3. THE OTOLITH, “Folium Lumina” (Blues Funeral)

The arrival of the Otolith and their spellbinding debut record “Folium Lumina” both brought a powerful new presence into our lives and helped soothe wounds of loss. They emerged from the ashes of the fallen SubRosa, a band we loved dearly, and restored the same kind of energy we were missing with a little something more added. Four fifths of that band—violinist/lead vocalist Sarah Pendleton, violinist/vocalist Kim Cordray, drummer/percussionist Andy Patterson, and guitarist/vocalist Levi Hanna (he was in SubRosa from 2014-2017)—form the core of the Otolith along with bassist/vocalist Matt Brotherton, and they continue to operate in that atmospheric doom headspace that gets a little dirtier and sometimes more psychedelic on an excellent six-track debut that takes on a new life with every listen. If you’re skeptical, don’t be. It’s not a SubRosa record, nor should it be since it’s a whole new being. But there’s enough of that factor to reconnect the canals to your heart and so much more that goes beyond any hopes and expectations that you know you’re dealing with a new animal entirely. An exciting one that sends you on a different path to your dreams.

“Sing No Coda” opens the record elegantly and urgently, birds cawing as the strings rise, the branches slowly budding. Pendleton’s vocals are compelling and sweltering, the power gusts as every element comes to life, breathing a familiar but new energy. Everything swoons and then jars, the cello eases into the room, and then things get thicker as the storming comes down harder now, your adrenaline working to keep you safe and alive. Burly power connects, the doomy waters rise, and wordless calls echo off into the distance. “Andromeda’s Wing” feels instantly psychedelic but then the charges bend and break, sludge collects in veins, and vicious howls drive daggers into the earth.

“Bone Dust” dawns with sounds rumbling, the hint of something profound on the horizon, and that promise later is kept. The band takes time to build the ambiance, feeling crackles and jolts going through your body, heartfelt vocals working on your emotions and making you breathe deeply. The playing continues to darken and seems to be setting the stage for something, that being the Charlie Chaplin anti-fascist speech from the 1940 movie “The Great Dictator,” a scene that this world needs now more than ever. The record grows deep within us with every listen, and having the Otolith in our world creates a quaking presence that devastates us mind, body, and spirit. Welcome and welcome back. (Oct. 21)

For more on the band, go here: https://www.facebook.com/otolithic/

To buy the album, go here: https://www.bluesfuneral.com/#https://www.bluesfuneral.com/search?q=josiah+we+lay+on+cold+stone

For more on the label, go here: https://www.bluesfuneral.com/

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