Posts Tagged ‘enigmatic’

Cruel Nature Records – 2nd December 2022

Christopher Nosnibor

Seems I’ve blinked and missed a while slew of releases from Ontario experimentalist Clara Engel since writing about Hatching Under the Stars in the spring of 2020. Then again, the spring of 2020 doesn’t so much feel like a lifetime ago, as much as it does another life. Released on 5th April 2020, we were only just over a week into the first lockdown here in England, and we had no sense of what was to come.

As the blurb outlines, the album was ‘recorded entirely at home / solo’ and ‘Their Invisible Hands presents 13 tracks of subtle dream-like beauty… A mystical work, mixing classical and dark folk wanderings with misty soundscapes, which creates an abstract, new world atmosphere.’ Self-released in April digitally and on CD, Cruel Nature are giving it a cassette release.

In a way, returning to Clara’s work now is a powerful, and grounding experience. What has happened in the space between? Everything…and nothing. As they explain in the accompanying text, replicated on their Bandcamp, “I’m not writing the same song over and over so much as writing one long continuous song that will end when I die.”

If the last couple of years or so have reminded us of anything, it’s our mortality. And the sound of Their Invisible Hands is both spiritual and earthy. To unpack that, the sparse instrumentation, which consists predominantly of creening woodwind, chiming, picked strings, and hand percussion, has a simple, primitive aspect to it, and the slow, rhythmic undulations are attuned to elements of nature, as grounded as the act of breathing. ‘Dead Tree March’ is exemplary, a long, expansive drone that pulses in and out, repetitively, hypnotically, a sparse guide to a meditation.

Engel’s vocals, meanwhile, are ethereal and other-worldly, with a primal folk leaning that moves effortlessly between narrative and incantation, both of which tap into that subconscious part of the mind that it seems only music and nature can reach.

These themes of nature and of the ancient, of thoughts and tales lost in time, are constants in Engel’s work, giving credence to their comment about writing one long continuous song. In this context, it’s easy to see their entire catalogue as an interrogation and exploration of a quite specific field. Engel’s world is one full of magic and mystery, cryptids and magic beans and magnificent birds which sing. These songs are steeped in atmosphere and wonderment.

‘Ginko’s Blues’ is perhaps the most overtly classical piece on the album, a sparse composition led by picked acoustic guitar that calls to mind a stretched, dispersed rendition of Beethoven’s ‘Ode to Joy’, as it’s slowly dragged into a sea of scratched strings and gauze-like reverb.

Dissecting Their Invisible Hands too hard is to misunderstand its nature. It’s not an album to pick apart for the various elements, or even to comprehend its structures, origins, or meanings: any attempt to do so is to demystify its resonance. ‘It’s all fun and games ‘till somebody shows you their heart.. on a platter on a stake on a riverbed rusted…’ they sing on ‘High Alien Priest’. The metaphorical and the literal blur unsettlingly.

You shiver and find yourself mute as Engel leads you through an array of evocative soundscapes. All you can do is let go, and to explore them.

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SUPREME UNBEING is a mysterious 5-piece metal band led by vocalist/prophet Zac Red, with his fellow prophets D.Vine (Lead Guitar), D.Sciple (Rhythm Guitar), Unknown (Bass) and Al Mytee (Drums). Although the band just recently transformed from animated characters into real flesh and blood entities, their impact has been felt in the physical domain since the release (October 2020) of their debut full-length album Enter Reality which garnered an 8/10 rating in Metal Hammer (Greece) and a 3rd place in “Album of the Year 2020” according to the readers of Sweden Rock Magazine, amongst other noteworthy accomplishments such landing Spotify Editorial Playlist placements on Thrashers and New Metal Tracks, and combining a staggering +10 million digital and video streams since their debut.

With all the success, the bands greed has started to grow even further, to the point that they recently sold their souls to the Devil in order to reach a broader audience. The Devil betrayed the band (to no one’s surprise!) and left the band to rot in their own greed until today, April 1, 2022, when the band released their fourth, devil-fooling, single – ‘The Devil Smiles’ – from their upcoming, second, full-length album Enduring Physicality (to be released 5.5.22).

“As the population is ever-increasing, people grow up, and behave as lifeless puppets programmed to think and act in a certain pre-disposed way thinking that publicly recognized success is the aim of their lives. Yes, we all long for success, and everyone can reach their success. But there is no easy way to success, you have to work hard, be focused, and dedicated to your cause, if you want that spotlight to shine on yourself, and bask in the perceived glory of success. Some people try to cheat their way in life, cheat their way to success. How far will you go to reach your success? Will you make the Devil smile?” Says Zac Red

Following the success of previous singles ‘Savior’ (Feb 25, 2022), ‘Hide The Beast’ (Nov 26, 2021) &’ Face Of Evil’ (Oct 22, 2021), which already have combined +3 million views on Youtube, since their respective release dates, Supreme Unbeing continues to challenge you to not only enjoy music by singing and dancing along in an ignorant bliss, but to also study the lyrics closely to raise your level of self-awareness. With Swedish actor Dragomir Mrsic (known from Snabba Cash, and Edge Of Tomorrow co-starred along Tom Cruise) continuing to portray different characters in the “mini-series” that the Supreme Unbeing music videos are leading to, he is joined this time by Swedish MMA-fighters Samuel Ericsson & Camila Rivarola who will be trying to give the other a pounding to avoid the flames of hell.

Watch ‘The Devil Smiles’ here:

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