October 12, 2013

Maribel

Posted in Albums, Maribel at 2:12 am by Matt

After a much longer production time than anticipated, the ninth Potmos Hetoimos album is finally released. I couldn’t be more excited about the finished product.

Musically, “Maribel” advances the progressive and psychedelic doom explored on “Agatha” and “Evelyn” while infusing strings and woodwinds throughout, dark jazz textures, ambient drone, and other experimental nuances. Lyrically, the album ties together the storylines of the trilogy, revealing how the title characters are interrelated and bringing a certain solace after the tumultuous and draining experience of the protagonist.

I am thrilled to have collaborated with a number of excellent people, friends old and new, on this album. My wife, Rochelle, performed all the flute parts on each track. Unlike me on clarinet, Rochelle actually knows how to play her instrument, so credit her for the winds actually sounding good. My friend Anna knocked out all the violin parts in one excellent recording session. And my good friend Raleigh, who records and performs noise under the monikers Usti Waya and Quidditas, added a few vocal parts, some saxophone, and a drone passage to the album.

James Dorton from the exceptional progressive metal bands Black Crown Initiate and Nightfire, whom I have known and wanted to work with for several years, laid down a killer vocal line on “Recurrence”. Mike Armine, frontman of post-metal paragon Rosetta, contributed not only vocals but ambient electronic expertise to “Assimilation” – double thanks to him for the amazing sonic textures! Gastrix Grimshaw, former member of psychedelic black metal troupe A Forest of Stars and current purveyor of atmospheric blackness as Courtsleet, bestowed his deep growl for “Genealogy”. And Chris Grigg, leader of awesome american black metal band Woe, offered several vocal styles to lead off the album’s closer, “Curator”. I am humbled and honored that all of these individuals were willing to work with an artist like me and promote it to their far broader fanbases. If you’ve discovered PH because of one of them, thank them on my behalf.

“Maribel” closes the trilogy, and is also likely to close the book on this particular musical style for me. I want to get back to developing a more sludgy post-metal sound a la “The Greater Gospel”, which is where I was headed before I distracted myself with “Agatha” and then got sidetracked making it a trilogy. Certainly elements of the style I’ve developed will persist, but I anticipate some more up-tempo and diverse work on subsequent full lengths, with incorporation of influences that haven’t really had a place in these doom albums. And hopefully I’ll be able to work with some more wonderful guests!

Oh, and don’t expect to wait two years between albums ever again. Sorry about that.

June 18, 2011

PH on Bandcamp

Posted in Albums, General at 3:18 am by Matt

As of today, Potmos Hetoimos has a page on the pretty excellent music-sharing site, Bandcamp. Check it out at http://potmoshetoimos.bandcamp.com!

PH has previously kept to myspace and last.fm for music sharing. Myspace is plagued with issues, and I have not kept it updated. Last.fm is wonderful because they do not limit file size or length and allow free streams and downloads – what other free site would host the full version of Dance With Divinity? But, alas, last.fm is not without problems as well, namely how complex it is for those with limited internet savvy to navigate to the appropriate place to hear or obtain the songs, as well as the fact that (I believe) last.fm compresses downloadable mp3s to 128 kbps. Not nice.

Bandcamp offers the benefit of very, very simple streaming and downloading, and allows downloads in excellent quality. They can do this because they force you to upload lossless files (i.e., WAVs). The limitations are on file size (no lossless 2-hour songs) and on the quantity of free downloads; however, I don’t anticipate more than 200 people per month grabbing PH tracks from there. Overall, I think the advantages make it very worthwhile.

As of this posting, Evelyn is loaded onto the bandcamp site and Agatha is going up even as I type. I plan to also upload The Greater Gospel and Kingdoms; unfortunately, the first four PH albums do not exist in WAV quality and will therefore be relegated to the obscurity of last.fm and mediafire, etc. However, I may be able to recover The Millstone in lossless quality. The five-year anniversary of its release is coming up soon, after all…

June 13, 2011

New art for old albums

Posted in Albums, Kingdoms, Proclaim Thy Judgment, Suffering The Storm at 7:59 pm by Matt

Because Potmos Hetoimos has always done internet releases instead of physical releases, cover art was a luxury rather than a necessity. This led to some of the earlier PH albums being released without artwork. Well, good friend and collaborator Raleigh decided to rectify that problem by designing art for all the previously naked albums – and he’s done an excellent job.

