October 12, 2013


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.


Maribel – 1 – “Recurrence”

Posted in Maribel at 1:53 am by Matt

(Gazing as if through a white veil…)
(Tears wiped from the cheek of a restless child…)
(Soft orchid petals beckoning my steps…)
(Sand and rock vibrate beneath my feet…)

Who am I to deserve to receive this
Cursed with another wandering soul
What am I, receptor of such distress
Bloating my mind with unbidden nostalgia
Harrowing emptiness replaced with pitiful indwelling

Time is cruel to the patient watcher, as I slowly lose my hold
Used as a circulated vessel to obtain some foreign soul
History speaks to the belief that our life here is all waste
Yet for all I’ve seen, it is my conviction that the dead are not erased

Still in her shadow I grieve
Grant my poor soul its reprieve
Despite my mind so deceiving, I stand here believing
God relieve me of this fate

Yet with this surge of memory
Comes calm familiarity
A life connected to mine
Enigmatically entwined
What once was force and subjection
Is subverted by warmth and invitation
A light searching my soul
For a welcoming home

But I will not be deceived
Grant my poor mind its reprieve
Although my spirit is cleaving, I stand still believing
God relieve me of this fate

Maribel – 2 – “Visitation”

Posted in Maribel at 1:52 am by Matt

The accession of these dreams 
Sometimes a trickle, sometimes a stream 
Feels like an infant cutting teeth 
Another life before my eyes 
Woven with my soul to bind 
Displaying borrowed shards of time 
Swaddled in the arms of love 
Strength to nurture building up 
A lioness and her cub 
Now the reason I am here 
Understanding through the fear 
The pictures are becoming clear 

And I know her, I have seen her face 
There’s no other with the smile of grace 
And I know her, for I am her blood 
My own mother, not long for this world 

Fear in my heart, I must face this once more 
Following memories just like before 
Breathless again as I open the door 
A stench fills the air, and there’s blood on the floor… 

No! Mother! What have you done?! 
My father, silent and cold… 
No! Mother, where have you gone? 
Still, tranquil…she doesn’t know…

Maribel – 3 – “Assimilation”

Posted in Maribel at 1:50 am by Matt

(Colors bleed outside lines) 
(Moments are frozen in time) 
(Distant horizons, drawing near) 
(Distant horizons, drawing so near…) 

The white veil and the orchid petals 
The lakeside fire and the crying child 
The last glimpse of his back in the doorway 
The smoking gun and the spray of blood 

I’ve seen them all, a hundred times if a dozen times 
Cycling through my mind 
A neverending cinematic nightmare 
Out of control 

There is no life in this tension 
My only hope is resolution 
But this time will be different 
I will be the curator of all you have seen… 

I am your house of memories, all that is left when you fade away 
I am your hope of legacy, keeping you safe from total eclipse 

So drink your scarlet wine 
And do not be afraid 
Sleep all through the night 
I will stay awake 

Color bleeds outside the lines 
Moments are frozen in time 
Distant horizons draw near 
What you have lost I will find 
Fragments of spirit align 
Mother, depart without fear 
Rest in this promise divine 
What you have lost is now mine

Maribel – 4 – “Genealogy”

Posted in Maribel at 1:49 am by Matt

Her memories I roam as freely as my own 
Between our souls there is no more division 
Insomnia provides endless time to wander 
Seeking the source of this miraculous transmission 

Mother, crystallized in memory 
Father, hidden still in mystery 
Mother, give your daughter what she seeks 
Father, tell me of this history 

Trace back the root of my illicit conception 
To discover a man with a double life 
The ring off his finger a surface deception 
Mother his mistress, but another his wife… 

They wed with hope of starting another generation 
Her infertility left him empty and desperate 
Mother’s attraction drew him away into the darkness 
Their secret consummation, with me the product 

Four decades long he maintained this masquerade 
Until his barren wife began to open her eyes 
Faced with choice and no escape, he planned his suicide charade 
Held on to Mother and left Evelyn to drown in her tears


Maribel – 5 – “Curator”

Posted in Maribel at 1:49 am by Matt

Titanic monoliths convulse at the beckon of ethereal breath
The brightest beacon is snuffed out in the presence of effulgent fire
All creation cannot flee the cloak of dust, the remnant of the earth
Civilization crumbles beneath the current of the flooding river

Everything persists
Everything is connected
Life goes on, but I won’t
I’ll stay here and hold on

There is a mixture of water and air
There is a mixture of marrow and spirit
There is a mixture of hope and despair
There is a mixture of self and other

Life goes on, but I won’t.
I’ll stay here and hold on.
Nothing is erased.
Nothing is forgotten.