Schammasch

How did I not know about this band until today? I’m on “Katabasis” from Hearts of No Light and am impressed. I’m not sure how to describe them–it’s like Swiss death/technical metal with a dash of theatrics, drenched in heavy Satan. Also, any band whose second album is Sic Lvceat Lvx is worth paying attention to, especially given they believe the light shines not merely through, but as, darkness. This is very clever. A paradigm of beauty indeed.

Discouraged Ones is incredibly important, and even more brave, but I do not like it that much, for which I feel guilty. Perhaps if they had written it ten years earlier I would have been strongly attracted, as I was, at that time, firmly in the grip of bands like The Cure. I give them credit for radically changing their sound after the first two (death metal) albums. I can only imagine how horrified fans must have been at the time. Yet, if I had to choose which better captures their genius I would not hesitate to choose it, as painful as that would be. Every album that follows is indebte d to this droopy, sophmoric mess (the drum solo on “Nerve” is nothing short of embarrassing, not to mention the dreadful final track). On the other hand, it is here that “Gone” was conceived–a dark, brilliant song that, perhaps not coincedentally, comes to it’s perfect expression at the end of their career in the acoustic version on Sanctitude. The fact that it was the first time they had ever played it live is nothing short of beautiful. At their core they were never a death metal band. They were among the church fathers of doom.