Friday, April 15, 2016

Cassette Review: Dhampyr "lila, branches off we had never loved the world; lila, let's together come conspicuous to each other; o so many fizzled white horsesrunning through your blood's skinny pastures -​-​ne'er did we love ne'er the matter, ne'er it so be thou thine own pastor as you pass below the snow" (5cm Recordings)

If you know me personally or read a lot of my reviews (which are kind of the same thing) you will know that I have to address the length of this title at some point during this review.   Since we all know it's coming, I'm going to give you my Top 3 opening lines of this review just so I can get it out of my system.   Ready?   Here goes.

# 3:  That's the title? I've written reviews shorter than that!
# 2: Geez, and I thought that long-ass Fiona Apple title was bad.
# 1: How am I supposed to fit that in a tweet?

Okay.   Now that I've gotten that out of the way and you had a nice laugh IT'S TIME TO DIE MOTHERFUCKERS.    Well, maybe not *die* exactly, but let's get a little more serious with the music here.   Dhampyr is one of my all-time favorite artists because I know whenever I listen to a Dhampyr cassette (or otherwise) if I can have the windows open (weather permitting) my neighbors will definitely be in for a treat.    "Lila" begins with mechanical beats and distorted darkness.   It feels like it wants to pull me into an evil version of that song "Sail".

Then it becomes drums-thrashing metal.   Pained screams come through as the pace quickens to that of a punk metal band.   Killer guitar riffs bring about cymbal crashes and then there is an audio clip about Jesus.   This, of course, only leads to more thrashings.   Things come to a screeching hault and then it slows down with whirrs and kind of reminds me of Incubus in that electronic way before Side A reaches its end.  

On the flip side we open with some more electronic sounding instrumental rock which channels a little bit more of Incubus but takes into somewhere different as well.   It has this video game vibe to it, like maybe it's from the "Resident Evil" soundtrack or just straight out of "The Matrix".    This becomes a darkness, such as when Darth Vader enters a room, and then it becomes a musical version of that.     Some of keys then begin breaking down, as if to generate the sound of the world literally collapsing around you.  

Dark notes or tones come through as if they want us to fade to black.    And then it just sort of fades out as drum sticks bang together.   This turns into some pretty heavy drumming and pretty gritty guitar riffs.    It's not quite metal and it's not quite country, so I don't know.   Then these angelic harmonies of singing come through all choppy and it feels like I'm being lifted up to Heaven.     As I listen to this song, more and more times over, it begins to really sound like a church hymn.   I'm not sure if it is because I- myself- was recently made to go to a church or not, but I can hear it.   

There is almost an Underworld/"Trainspotting" type of sound coming out, but what I would consider to be a church choir singing church hymns less and less manipulated as it goes on is how Side B comes to an end.   Just like that, you have your contrast in the classic battle of good vs. evil, something many of the greatest writers could never pull off and here Dhampyr has done so on a cassette with music.   We should all learn from this.  

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