the intent of So Long Suckers, they always were one step ahead of their contemporaries in both intent, songwriting and musicality. While their pristine debut is perhaps their best legacy, their third and final album really touched my heart and my spirit. Witchfinder with all his mental issues found the way to move my apprehensions towards a world without known limits, an heaven of deep lust, metallic might and Styx labyrinths of melting entrancing lava.

During this two hours trip to the funeral house of the devil, you're served with eight tracks divided unto two discs, literally breaking the chains of decent song editing but I wouldn't remove one second. Fuck ''less is more'', I want my dream city with extravagant architecture, lush parks of singing birds, life embodied with passion and dedication. It's a test of endurance, to choose the worthy to sacrifice at their altar. Despite its length, the album is varied, from mid paced groovy riffs to slow mournful like in the excellent track ''Sorrow'', the darkest track on the release. There's even some surprising experimentation like the almost kraut rock influenced ending of ''Caesar Forever'' to the romantic soft part of ''Anywhere Out of This World''. The band always found ways to move me near the abyss or in the arms of a deceptive yet charming angel.

With his bludgeoning bass playing, Witchfinder leads the charge against the kingdom of good taste. His down tuned playing is crushing everything on the instrumental track ''Kundalini Arisen'' which has this lovely stoner vibe. A master worshiper of Geezer distorting his will to make us cream, the bass is fucking loud and in your face. It can also be subtle such as in the four minutes introduction to ''Anywhere...''. Witchfinder (Sami Hynninen) is undeniably the leader, the man with the hood and the ceremonial moving his arm forward his victim. As loud as he is, his exalted playing is often burying Peter Vicar (Kimi Kärki)'s playing and it's a bit of a shame since he's a very talented composer who didn't have a lot of space to grow in the Rev proven by his excellent projects. The only track he penned on this release is exceptional, it's the aforementioned ''Caesar Forever'' and you can definitely hear the progressive tendencies he'll show in Orne. Deep down, this was Hynninen's project and it's the termination of his love for traditional doom as his new oeuvres are quite different and I might say underwhelming. Opium Warlords or The Puritan are much more experimental and avant garde in nature and are showcasing the deep madness and multiple talent of this genius of a man. Furthermore, his raw black metal are demonstrating his darker side and not much more, I'm afraid.

He is, as the identity of the band, uncompromising. It's unbelievable what they managed to achieve during their career, they took a admittedly stale genre and made it contemporary without making it modernly disgusting. They never changed the laws but pushed them forwards, an aggressive expansion into magical realms. Akin to a dark sorceress, the album still works its magic every time I listen to it. I still apprehend the epic parts that make me reach doom climax like I was a five years old waiting for his dad to bring him to the hockey game. They started with all the necessary skills like Teemu Selanne's 76 goals debut season and finished  by winning the Stanley Cup as Jari Kurri alongside Gretzky. The grand finale has thirty minutes songs, mighty as fuck and nailing your head to the table, your scalp is bleeding, you're disgusting. While there's obviously a lot of repetition, the riffs are great, the songs almost have a drone approach intertwined with traditional doom. I mean, not a lot of people complain that ambient or drone bands are too repetitive, it's part of their identity, that's kind of the same thing for me here. It's extremely flamboyant and doesn't give a fuck about your precious genre conventions, they want a twenty-five minutes song ? Here you go ! Liberating riffs from their shells is the mission, they created something different while staying true to themselves and to their ancestors

''Once, in a dream, I have been here, but now, when with you, I have no fear''

There's probably more lyrics in a Cradle of Filth song than during the whole two hours album but eh, it's restrained and poetic in a subtle way. Talking about his personal experiences in a mesmerizing way, Albert writes about relationships with a woman who ended badly on ''Teutonic Witch'' and it's full of oppressive magical analogies. He has this power to make everything he says so mystical, nourished by death and love. We're presented with these ethereal landscapes full of devotion, full of affection towards the crafting of doom arts. It's breaking the hymen of my sanity and it's playing games with my blood pumping organ. By divine will, I will become your disciple.

And man, Hynninen is probably my favorite clean singer ever, he's so versatile and powerful and unique in the scene. His baritone vocals can even recall the late Peter Steele, combined with his operatic feel, he's the guy to beat in trad doom, so many emotions. There's no need for mindless harsh vocals, it got this true metal purity established and it's more profound than the well where your crazy aunt dropped her dead baby.

Decidedly audacious, life is about taking risks but also knowing when to quit. The trio achieved both of these things here. They apparently had three albums ready but they decided to release a final double album, I heard it was because of Hynninen's psychological issues and that's definitely a good reason, not sure it was any good for him since I heard his newer stuff and that's fucking insane but eh ? In a way, I'm sad this was their last album but it spawned so many good things such as the superb Orne albums and it's the perfect conclusion to their full length trilogy.  The music is thoroughly excellent, it's groovy, dark, romantic and the total opposite of shallowness, no doom is that true and you can try but you'll utterly fail at accomplishing what they did here, Esoteric only wish they were that dark and sinister.

Breaking your skull in pieces never felt so good, heavy guitar riffs rusty like axes left to rot in the snow of Lohja, heavy martial beats that makes you shiver, bass as loud as the the thunder god himself, I'm not worthy of such kindness, make it stop. Three sorcerers blending hope and despair in a bubbling mess of sinful spirits and hallucinogenic drugs. You had to die, for your own sake and ours, to create a work loved, a work hated.

''Death is all that I see when I observe the world we have built, and Death is the majesty we all have to face.''

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1 comment:

Teodora Mateeva said...

Really really really fucking good.