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Sunday, April 24th 2022, Tilburg. An absolutely magnificent Roadburn Festival day for me, but also one of merciless clashes. Those even caused me to only take a little peek at what promised to be one of the mightiest sets of the weekend, when the two duos Solar Temple and Dead Neanderthals joined forces to perform one giant piece called "Embers Beget The Divine".

Luckily I took the so far only other opportunity to experience the whole thing in the flesh, visiting the Netherlands again in October, when the collaborators repeated it at Right On Mountain Festival in Nijmegen. And even though they played after the two massively amazing live bands Neptunian Maximalism and Temple Fang it surprisingly was their monolitithic show which left the deepest impression on me.

And now, over one and a half years further down the road, the live recording from Roadburn is finally being released as an album - and I promise you: This is one of the highest sonic mountains your ears can climb this year!

SOLAR TEMPLE & DEAD NEANDERTHALS - Embers Beget The Divine (2LP / Side D etched) (2024)

The worksharing in this quartet is clear: Renè Aquarius and Otto Kokke (=Dead Neanderthals) on drums and synthesizer play with zero ego, providing an almost ridiculously repetitive grooving and droning foundation, on which Omar Kleiss and Mink Koops (Solar Temple) can layer their guitars, which often seem to follow and enhance the hypnotic compositional minimalism, but in subtle ways slowly widen up and build on it with more harmonies, variations and lead solos.

On top of that this music surely plays with the effect that the listener's mind tends to add phantom elements, because this cannot possibly go on like this forever and ever, right?

But no matter how many details you spot or invent, the overall feeling however still resembles being caught in a phantasmagoric loop, when one dream repeats itself over and over again and you either just go along with it or despair in the futile attempt of fighting it, when actually the only way to escape is to wake up, to lift the needle off the record. But why would you do that?

Once you allow it to take hold of you - and that should honestly happen within the first couple of minutes, just trust those friendly Dutchmen! - the album soon becomes a light-flooded cathartic flight beyond the constraints of time.

The more I listen to it, even now as I am typing, it dawns on me how much more indeed happens in this music than is revealed on the first exposures to this skyscraping wall made of Psychedelic Sludge, clerical chants, Post Metal and Blackgaze.

"Embers Beget The Divine" live at Right On Mountan Festival

Hmm, I guess this must read as if I'm doing a complete one-eighty while I'm writing. But maybe multiple contradicting truths can simultanously exist here. The greatest power of "Embers Beget The Divine" is luring and hammering you into a hypnotic state, while offering a far more rich and colourful tapestry of sounds and arrangements than you're prepared to process.

Conveniently - and certainly not by coincidence - the piece is divided into three easily distinctable chapters, which each fit on one record side. The first is driven by an energetic Krautrock beat quite similar to what Dead Neanderthals had used before on their Roadburn Redux performance "IXXO", the second is based on a somehow weirdly held-back groove which eventually gives way to a simple four on the floor basedrum stomp, while the cinematic finale explodes into a glorious, uplifting Black Metal blast like a cloudburst in the enduring radiant sun, while weatherbeaten Sergie Leone characters face each other in slow-motion for a duel, unfazed by the elemental chaos surrounding them. It's good. It's really really good.

Three LP sides being needed means that there's an empty D-side left begging for an edging. And it got one in form of Omar Kleiss' lyrics. It's actually not a novel, but if you want ro read along for the whole ride including the other side of that disc, I guess you'll just have to buy a second copy.

"Embers Beget The Divine" will be released coming Friday (June 14th) on CD and double LP via Consouling Sounds. I will surely wear the fitting shirt I bought for that occasion back in 2022 then. You can pre-order this fantastic album directly from the label HERE.

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