Disemballerina – Undertaker (2014), Poison Gown (2016)

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DisemballerinaUndertaker (Graceless Recordings, 28 June 2014)

 

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DisemballerinaPoison Gown (Minotauro Records, 10 July 2016)

 

Moving right along with our theme of not-exactly-metal music, today we’re going to cover a pair of albums by Portlandian trio Disemballerina. This ensemble first came to my attention about two years ago when harp/viola player Myles Donovan had contacted me about their album Undertaker, which had been mixed and mastered by Tad Doyle and released via the Loss-owned Graceless Records. It was described as “something like doomed chamber music,” and had cover art that was taken from a series of images where the harpist had placed found bird carcasses (in this case, a blue heron) into the photocopier at Kinko’s. With a pedigree like that, of course I was instantly intrigued.

Disemballerina, it turns out, had been formed back in 2009 by Donovan and guitarist Ayla Holland. The two have worked with a number of other musicians over the years, but their line-up is currently set with the inclusion of cellist Jennifer Christensen. Last month, the “doomed chamber” group had another album emerge — Poison Gown — through Italian label Minotauro Records, and so today we’ll tackle both of those records.

 

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Corrections House – Last City Zero, Lumbar – The First and Last Days of Unwelcome (2013)

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Corrections HouseLast City Zero (Neurot Recordings, 29 October 2013)

 

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LumbarThe First and Last Days of Unwelcome (Southern Lord Records, 11 November 2013)

 

Salutations. It’s Monday, and I just don’t have the energy for any of the wisecracks or silliness these things often start with, so instead I’ll just jump right into introducing today’s topic of conversation. It’s been a long time coming, but finally I’m getting around to writing about these two albums which were each released in late 2013, and which each subsequently found their way into the top ten of my Top 13 of 2013 list. Yes, that particular list did contain a total of twenty-seven albums, technically speaking, but still that’s no excuse for a delay of more than two years before getting some of these reviews done — particularly considering the exceptionally high quality of the material found here.

The two albums in question were the first to be released by two different groups of musicians, all veterans of fairly well-known bands: first, Corrections House is a conglomoration of Mike IX Williams (Eyehategod), Scott Kelly (Neurosis), Bruce Lamont (Yakuza), and Sanford Parker (Minsk), with some of the lyrics contributed by the phantasmatic “minister of propaganda,” Seward Fairbury; and Lumbar is a project led by Aaron Edge (well-known as a graphic designer, who worked for Southern Lord Records for several years, but also a guitarist and drummer who has been part of literally dozens of groups, including Brothers of the Sonic Cloth, with the addition of Mike Scheidt (YOB) and Tad Doyle (Brothers of the Sonic Cloth, formerly Tad).

In each case, I think you’ll find — as they say — that the finished product shows each collective to be more than simply a sum of its parts. But even if that wasn’t the case, looking at the particular parts involved, those would still be pretty lofty sums, no?

 

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Boss Keloid – Herb Your Enthusiasm (2016)

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Boss KeloidHerb Your Enthusiasm (Black Bow Records, 08 April 2016)

 

Well it’s Thursday now, which means it’s almost Friday, which means the weekend is almost here, so I guess that’s a good thing, right? I dunno. I’ve been so tired all week, it’s tough to feel excited about anything. Although — again, tomorrow is Friday, and we’re now finding ourselves coming into what’s traditionally one of the biggest times of the year in terms of new music getting released. Which means a bunch of stuff will be coming out tomorrow (just as it has for the past couple of weeks and will over the next several). So at least there’s that.

I totally missed out on getting anything published here yesterday, due to some super lame crap that kept me busy all day, which means we’re already behind schedule in terms of what I wanted to be able to share with you people this week. So probably it’s about time to quit rambling and get straight to the music, right?

 

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In Case You Missed It: The Matador – Descent into the Maelstrom

 The MatadorDescent into the Maelstrom (Serotonin Productions, 21 April 2011).

 “It raged with such noise and impetuosity that the very stones of the houses on the coast fell to the ground.

Much like the short story of the same name, these progressive-post-doom-metal Queenslanders’ EP takes the listener on a voyage that explores unknown depths of madness.  Also like the Poe narrative, there is no telling where the experience will end up, but what is certain is that you will not emerge from the other side unscathed or unchanged.

This review is somewhat atypical, in that I will be describing each of the songs in detail, rather than just giving some overall impressions of the entire album.  Ordinarily I wouldn’t do this, but for one thing, there are only five songs on this release; also, the passage of time through the tracks seems to represent a progression – an aural journey that represents the titular descent – and it felt like this was the best way to do justice to the material.

Keep reading to join me on this voyage, and along the way you’ll come across links where you can listen to and/or download a couple of the tracks…

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