Photo by Anna Hrnjak
Thrones, Epileptinomicon, 19ADD and Munimula Friday, May 30, 2008 3 Kings Tavern Better Than: Any other doom rock show I’ve ever seen.
The incarnation of Epileptinomicon that performed this night included Mike Reisinger (ex-Motheater) and Pat Keck (artist behind Bogwitch and Ghetto Dogs). Reisinger had set up his bass and various pedals to create deep, pulsing tones that pushed against everything in the room.
Instead of holding his instrument, he set it up on his amp and vocalized through a microphone, adjusting everything periodically and striking the strings with a xylophone mallet. Keck was inside a pup tent that flickered inside with tiny Christmas lights to creepy effect. Both vocalists spewed forth almost completely unintelligible exhortations sounding as though they were experiencing and expressing the most excruciatingly soul-searing pain in slow motion.
It wasn’t music so much as the soundtrack to that crushing other dimension from the movie Phantasm or sounds you imagine you might hear if you were one of the lucky few to be taken by the Fifth Angel into the abyss to await God’s final judgment on the wicked at the end of the world. It was like the Residents or Renaldo and the Loaf at their most oblique and scary. But to cut the heaviness, or perhaps to enhance the strangeness of it all, Keck crawled out of the tent at the end with a cup of chocolate and vanilla swirl Jello pudding and eat it between wails.
19ADD was a better than average art-rock/progressive metal act. The act had some interesting soundscaping going on and its most interesting work was the ambient synth sections. The band's key signature changes and abrupt shifts in tone didn’t really work for me but it may for someone who’s into that sort of thing. The best song was the last one, in which talented Silo Gathering frontman, Adam Pedersen, joined them on stage with his emotive, powerful singing.
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Munimula is a two-piece band comprised of Devon Rogers (Kingdom of Magic) and Jawsh Mullen (ex-Cephalic Carnage). Mullen plays a six string bass and evokes a broad range of tones and atmospheres while Rogers accompanies and accents the music (or vice versa). For this show, the pair had a video projector. Instead of mere footage, however, behind the “canvas” of the screen, an artist painted a warrior woman straight out of Heavy Metal magazine, appropriately enough, while the band played a single, extended work of electrifying, doomy jazz.
Thrones closed the night out with a short set that found Joe Preston setting up three amps, a sampler, pedals and bass and showing exactly what sounds you can get out of the instrument if you try. From crushing, punishing assaults to bowed cello and upright bass tones and ambient atmospherics, Preston’s masterful command of his instrument and general tonality was awe-inspiring.
-- Tom Murphy
Personal Bias: I thought Joe Preston made High on Fire three times as good a band. Random Detail: Preston brings along old posters to sell at his shows. By the Way: The last time Thrones came to Denver was July 16, 2004 when they played at The Climax Lounge with Core of the Earth and Sedan.