Los Angeles doom tripper foursome Vitskär Süden unleash their new album, The Faceless King.
Vitskär Süden create a measured kind of progressive rock that is encompassing and immersive. You can feel that on their first album, but on the new one the effect is far stronger. I will talk about it a little here, but truly you must listen to it to know what it is. The band is Martin Garner (bass, vocals), Julian Goldberger (guitar, keys), Christopher Martin (drums), and T. J. Webber (guitar).
The saga begins with “The Way,” told in two parts. Imagine a renaissance fair and think about what might be going on around the edges of it. The dark edges. The risky edges. The misty edges. Slow to middling in pace, with a beating heart propelled by, well, we cannot be sure. Quiet with an underlying expansive power. Thrumming, pulsing. At the wrap you are pretty sure it is not truly over. Next is “Archdiocese Of Worms,” which is louder and more directly menacing. It is more upfront about the threat, you might say, than the earlier movements. The whispering is still there, the quiet singing, yet here it takes a more determined stance. “Voices From Beyond The Wall” is positively dreamy by comparison.
“Shepherds On The Roadside” is a long song, a solid bridge. The bigger story to me from side two is the shorter next song. “Bonedust And Dark” rests on evil, dark whispers and a beautiful Floydesque guitar opening. My favorite track on the album, its resonance is more than aural and physical. Sit with the lyrics for a minute, these words that are spoken as the music begins … “Enveloped by nebulous shadow of sin / Flame and avarice spat from a serpentine tongue / Now lost to the endless dunescape of bonedust and dark / Allow these whispers, these incantations / To usher this dying ember back from The Deep / Back to the world of men.”
“The Broken Crown” brings the story to a close, places the body down and lets it be. And again, here again, it does not seem like the end. This is music you get lost in, not in the sense that you do not know where you are but in the manner of being integrated into its presence while you listen. This kind of thing does not happen with most music. Recommended.
The Faceless King is out now through Ripple Music. Listen.
Vitskär Süden website, http://vitskarsuden.com/
Ripple Music, https://music.ripple-music.com/landing
© Wayne Edwards