Tuesday, 21 May 2013

The Alchemical Mixture - llord & Lord Summerisle (album reviews)

Lord Summerisle - Demo
From: Barcelona, Spain.  Highlights include: "Pare Huarg" and
"Ocellót".  Rating: 4.5/5.  Release Date: January 7, 2013.
A couple months ago I wrote a review for an amazing multi-media project by the band Midnight Zombie Alligator called 'Nova Sico' (go ahead and check it out).  It's an incredible mix of stoner doom and sludge with film soundtrack elements about a zombie apocalypse and one man's journey to find a cure.  The band combined audio with visual and written elements to create an overwhelmingly successful project.  A short while later I wrote a review of a three song demo by progressive trio Lord Summerisle for Stoner Hive (read it here).  It turns David Trillo who provides guitar and vocals for MZA does the same for Lord Summerisle as well.  I had no idea!  But that's not even the end of it, not content to freak the world out in those two bands alone, he and Mike Kelly, drummer for Lord Summerisle, form a third, decidedly more brutal combo with Aris on bass called llord!  These three bands couldn't possibly be more different from each other and I'm proud to feature the two lords here on Paranoid Hitsophrenic!

Lord Summerisle (named after a Christopher "Sabbath fan extraordinaire" Lee character from one of my personal favorite movies of all time, the original Wicker Man [1973]), thy middle name is Prog (an awkward and perhaps pretentious middle name, I know, but the musical genre itself is known for nothing if not pushing the boundaries of good taste).  Kudos to this band for not only delivering an authentic slice of pure seventies progressive rock, both in terms of structure and rhythmic sensibilities, but also crafting one of the catchiest songs of the year while doing so.  "Pare Huarg" is certainly the catchiest instrumental of the year to date.  As a matter of fact, 'pure seventies' doesn't even cut it as this thing can go twelve rounds with anything by King Crimson, Gabriel-led Genesis and oh, let's say E.L.P. et al. in terms of rhythmic complexity.  Lord Summerisle hops right over the top and stalks confidently into the rhythmic minefield of Zappa territory, joined perhaps on the front lines by burly Captain Beefheart.  Got it!?!  This thing is crazy!

We don't hear vocals until a few minutes into track two "1864" which throws a wet blanket on the prog fire the band started in the instrumental opener.  But such a wet blanket of normalcy can only serve to dampen relatively little of the fire damaged areas, this being a raging inferno of prog after all.  Guitar effects, continued rhythmic explorations / experimentations and a damn hell ass crazy structure keep this hard driving number strictly in the wheelhouse of latter day prog.  However, concessions to a more typical song must be made when dealing with vocals.  "Ocellót" gets this spaceship off the ground and zipping across the universe with its warp drive space rock tempo and octave shifts during the verse.  All together, Lord Summerisle's three song demo is sure to please anybody with a hankering for classic hard rock, specifically of the prog / space rock strains.

I mean that, really.

It is sure to.

Hopefully, this is no flash in the pan, but a project which will deliver on the promise of this rather musically accomplished demo.  A full-length album of this kind of material may draw the attention of Ming the Merciless and have these three musicians hunted down and killed for threatening the tyrant's galactic empire.  That's the kind of high powered Space Rockin' Prog I'm talking about.  And of course, if that were to happen, the world would be without two thirds of our next group, llord ...

After a long, hard day doing math at the prog factory, it must be kind of nice for David and Mike to open up their switchblades and just start cutting up swathes of heavy grooves.  That's not to say that llord doesn't feature some of the same progressive sentiments that define MZA and Lord Summerisle, it's just not nearly at such a titanic scale.  Where the rhythms rarely pause for a breath while herking and jerking throughout whole compositions on Lord Summerisle's debut, never giving poor Mike Kelly a moment to relax, llord play things relatively straight.  Trillo's hacksaw riffs are utilitarian and industrious.  In comparison to Summerisle, llord is sloping brow music that tosses the switchblade over the shoulder in confused frustration and simply cuts into a groove with a dull homemade shiv of mouth-breathing and ill-tempered riffs.  Trillo's throaty death metal screaming tells the listener that there is no bargaining here with this madman.

llord - Demo
From: Barcelona, Spain.  Highlights include: "Verro" and
"Iron Pescatore".  Rating: 4/5.  Release Date: January 31, 2013.
Interestingly (typically?), each of the three songs on llord's demo increases in compositional complexity, one after the other.  From the 4 minute opener "Iron Pescatore" which features a fairly orthodox metal song structure, even while the musical style borrows bits and pieces from various sources all at once, to the six minute follow up "Ordell" which begins to rely a bit more heavily on some syncopation to the 10 minute closer which opens like a spilled box near the middle of the track, unleashing a horde of tritone horrors, the complexity is increased before taking over the end of "Verro" entirely with a madcap finish.

David Trillo has a real knack for penning riffs that get caught in my head.  "Pare Huarg" and "Corpus Earthling" from MZA have been known to be on non-stop rotation in my noggin all night long, he's got riffs and bands for every mood.  Check them all out.  All three are up for "pay what you want" download on bandcamp!  Click the links on the players below to be swept along to the bandcamp pages.

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