Our shadowy cabal of scribes has happened upon one of the most wondrous and/or perplexing albums in existence. The following reviews, released over the course of several days, is our humble attempt to decipher that which lays before us. This is the last entry in this ridiculous yet enlightening journey.- Ed.
Ghat, I implore, hasn't already been said about this utterly Godlike album? If you're still unaware as to the depths of insanity one inevitably plumbs in the course of understanding Remmirath and their epic Shambhala Vril Saucers, I highly recommend you read the previous accounts littered in the annals by our brave scribes.
Now then. Do you feel the comforting embrace of clarity? No? Apologies. Such is the scope and impact of Remmirath. Shambhala Vril Saucers is an odd album, to say the absolute least, and in many ways it feels genuinely uncategorizable. It defies genre convention with the kind of smug confidence that indicates a complete disinterest in following the rules, whatever they may be. For this alone, it's a very special album.
We've throw enough hyperbole around at this late stage in the game, so I'll just be honest for once. I really enjoy Shambhala Vril Saucers--and for its musical and creative merit, not solely for the high-quality meme it has inadvertently produced here in our humble halls. There are some damn fine tunes encased in this strange packaging, chief among them "Tiger of the City" and "The Gunfighter's Quest for Enlightenment." The former introduces, quite effectively, the electronics, chiptune, and other assorted sound effects that seem to have become Remmirath's calling card, deserv'd or not. The latter is a spaghetti western as scored, evidently, by a blackened NWOBHM outfit. Like everything else here, it's a honest-to-god confounding confluence of sonic and aesthetic influences, but somehow, it works. Lest side B be forgot in the accolades, "Iram of the Pillars" is a particularly respectable track as well, with a lighter tone that resonates quite well in conjunction with the weight and aggression of the album's first half.
Critically, several aspects don't quite work. The first are the blackened vocals, which bellow and swarm with an awkward aggression that feels slightly uncomfortable. Harsh vocals ceratinly work with Remmirath's formula; I'm just not convinced these are the ones. And, while the iron is still hot: "Fox Cooper" is a demonstration of what happens when Remmirath''s intoxicating blend simply doesn't land. With all the tuning fork sound effects and random ramblings, I don't buy this as a song in and of itself.
And yet, I love this thing with a fascinating intensity. Shambhala Vril Saucers truly is one of those pieces of art that you simply need to experience on your own time. No amount of attempted explanation will decipher the undecipherable, and thus: I highly urge you give this a listen or three. Remmirath have earned that much. Somehow, an offhand quip birthed by our own Ancient Hand became something many of us Villagers, jokingly or no, spent some serious time and energy considering. Any album capable of producing that creative spark is certainly deserving of some praise.
And so here we are.
All Hail Remmirath. One more time for old time's sake.
Remmirath - Shambhala Vril Saucers was released March 2015 from Todestrieb Records
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Providing thoughtful reviews of music that is heavy, gloomy, and loud enough to wake us from slumber. Written by a groggy-eyed, highfalutin peasantry.