The Link-Up Spell: Spells Recommendations from the Month of November
Let’s welcome December with a selected menu of progressive illusions in the form of The Kahless Clone and Mother of Millions and the enchanting doom of Monolith Cult.
Greetings, fellow adventurers! Welcome once more to this mysterious tower, in which we delve into the underground to unearth the wonderful secrets of music spells.
Before we start today, I would like to echo the arguments of one of my companions in magickal studies, the good W., who intoned this past Sunday the urge to not forget the scrolls released around these two months. Like he eloquently foretold, we tend to ignore the effort of artists and musicians during November and December, even January, to push all the year’s end list frenzy.
Like I always recite before preparing my catalysts and books, I like to concentrate on the good parts of life, so I carefully select all these spells for you every end of month and cast a light for the artists who deserves a chance to highlight their arcane wares. In that way, these two months are critical to our quest, so, bear with me and gather around this classroom cauldron to test these three magics.
Spell Book: The Kahless Clone – Our Never-ending Loneliness.
Type of spell: Automaton diffusions.
Forging a new name, and weirdly inspired by a Star Trek reference, the Chicagoan based outfit The Kahless Clone released this November a refreshing dose of post-rock infused with the poisonous fumes of progressive metal.
Drenched in sorrow, the compositions are solid and emotive, built with way more technique and embellishment than the well-known technique of charismatic crescendos, so common in the post realms. Melodic playing is notoriously relegated in a good amount to the keyboards, aptly played by Ben Johnson, who intonates different sounds to zap new life into the heavily electronic framework of the production values. Tunes like “If Only We Had More Time Together…” walks this path, with the band building the entire playground for Johnson to include delicate and varied playing into the mix.
Actually, the ensemble works very well together and all the pieces flow with a good cohesion. Guitarist Vito Marchese, most known for his great work with Novembers Doom, provides The Kahless Clone’s dark edge, elevating the competent post-rock styling with some crunching gothic metal highlights. According to some liner notes, the ties with the Chicagoan melancholic masters are also present from the inclusion of the talented producer Chris Wisco as their ceremony master.
Meanwhile, rhythm is completed by the other two Marchese comrades: Larry Roberts with his bass and Garry Naples playing drums, a force that is synchronized by Zach Libbe’s programmed drum. With this line-up, The Kahless Clone put a lot of effort into pushing the vertiginous cinematic vibe to support the metallic influence brought by the Novembers Doom shadow.
In conclusion, the result is highly enjoyable and, if you enjoy instrumental progressive metal, you may want to check the dynamic sooth of Our Never-ending Loneliness….
Acquire this Spell book on Bandcamp. Follow the trails of these magicians on the Book ov Skulls.
Spell book: Monolith Cult – Gospel of Despair.
Type of Spell: Grandiose negative plane summoning.
While they are a new name in the worldwide underground scene, the Doomsters of Monolith Cult have plenty to tell the masses.
One thing always welcomed in this subgenre is the epic. When Candlemass and Solitude Aeternus released those grandiose litanies, we knew the power could be unleashed side by side with the macabre or the melancholy.
After the warm response of Run From the Light, the band fought and won some battles in the live plane in order to gather some blood to sacrifice upon the altar of the mighty riff. And it is up to you, my fellow acolytes, to decide the fate of the Cult.
Gospel of Despair is an amalgam of the traditional and vocal style of epic doom, passed from eons ago by the high priests of the Dio era of Black Sabbath and Messiah Marcolin from Candlemass. The riffing is completely entwined to their style and is built with extreme caution to alert the listener of dangers of mammoth proportions.
The guitar duo, comprised of Lee Baines (ex-Solstice) and Wayne Hustler (Ironrat), kills with bloodlust every space of the compositions, especially in the title track and “Sympathy for the Living”, crunching unholy chords and unleashing consummating ritual harmonies to please the Riff Warlords.
If this sounds like a great appetizer, the work of Dan “Storm” Mullins (ex-My Dying Bride, ex-Bal-Sagoth) on the drums delivers a massive reinterpretation of the epic chanting of Monolith Cult to otherworldly levels. While the filthy guitars crunch, the “Storm” shaman belts out dazzling fills, a la Mastodon, or manipulates the time-space of the songs to shake the foundations of the temple in each beat.
This is a good treat for those epic metal supporters!
Acquire this Spell book on Trascending Records. Follow the trails of these magicians on the Book ov Skulls.
Spell book: Mother of Millions – Sigma.
Type of Spell: Chains of empowering chanting.
For our final voyage, we travel to Greece so we can find another hidden scroll of the progressive and alternative nature. The band is called Mother of Millions, and the advent of Sigma is their bet to be recognized as a force within their particular style.
The music inside this artifact is framed under the Tool-esque brushes of the prog realm, hastily comparable to covens like Karnivool, Textures and Soen, or the experimental exercises of the Leprous lords.
Sigma is, itself, a recollection of tracks with a heavy rhythmic compound inside each corner, gathered by a truly competent roster of gifted writers which mastered the arts of concept and music. In tracks like “Collision” and “Shine”, the rumbling and syncopated sounds clash and burst in steady time to support the good display of vocals, brought by George Prokopiou.
Drumming is another stellar aspect of the album, wonderfully applying every spastic moment to catapult the songs with thoughtful elaboration. Meanwhile, string tones are cemented to portray a sorrowful, yet empowering, narrative. Production and mixing is on par with the crystalline needs of this particular style.
For those magicians interested in the modernist reinterpretations of progressive music, Mother of Millions retell the urge of unity to face and conquer the dark times over our heads with Sigma, making a powerful statement about the current challenges of humankind with an eclectic artistry.
Acquire this Spell book on ViciSolum Records. Follow the trails of these magicians on the Book ov Skulls.
Did you like these spells? Which were your favorite scrolls crafted in November? Scribe thy comments and remember to stay here at Toilet ov Hell for more inspired contents and new recommendations.
The Link-Up Spell is a weekly Toilet ov Hell column about music, movies, books, retro video games and guaranteed Elfic nonsense. If you want to contact the author to send your material, mail us at toiletovhell [at] gmail.com with the subject “The Link-Up Spell” or message him on social media.