Wednesday, 8 May 2013

Nibiru - Caosgon (album review)

Artwork and graphics by Siatris (drums)
Every now and then a band comes along and blows your head apart.  It's an even rarer breed of band that takes a multi-media approach to the task, using captivating imagery (boobs) to craft such memorable, haunting and mesmerizing videos that the two (audio and visual) are forever linked in the mind and can no longer be separated.  What was once seen cannot be unseen, and what is later heard without the visuals cannot be sampled without glimpsing the visuals in the mind's eye (in the case of "Invokation I": good [boobs!], for "Smashanam": not so good [take my word for it but go ahead and look if you're really that curious, and don't say I didn't warn you!!]).  Most importantly, for the purposes of our study, is how the head blowing apart effect of this band is achieved.  Just follow me down this here rabbit hole and away we go ...

First off, Nibiru utilizes vocals of the Enochian chant variety, the language of the angels.  That's pretty trippy right off the bat, innit?  The title of this album, 'Caosgon', translates from Enochian to English as "to the earth", with the suffix -n being the case ending of the root word "caosgo" or "of earth".  The fact that the word sounds like a totally accurate description of Earth, "chaos gun" is pretty trippy in and of itself, too.  But none of these little factoids are what blow the head apart.

Nibiru is also a jam band, writing their songs around live unstructured improvisations, then recording them live with minimal overdubs, a choice and style that almost by definition breeds interesting structures and song elements.  Here we are coming closer to what makes Nibiru such a mind-blowing act, but we're not quite there yet.  To get there, we're going to have to take a much closer look at the music itself.

Songs rise and bloom like flowers from a simple drone with various elements added one by one, piece by piece, layer by layer.  Does this album have cowbell?  It sure does though not as a rhythmic element, but cowbell used as originally intended, dangling away in a stereoscopic circle to begin the album (and close it) as the first sounds you hear on opening track "Invokation I: The Acid Skull" (see video below) and the last sounds you hear on closing track "Umbra Venefica".  What this band is capable of achieving is an alpha state in the listener, then throwing said victim into a churning pit of hell.  It doesn't matter that it's not a real place and that it's all in the mind or is a state of being or whatever.  They throw you in that pit of torture and despair regardless.  You don't see it coming, and it happens suddenly, like a quick death followed by an eternal moment of agony.  Of course, the effect is subtle, like the feeling of presence beside the bed at night.  This is where the acid skull takes the listener, and a better, more descriptive name to pin on a bad trip I've not heard.

By the time "Smashanam, The Crematorium Ground Of Kaly" whirly dervishes its way across the speakers, you're almost glad that the subtle pressure of nocturnal visitation is over and the actual beating begins.  From there on the album becomes a cycle of ritual abuse followed by a moment of respite and so on.  This is not the feelgood soundtrack to a stolen summer night, unless that night involves tripping on bad acid while locked inside a mausoleum stuffed with hungry and curiously probing animated corpses.

The overall effect 'Caosgon' has on the listener is impressive, an experience that must become totally overwhelming at a live show.  This became one of those albums that literally changed the way I heard everything else for days afterwards.  Not that everything else paled in comparison, it wasn't really a comparative thing, it's just that the band leaves its mark, the way they used to warn that acid changed a person forever after taking it.  Not to make too big a deal about it, but this album blew my head open.  I hope I've explained a little bit about how they achieved this effect and that the reader can keep this in mind, now the only thing left is for the reader to dabble in Nibiru's sonic drug and perform the ritual experiment the ancient Enochian speaking angels used to call, "listening" on his or her own.  That means you!  But be patient, because this isn't the kind of thing that will reveal itself on a quick preview, it's got to be listened to without distraction from cowbell to cowbell.  You've got to buy this album dinner and get to know it first.

Highlights include: "Invokation IV: Heru-Khentan-Maati" and "Smashanam, The Crematorium Ground Of Kaly"

Rating: 4.5/5

Total Run Time: 51:28

RI - bass and liturgic organ
Ardath - guitar & voice
Siatris - drums, percussions & Virus

From: Turin, Italy

Genre: Drone, Psychedelic, Sludge

Reminds me of: Saturnalia Temple, Spectral Haze

Release Date: February 27, 2013

Suggested listening activity for fellow non-stoners: You're falling into a deep trance ... your eyes are getting heavier ... and heavier ... good, he's asleep now, let's torch the fucker! ...

Better Review:
Sludgelord
Temple of Perdition
Too Late To Pray
Welcome to the Void in Greek

Sludgelord interview

Nibiru facebook

Warning: BOOBS!

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