Picastro - I've Never Met a Stranger - ElMuelle1931

Picastro - I've Never Met a Stranger

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Stoned To Death / Czech Republic / 2022 / CS

Raise the Dead is a collaborative album from Connecticut drone duo Tongue Depressor and Maine-born, Philadelphia-based songwriter Jakob Battick, coming October 26th on cassette and digital via the Czech label Stoned to Death. 

Steeped in ritualistic necromanticisms and a spectral, sprawling sense of composition, the album is a lush and alien trip through some of the furthest reaches of songcraft and 'the song.' The 38 minute LP's two side-long pieces are mergers of the haunted vestiges of 20th century songwriting and contemporary avant-garde exploration, deeply informed and inspired by the liberating fearlessness of extreme metal. Tongue Depressor's Zach Rowden and Henry Birdsey utilize all manner of microtonal and just intonation instrumentation to frame Battick's deceptively gentle baritone and occult-fixated lyrics within a sonic landscape that shimmers at the nocturnal end of the spectrum of light as it creaks and groans under its own nightmarish weight. These songs are at once potentially disturbing and richly romantic, combining elements both familiar and phantasmic to synthesize something truly difficult to place within the current American underground. 

Raise the Dead follows Tongue Depressor's recent string of LPs on labels as diverse as XKatedral, Working Man Lay Down, and Redscroll Records, and also acts as the bigger, darker, and stranger sequel to Jakob's 2021 self-released cult folk LP Rabbit's Moon. 

Czech luminary Jakub Ďuraško's Stoned to Death imprint has been making an international name for itself by releasing gems from artists of all stripes and persuasions, beyond all stylistic and geographic boundaries. As a label that can call itself home simultaneously to blasphemous Czech black metal ragers, esoteric modular drone duos, and kosmiche ambient folk outsiders, Stoned to Death was an obvious and happy home for Raise the Dead's idiosyncratic spirit of grotesque adventure. 

These are songs of horrific affirmation, of recombinance, of the possibility of a thousand other lifetimes just beyond the veil…