First, he tackled “Suffering the Storm”, PH’s third full-length:

Then he put together this piece for 2008’s “Kingdoms”:

And now he has put together a lovely image for the very first PH album, using the gothic “PH” previously seen on “The Millstone” and “Dance With Divinity”:

Look forward to more of Raleigh’s imagery on future PH releases!

June 1, 2011

Evelyn

Posted in Albums, Evelyn at 4:07 am by Matt

Here it is – available for stream or download!

You can stream or download individual tracks at potmoshetoimos.bandcamp.com
or in this convenient embedded player!

or you can download the whole album in a zip file (in high v0 quality) at www.mediafire.com/?75m4u2lmghdc556
and if you haven’t seen the teaser yet, check it out at www.youtube.com/watch?v=sOTKnPJOMY0

“Evelyn” is a prequel set five years before the events of “Agatha”. It tells the story of a very old widow who is experiencing dreams in which she possesses the body of a younger woman, enabling her to live out fantasies she is no longer able to in reality. But as she begins to experience resistance, as if the dream-woman is fighting for her own consciousness, Evelyn realizes the visions may not be fantasy after all. The full lyrics are below.

The compositions on this album are, I believe, the best PH has ever offered. Production is mostly good, not perfect, but an improvement over “Agatha”. I am excited to present this album; if you are a fan of doom, sludge, post-metal, or just previous Potmos Hetoimos, I think you’ll enjoy this album.

Thanks for listening!

September 12, 2010

Agatha

Posted in Agatha, Albums at 8:14 pm by Matt

After a two-month delay, the seventh full-length Potmos Hetoimos album is released!

Due to the delay, I waited till the traditional date of September 12th, making this the fifth consecutive year a PH album has come out on this date.

“Agatha” returns to the storyline format of classic PH albums such as “The Millstone” and “Dance With Divinity”, but departs from the standard musical style of former albums to use a straightforward doom metal approach. I intended this to be a sort of side-album rather than the usual 9/12 album, but the delay combined with the unfinished-ness of the next PH album (“Trauma”) made it necessary to release this now. And that’s fine, because even with the stylistic departure I think this is one of my finest and most consistent works.

“Agatha” tells the story of an old widow who has been abandoned by her family, who laments this fact and ruminates on the problems of modern society. Through the album, her issues and more of her history is revealed, but many things are left implicit for the listener to infer.

I am pleased to have had two guest vocalists on this album, Chris Sherwood of Naess and Ryan Fairfield of Hallowed Butchery/Terrible Old Man. Their appearances definitely enhance the vibe and quality of the album.

The tracklisting is as follows, and the lyrics are posted below.

1. Isolation
2. Dispersion (f/Chris Sherwood)
3. Memoir
4. Intruders (f/Ryan Fairfield)
5. Stranger

Stream track-by-track at http://www.last.fm/music/Potmos+Hetoimos/Agatha or download the zip file at http://www.mediafire.com/?zaxhz78wjcksk46

Thanks for listening, and enjoy!

Oh, and here’s the album art.

September 12, 2009

The Greater Gospel

Posted in Albums, The Greater Gospel at 9:14 pm by Matt

After over a month of recording and preparation, the sixth PH full-length is released:

You can download “The Greater Gospel” from either http://www.mediafire.com/?kok4dq0uandlljc or http://www.last.fm/music/Potmos+Hetoimos/The+Greater+Gospel – the latter link will allow you to stream each track individually.

This album discusses the problems of poverty, exploitation, and ignorance in the city, and how the Kingdom of God can break through manmade barriers to provide hope. The production quality is improved over all previous works, and the album has a far more consistent sound than its predecessors. It’s hard for me to pick a favorite song from  this album, which I’m quite okay with.

The album features appearances by four of my friends – Jason does all the main vocals, Pat does vocals and keyboard on “Ambling Cadavers”, Raleigh does guitar noise on “The Crumbling Dam”/”Avalanche”, and Carole does piano on “The Crumbling Dam” and “The Greater Gospel”.

Please listen and enjoy!

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

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