The concept of liminality, in my limited understanding, has a fair bit to do with the moments on which civilisations turn, for good or bad. Which is oddly apposite, because, when I was listening to American rockers Kosmodemonic whilst doing the dishes the other night, I genuinely felt myself thinking that this album, Liminal Light, is quite probably what the end of the world will sound like.
The track I was listening to was the very alluring Drown in Drone, a lurching, crooked-backed beast of a song that owes a fair bit to Thomas Gabriel Fischer (in all his guises) and Voivod and yet somehow doesn’t seem very metal at all. This is churning, maelstromic noise that really does defy label or pigeonhole; It’s heavy as all get out, of course, and yet at it’s black heart there’s a peacefulness – almost a void, actually, a silent core around which the madness circulates, anchoring the mayhem whilst threatening to overwhelm it. The knowledge that such substantial music might literally have nothing at it’s heart is profoundly unsettling, and yet you’re driven on to listen, if only to find out just how awfully everything’s going to turn out…
It doesn’t of course. This really is just a rock n’roll record at the end of the day. And yet it’s rare for your jaded old interlocutor to be so affected by a recording after all these years. Hidden Light creates a fervid, despondent skin crawl of twitching, horrorful dissonance, at the centre of which are the strikingly effective vocals of David Bozzler. He and guitar pal Ryan Motley lay on the howling guitar shockwavery good n’proper, yet it’s the vocal that hits home the hardest, an otherworldly, fingernails-down-the blackboard unholiness that scratches away at your very being while you listen, hinting all the while of nastiness to come.
With Majesty is, well, majestic. But I don’t enjoy the emotional wringer I’m put through as the band employs killing technology to repeatedly batter my psyche without remorse or mercy. I really don’t. But that doesn’t stop me from pressing play on the blighter over and over again to further explore it’s innermost recesses. It’s like a JG Ballard novel in sonic form! By comparison, Ipomoea is positively accessible, offering a little respite by way of it’s more structured sturm und drang. However the doom-laden Lover of Leaving and my fave track, Broken Crown slather the doom on even thicker, with the latter being a tour de force of sledgehammer-nut interfacing; it really is heaviness for the sake of it, right down to the pain-behind-the-eye-inducing guitar solo. And you’ll love it, of that there’s no doubt.
Over the course of it’s nine tracks this album literally beats you to death, raises you back to life then does you in again, but my word it’s a near-death sonic experience worth having. A strange album for strange times indeed.
Liminal Light releases on May 7th.