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  • Writer's pictureSylvain Lupari

SKY BURIAL: There I Saw the Grey Wolf Gaping (2012)

“Did it happen to you to find thin lines of beauty throughout a deformed being? That's the story of Sky Burial's There I Saw the Grey Wolf Gaping”

1 Incantare 10:13 2 Shedding the Husk 10:30 3 Carne[val] 5:17 4 Silence Moves 10:23 5 Beyond the Veldt 5:13 6 Fools Circel 9wys 4:22 7 Bone to Beak (The Vultures Speak) 5:16 8 There I Saw the Grey Wolf Gaping 5:13 Sky Burial Music

(CD/DDL 56:37) (V.F.)

(Dark Ambient)

The advantage of writing reviews about EM is to receive music that we usually wouldn't even think of listening to. Let's take THERE I SAW the GREY WOLF GAPING from Sky Burial. An anonymous artwork, like in the days of LP's, with a schemer skeleton of a wolf head is not inevitably the kind of presentation that catches the look. And yet it's in this sober packaging that is hiding this 9th album of Sky Burial; an American musical (sound?) project formed in 2006 by Michael Page, the man is also behind Fire in the Head, that pushes away constantly the limits of the sound and its diffractions. According to the information gleaned here and there, THERE I SAW the GREY WOLF GAPING marks a comeback for Sky Burial towards more concise compositions, even more accessible (sic!!!), where collaborates a half-dozen of artists renowned in the underground circles; Danny Hyde (Coil), Jarboe, Anni Hogan (Marc and The Mambas/Willing Mambas/Willing Sinners), Jóhann Eiriksson (Gjöll, Reptilicus), Bridget Wishart (Hawkwind), Troum, Xiphoid Dementia and Craig McFarlane on bagpipe. The album is a fascinating mixture of Steve Roach, Sigar Rus and Coil where the vaporous rhythms and the atmospheres of a parallel universe are floating and imploding with a zest of ectoplasmic poetry.

Incantare falls from sky with some dense hissing layers which tear the emptiness. In spite of an uncomfortable scent, there is a surprising delicacy behind these synth layers which buzz like a big cloud of flies and whose fall down the line of music makes distant apocalyptic bells ring. While the hummings are switching shapes for dark astral choruses on the edge of a remorseful river, energetic tom-toms are rolling beneath this intense synth mass from where rage some howling voices. Shedding the Husk shoulders a filmic approach with huge horns which blow an alert against an invasion of dark angels. The rhythm is passive. Molded in these gargantuan impulses which roll in loops, it evaporates quietly to leave in its slipstream some vestiges which remain suspended in empty, like white noises on a deadline. But the line is far from having died! Ghostly percussions impose a setting of supernatural psychosis which amplifies all the immoderation of a work which didn't stop surprising, because Carne[val] comes along with its kind of psychedelic acid down-beat where the rhythm is weaved in a conjunction of heterogeneous noises and silent impulses which go back in the corridors of a strange of carnival. It's as much delicious as it's brilliant!

Silence Moves is a long-abstracted coitus interruptus between silence and its remorse where the ethereal waves of synths smiths of void are intertwining under odd cracklings and of distant disturbing noises. And the ghosts' ambiences on the edge of a crisis of nerve are fainting to give room at an unexpected piano which draws the lines of a delicate lullaby, rocked by synth waves of which the parallel lines feed more and more of the passion of night spectres. Beyond the Veldt is to be burst the ball of feelings which stuffs us the heart. It's a superb and slow down-tempo where the drum hammers a heavy and fluid rhythm. The strata are shouting of an internal pain that a maternal voice covers of a tenderness beyond suspicion. It's divine and it deserves a place in any 2012's compilation! And what to think of Fools Circel 9wys and of its inanimate skeleton which rots in the most beautiful ramblings of the abstract art? Can we speak about rhythm? I doubt it, but it moves of an organic rhythm where noises of phantasmagorical voices crunch the walls of alienation. Bone to Beak (The Vultures Speak) and There I Saw the Grey Wolf Gaping are crushers of hearing. These are two titles which privilege a cerebral immobilism into sound dimensions to the tones of metal in fusion. The synth lamentations squeak in a heavy decor splashed by tetanised ether, taking in its ochred veils the moaning of shaman, while that There I Saw the Grey Wolf Gaping let also hear the mooing of iridescent spectres and airs of a bagpipe which is out of tune in this apocalyptic finale which reminds me, and not me asked not why, the cynicism of Eric Burdon on Sky Pilot. Let's just say that it's two titles that flay the ear.

Disturbing? Yes! Fascinating? Certainly! I was strangely seduced by the ghostly universe fed by white noises, by amniotic distortions and by unreal atmospheres which hide the painful rhythms and the ambiences of Black masses that come out of THERE I SAW the GREY WOLF GAPING. It's a scheming album that I devoured of my curious ears and which is going to seduce for sure fans of dark and spectral music. Did it happen to you once of find filets of beauty throughout a deformed being? That's the best way of describing the surprising bewitchment which tears us after having heard this last opus of Sky Burial. And it's not to listen to it alone if one misses of his consciousness.

Sylvain Lupari (November 2nd, 2012) ***¾**

Available at Sky Burial Bandcamp

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