Moon – Caduceus Chalice

As tends to happen these days, I preordered this album from a few songs I’d heard on his Myspace page.

Yes, it’s one man black metal. But it’s not really one man black metal.

The cover art is terrible, comprised entirely of cliches.

The typography is far more blasphemous than any declaration of anti-religious dedication; must everyone use these shitty Black Forest “gothic” fonts?

The logo is remarkably dull even for a field most noted for its wide array of remarkably dull logos, though it gains a few points by being both unreadable and symmetrical. A novel approach to the otherwise unimaginative “u can’t read me hail satan” squiggle routine.

It’s a fucking aesthetic nightmare on the outside. Even looking at the .jpg of the cover makes me angry. I had to cover it with a Post-it note just to complete this review.

And despite my petty scorn, it’s some of the weirdest shit I’ve heard in a long time. (The demos are even more off – see below.) It’s somewhere beyond excellent. I recommend it to all of my friends and enemies alike. I’m forcing it on everyone who sends me a Youtube clip of some 80s throwback garage rock recorded by kids born in the early 1990s.

Strip out the the barking-in-an-underground-shower vocals and you’re left with a deeply mechanical thudding and a very, very lo-fi glassy sheen. An unreal, muddied, fuzzy and coherent – or at least song-like – take on the machine funk of something like early Pansonic, but filled with kid-in-a-cape anger instead of electrical engineering.

The true winner is the drum machine workout “Beneath”, clocking in at around ten minutes. Forget “brutality” and “nihilism”; it’s all so goddamn dreamy.

While I’d guess Mr. Moon would hate the comparison, this material wouldn’t be entirely out of place on a mix for a label like Blackest Ever Black or some of the more outre modern “dreampop”/shoegazer stuff. It’s obviously more more screamy, but uniting the two spheres is that same love of distortion and deeply buried melodies.

Addendum: You can download the Blood demo here:

It goes well beyond lo-fi – the first and last tracks are basically static, but in an interesting, layered way. The middle two songs are far more conventional, and as such, aren’t nearly as good.

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