Releases Debut Album, And We Wept the Black Ocean Within, Today on Neurot * US Dates w/ Harvey Milk * Europe w/ Neurosis!
Graham first burst on the scene as the newest member of Bay Area titans Neurosis, handling the visual element which included live pieces and graphic design, eventually leading into the legendary "A Sun That Never Sets" companion DVD. On the heels of that well received DVD, Josh went on to direct music videos and design artwork for Dillinger Escape Plan, Enon, Jesu, Khann, Underoath, Saves The Day, and many others. Meanwhile, Josh wielded a heavy (like the music) axe (like the guitar) in Red Sparowes featuring members of the like-minded Isis, Battle Of Mice with members of local metallers Made Out Of Babies, and Tribes of Neurot (a Neurosis related experimental project). His tenure with Red Sparowes has recently come to an end, but that hasn't stopped Mr. No-Sleep from starting another band... A Storm Of Light. - BrooklynVegan (read the entire interview here!)
The voice that leads And We Wept the Black Ocean Within is now dead.
No, tragedy hasn't struck since the album was recorded. The debut release from Brooklyn, NY trio A Storm of Light is anything but posthumous. However, within its murky, suffocating depths there lies little certainty about the origin and veracity of the words bellowed by guitarist Josh Graham (also Neurosis visual director, Blood and Time, Battle of Mice and formerly of Red Sparowes) as mouthpiece of the album's protagonist.
The unreliable narrator as a literary device -- familiar to the works of authors like Edgar Allan Poe and William Faulkner -- places readers within an intractable mind in a severely compromised state. Interestingly, this notion rarely explored in rock music is the essence of And We Wept the Black Ocean Within. The first-person lyrics are unclear exactly who might be delivering them as they appear to move through varying stages of grief (i.e. denial, anger, bargaining, depression, acceptance) through - out the course of the album. It could be something inanimate, could be something animal, or it could be the words of someone long deceased. Graham isn't forthcoming with details, however. The closest he comes is a vague hint to the cover artwork and something to do with so-called "bog bodies" -- phenomenally well-preserved human remains dating back to the Celtic Iron Age of persons violently dispensed by being submerged in acidic peat bogs.
Whichever the case may be, these dark themes of drowning, destruction and despair are perfectly suited to A Storm of Light's impressively pressurized sound. Graham is joined on the album by bassist/vocalist Domenic Seita (ex-Tombs, ex-Asea) and drummer Pete Angevine of Satanized. Since this recording, rhythmic pugilist extraordinaire Vincent Signorelli (Unsane, ex-Swans) has signed on as second drummer. As you'd guess by the pedigree, A Storm of Light is brutally hard-hitting. However, the group's haunting harmonic drone meshing guitar, vocals and subtle keyboard layers gives listeners a sense of slow suffocation in waves of noise rather than straightforward pummeling.
While the immediate heavy rock referents of the band's antecedents make sense, the album has just as much in common with narrative-based groups like Crime & The City Solution than conceptual metal. As an early influence on Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds (and later to share members), Crime & The City Solution's Simon Bonney penned dark tales of desperation and punctuated them with precise song structures that flowed with the prose, rarely adhering to traditional verse-chorus-verse formula. Likewise, And We Wept the Black Ocean Within moves in versicle form between the voice and instruments. The result is an album densely packed with suspense, tension and eruptive release.
Aided by master engineer Joel Hamilton (Book of Knots, Battle of Mice), Graham's slack-tuned guitar rumbles and groans while subtle keyboard lines and Seita's bass slither throughout the lowest ranges of the musical scale. Angevine's lunging rhythms add crashing and propulsive heft. The vocals sound as intricately layered as the other instruments, often sounding unclear how many voices are adding to the harmony... guitar notes, voices, synth chords all blur into a wash that quite suitably evokes a sense of deep sea water pressure. We wouldn't go so far to suggest that it could give listeners a case of the bends, but And We Wept the Black Ocean Within is not the type of album that one can easily escape and switch into something else.
Throughout, there are many jutting sonic surprises that we'd be reticent to reveal herein. Suffice to say, the debut of A Storm of Light is a truly suspenseful and captivating work that bears nearly as much to do with masterful cinema and literature as it does with the type of monolithic and epic sounds of its musical progenitors.
Tracklist for And We Wept The Black Ocean Within
02. Vast & Endless
03. Black Ocean
07. Leaden Tide
10. Iron Heart
A Storm of Light Live!
Jun 14 2008 The 4th Annual Shaun Luu Horror Fest at The Palace Theater Syracuse, New York w/ The Red Chord
w/ Harvey Milk
Jun 21 Great Scott Boston, MA
Jun 23 Europa Bar Brooklyn, NY
Jun 24 Johnny Brenda's Philadelphia, PA
Jun 25 Ottobar Baltimore, MD
Europe w/ Neurosis!
Aug 14 2008 Klub Stodoła Warsaw, Poland, Masovia
Aug 15 2008 Brutal Assault Fesitval at Army Fortress JOSEFOV Jaromer, Czech Republic
Aug 18 2008 UT Connewitz Leipzig
Aug 19 2008 UT Connewitz Leipzig
Aug 20 2008 TBA Duisburg
Aug 21 2008 Metropolis München
Aug 22 2008 VNV Rock Altitude Festival Le Locle
Aug 23 2008 Mamamia Club Senigallia
Sep 3 2008 013 Tilburg
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