Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Wicked Cover Art!
In A Dark Tongue - Harvestman

In A Dark Tongue
Idaho's Harvestman is the solo musical identity of Neurosis guy, Steve Von Till. His/its 2nd release is In A Dark Tongue (2009), and it's what I've been calling dark ambient. He calls it "heathen psych" - possibly to avoid connections to more electronic stuff. His term does evoke the mood better:
In A Dark Tongue is also a weathered megalithic sonic artifact of an unknowable culture, its symbols obscure yet magnetic, calling one into communion with its ancient spirit. Enduring, unnerving, moving. Evoking arcane rites, cold hazy sunrises, a god/dess visible only in the massive wheeling patterns of nature and sound. But...
It's ambient soundscape music, mainly effects-laden guitar, with some distant family resemblance to metal. The ambience is of mystical encounters in a natural world, esoteric tribal ritual, paganism, animal-headed wood spirits scorching the forest for renewal - or as punishment.

[Video of "The Hawk of Achill" made with elements of the art. The song's longer and has drums, sounds more apocalyptic. Atypical, but not sure if any of these songs aren't.]

And the cover has the right feel - superstitious primitives, woodland creatures, shamanistic magic, glowing forests, rivers of fire... It's only a smaller section of a panoramic piece, titled "Rite of the Kingdom." The artist, Josh Graham, does large-scale surrealistic photocollage (and/or photorealism). Worth checking out! He's in the band A Storm of Light, and has also done live show visuals for Neurosis and recently Mastodon.

Here's a magnify-able hi-res version of the complete art. And the artist's site (again), with all the navigation tools...

Trivia! 'Harvestman' is the non-vulgate for daddy longlegs.

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