|Cover artwork by Nat Damm|
'Ascending Circulation', was put together for the tour of Japan SardoniS did with Eternal Elysium and just as they did for the October shows, SardoniS takes the stage first with their first offering "The Ascending".
I know people who can't listen to music with lyrics in any other language than English. They are lyrically fixated to a fault. It means there's a whole world of music that they don't get to enjoy. Oh well. I'm not that way, I listen to the vocal melody rather than the lyrics, allowing certain lines and passages to get caught in the meat grinder that is my head naturally and organically. One of the most interesting aspects of music is the way it is connected to language in the brain, the rhythms of the music mirroring the rhythms of the composer's mother tongue. It's for this reason that Eternal Elysium offer some of the most unique and funky rhythms within the broad field of psychedelic stoner doom music. The Japanese language is rhythmically interesting in that it is full of abrupt stops and starts, punctuated by melodic flourishes and rapid fire monotone, followed by sudden stops and starts, etc. All composers have this same tendency to mirror linguistic rhythms, tones, etc. and SardoniS is no exception. The native Belgians don't need a vocalist to speak in a language distinct from that of their tour and split companions from the far east. For nine and a half minutes the duo that is SardoniS belches out swelling rhythms in a song that isn't all that interesting structurally, but never drags or loses the listener.
Eternal Elysium unleashes their raggedy funk on the Japanese / English "Unbound (Kai Hoh)". The song has the same swaggering, shambling appeal as a homeless drunk has to an insatiable murderer, the temptation to give in to impulses cannot be ignored. Thankfully, we aren't murderers, we're headbangers, and our naturally rambunctious compulsions are indeed set free on this one. The next track, "Circulation (Jun Kan)" ended up on the aforementioned Highflyer EP which was released just three weeks after this split. It's got a great riff and the memorable line, "the future is completely blank". Apart from the atomic blast that is SardoniS' "To The Barn!", it's probably the most uptempo and immediately hooky song on this split.
Because of the audible background buzz, "The Spiral Conclusion" sounds like a home recording that was never intended to see release. Indeed, it was recorded roughly a year before the other two songs on this disc and it, along with "To The Barn!", are CD only bonus tracks that weren't on the original 10" record or bandcamp download. This nearly eight minute instrumental is the perfect illustration of what I mentioned earlier about the linguistic origins of music. The song starts out almost as a traditional Japanese folk song with plucked strings in the classical style and builds slowly into something recognizably stoner rock.
To take nothing away from SardoniS, Eternal Elysium steal the show here with their infectious rhythms.
Highlights include: "Circulation" and "The Ascending"
1). SardoniS - The Ascending (9:28)
2). SardoniS - To The Barn (4:21)
3). Eternal Elysium [Kai Hoi] (8:04)
4). Eternal Elysium [Jun Kan] (6:25)
5). Eternal Elysium [The Spiral Conclusion] (7:40)
Total Run Time: 35:56
From: Belgium (SardoniS), Japan (Eternal Elysium)
Genre: Doom, Instrumental, Psychedelic, Stoner
Reminds me of: Monster Magnet
Release Date: October 4, 2012
Suggested listening activity for fellow non-stoners: The journey of the warrior's spirit begins in the body (SardoniS) and ends in the mind (Eternal Elysium) ...
The Sleeping Shaman
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