September 12, 2008

Kingdoms

Posted in Albums, Kingdoms tagged , at 4:12 pm by Matt

Today is the release of the fifth Potmos Hetoimos full-length, “Kingdoms”. It boasts numerous enhancements and/or changes from previous albums: better recording, better production/mixing, more focus on post-metal and atmosphere and less on doom and metal, vocals done by my friend Jason (from the band Your Eyes My Dreams) instead of me, synth incorporated fully into all songs, lack of a single epic storyline in favor of individual songs unified by a theme, and a couple of amazing guest appearances (both found on the same song). The theme of the album is mostly the false kingdoms that humans construct for themselves to (consciously or inadvertently) usurp the authority of God, the true King. The last track shifts from this paradigm and acknowledges the true Kingdom.

Download or stream the album at: http://www.last.fm/music/Potmos+Hetoimos/Kingdoms

September 10, 2008

Dance With Divinity

Posted in Albums, Dance With Divinity tagged , at 2:33 pm by Matt

The fourth Potmos Hetoimos full-length reverted back to the focused, original, progressive, guitar-driven attitude of “The Millstone”. In similar fashion, DWD was conceived and contemplated through the summer (of 2007), and recorded in exactly one month between August 11th and September 11th. It was released for download on September 12, 2007, the one-year anniversary of “The Millstone” and the two-year anniversary of Reneé’s death. (This solidified the pattern, and caused me to resolve to release another album on 9/12/2008.) The major difference between this album and previous albums was that my desire was to have this album be exactly one song.

One two-hour-and-thirteen-minute song.

Some called me crazy. I didn’t care. At the time I was being inspired to write DWD, I was heavily influenced by epic doom bands – like Monolithe, whose albums are all one long song (theirs are only about 50 minutes though). I wanted to do something that had never been done, and I did it. Because of the formidable nature of a two-hour song, though, I later caved to popular demand (?) and split the album into sixteen songs. The lyrics are presented here for the split version.

I wanted to do another epic, controversial original storyline like “The Millstone”. The album is split into four movements, like a symphony, and this is reflected in both the music and the lyrics. In Movement I, The Aroma of Carrion, we are introduced to an unnamed husband and wife who are experiencing bitterness and division because the wife has recently become a Christian, while the husband disparages and despises religion. Her faith drives a wedge between them that threatens to end their love. The husband still very much loves his wife, and is sorrowful to see her make such a “poor choice”; he decides the only way to restore their relationship is to convince her not to be a Christian.  Seeing that logical arguments will not sway her, he settles on a more desperate route, and becomes a serial killer randomly murdering Christians. At the end of Movement I, a stranger who has observed the tension between them approaches the wife while the husband is away. Movement II, The Transfixion of Godhood, explores the psyche of the murderer as he grows more and more infatuated with his power to kill and less and less interested in redeeming his marriage. As such, the music is heavily doom metal, drawing from Monolithe, Asunder, and Ocean. Movement III, The Burden of Blood, finds the husband returning home late one night only to be left by his wife, who has not been swayed from her faith, but has grown fed up with her husband’s increasingly frequent unexplained absences. The husband realizes that he cannot continue his murderous lifestyle if he hopes to recapture his wife’s heart, but…well, you should probably just read the rest of the lyrics yourself. I don’t want to spoil things. The ending is a total contrast to “The Millstone”.

Download or stream the album at: http://www.last.fm/music/Potmos+Hetoimos/Dance+With+Divinity+%28special+edition%29

Suffering The Storm

Posted in Albums, Suffering The Storm tagged , at 1:56 pm by Matt

The third Potmos Hetoimos full-length is in many ways the black sheep of the discography. Each album certainly has facets that make it unique, but “Suffering”‘s tend to place it way out there. To begin with, there is no guitar anywhere on the album. Each song was written and performed entirely on bass (along with drums and vocals, of course). This allowed a totally unprecedented heaviness, and even added a little clarity to the production (as two downtuned guitars plus one downtuned bass can get quite muddy). The album was recorded between sometime in early 2007 (“Into The Eye” and “Sky And Sea”) and sometime in mid-2007 (“Flight Of The Dove”), and then finally finished with the recording of “Flight Of The Raven” in early 2008.

