If feels like it was just last week that we were celebrating Roadburn and the endless supply of creative endeavors no one ever expected to see and yet, lo and behold, they now exist alongside us. We have that annual gathering to thank for Converge, Chelsea Wolfe, and other heavy hitters giving birth to “Bloodmoon,” and we just had that mammoth Thou/Mizmor project dropped in our willing laps.
The doomed 2020 version of Roadburn still bears fruit as we finally have the long-awaited union of Vile Creature and Bismuth, two doom powers that have a lot in common musically but contribute entirely different magical creations into the heavy music world. This project originally was commissioned for the 2020 fest, and it finally saw the main stage at this year’s version. Even better for us non-travelers, The Flenser is rewarding the rest of the world with the studio version of this creation, the amazing 40-minute, single-track “A Hymn of Loss and Hope.” Combining Vic (vocals) and KW (guitars and vocals) of Hamilton, Ontario’s Vile Creature (their pets also have a hand in this, if just from animalistic inspiration) with Tanya (bass, piano, vocals) and Joe (drums) of Nottingham, England’s Bismuth, these forces meld seamlessly as a greater whole, one that delivers might and passion that would shift the earth off its axis. The recorded version is devastating enough that I can only image those left in the aftermath of their cataclysmic live performance.
“A Hymn of Loss and Hope” bleeds into the scene and slowly builds from there, using nautical hypnosis to ease you into this 40:20-long opus, eventually penetrating your mind with shrieks and throbbing doom. The pace continues on that path the next few minutes, adding pressure, carving your flesh with harsh howls, eventually glazing shimmering guitars before noise chokes and mauls. The playing lumbers viciously, and a molten flow leads to the drums savagely erupting, making it feel like a mythical beast is crashing through the earth’s crust. Sorrowful melodies follow, making your heart swell, then sinister riffs signal an even darker turn than what we’ve faced so far, itself a harrowing reality. The moodiness turns into a thick fog, sweeping clean singing chills muscles, and a dreamy vortex opens and disorients, bleeding and crawling, the shrieks carving bone, the melodies swelling. The playing hammers, leads gather momentum, and rumbling disappears into a cataclysmic glow that laps over the horizon.
I can only imagine how incredible this collaboration must have sounded at Roadburn with both forces coming together and adding even more thunder and texture to “A Hymn of Loss and Hope.” This studio version is an excellent representation of the magic these creative forces conjured together, and these 40 minutes melt by in no time, leaving you emotionally arrested. Here’s hoping this creative union is one that has legs and that we hear more from these devastating forces together again.
For more on the Vile Creature, go here: https://www.facebook.com/vilecreature/
For more on Bismuth, go here: https://www.facebook.com/bismuthslow
For more on the label, go here: https://nowflensing.com/