On the first two albums, I had done lyrics from the Old Testament and an original storyline, so I decided to shift back to the Biblical framework for lyrics. Since a lot of post-metal deals with aquatic or oceanic themes (Ocean, Buried At Sea, Isis’s seminal album “Oceanic”, etc.), I found the story of Noah and the flood resonating with me in a new way. The typical picture of this is the one found in children’s Bible books (God told Noah to build an arky-arky…), but I really don’t think the way it happened was quite so pleasant. Think about it. Noah had a limited time period to build the biggest boat anyone had ever seen by far, before God sent torrents of rain that would completely cover the face of the earth. Every single person alive was going to drown save the few family members on Noah’s vessel. The sky would be black as night from the heavy clouds. It would be like a month-long hurricane. So, I decided to address some of the darker themes of the flood narrative on this album. There are a ton of anachronisms in the lyrics, so it’s not a “storyline” album exactly. There is an overall progression though; “Into The Eye” definitely starts the story, and “Flight Of The Dove” definitely finishes it.

Download or stream the album at: http://www.last.fm/music/Potmos+Hetoimos/Suffering+The+Storm

The Millstone

Posted in Albums, The Millstone tagged , at 1:43 pm by Matt

“The Millstone”, the second Potmos Hetoimos full-length, was a much more focused effort than its precursor. The storyline and lyrics and a handful of vague guitar parts were written over the summer of 2006, and the album was recorded from scratch between August 11th and September 11th of that year. The completed album was released for download on September 12, 2006, on the one-year anniversary of my girlfriend Reneé’s death.

The story of the album follows the thoughts of a man who has been thrown into the ocean with a millstone tied around his neck (a literal punishment from Luke 17:1-2). He struggles between suppressing the memories of the sinful action that caused this sentence and reminiscing to ascertain the truth of what happened. Later in the album, Satan makes a bid to consume his mind and plunge him permanently into despair, but God refuses to permit this and allows the man to recall the truth of his deeds. The subject matter is quite controversial for such an overtly Christian album, as prominent themes include pedophilia, rape, and suicide; but combined with the album’s glorious ending, my intent is to show that no one is ever beyond the hope of salvation.

Download or stream the album at: http://www.last.fm/music/Potmos+Hetoimos/The+Millstone

Proclaim Thy Judgment

Posted in Albums, Proclaim Thy Judgment tagged , at 1:35 pm by Matt

“Proclaim Thy Judgment” is the first Potmos Hetoimos album. It is a collection of five songs I worked on between November 2005 (“Scattered and Peeled”) and May 2006 (“Army of Locusts”). (All three other songs were recorded in March 2006.) The production varies from song to song on the album, since they were recorded at different times and I was still quite an amateur at recording and mixing. (Most of the electronic drums on the album were recorded by placing a microphone in front of an amp, rather than running the drums directly in to the recorder!) The album is overall quite listenable, though, and is a huge jump in quality over anything of mine you might have heard (or may never hear) from, say, 2004. The album fits its title, as the song lyrics are direct readings from Old Testament books of prophecy (Hosea, Isaiah, Ezekiel, Jeremiah, and Joel). I performed all instruments, vocals, and programming on the album.

Download or stream the album at: http://www.last.fm/music/Potmos+Hetoimos/Proclaim+Thy+Judgment

September 9, 2008

Kingdoms – 09 – “Monarch”

Posted in Kingdoms tagged at 10:32 pm by Matt

Kingdoms – 08 – “Peasant Song”

Posted in Kingdoms tagged at 10:32 pm by Matt

Kingdoms – 07 – “The Lilies Underfoot”

Posted in Kingdoms tagged at 10:31 pm by Matt

Kingdoms – 06 – “Pulpit Despotism”

Posted in Kingdoms tagged at 10:29 pm by Matt

Kingdoms – 05 – “Matriarch”

Posted in Kingdoms tagged at 10:28 pm by Matt

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