Wrekmeister Harmonies - Then It All Came Down [LP] (Green Vinyl, download, limited to 666)
Then It All Came Down is J.R. Robinson's second long-form composition
as Wrekmeister Harmonies. Employing an enormous ensemble of some of
Chicago's best talents in the metal and experimental communities, including
Wrest (Leviathan), Ryley Walker, and members of Indian, Corrections House,
Twilight, Yakuza, Anatomy of Habit, Come, Mind Over Mirrors, and Bloodiest,
Robinson has created a work that is equally gorgeous and menacing. The CD
edition also includes 2013's You've Always Meant So Much To Me (on CD for the
first time), bringing the total running time to over 73 minutes. Few artists have
perfected the nuances of beauty as well as annihilation, and Robinson's mastery
of both sides of the spectrum makes his a unique voice in the field of doom.
J.R. Robinson perceives life as a long, gradual process of decay. Lightness fades
into darkness, while innocence succumbs to the evils of modern society. His
music reflects not only this worldview but his emotional response to it. Then It All
Came Down is an exploration of that existential deterioration and an attempt at
attaining a deeper understanding of its process.
Then It All Came Down opens with a low, soft drone, creeping in almost
imperceptibly. Bells chime as more tonal voices emerge from the ether, Walker's
acoustic guitar echoing in the abyssal soundscape. Several women sing as sirens:
''Beautiful Sun.'' The piece is inspired by and takes its name from an essay written by
Truman Capote following his interview with Manson-associate Bobby Beausoleil
(which translates as ''beautiful sun''), whose dangerous spirit and embodiment of
occult ideals offer an extreme example of the light into dark transition the piece
explores. As the soft drones and angelic voices are replaced with threatening
rumbles of distortion and low cackles courtesy of Wrest, an overwhelming sense
of unease permeates the piece's atmosphere, only a harbinger of what is to come.
When the piece does explode into crushing howls and heavy doom, all semblance
of tranquility and stillness, the light, the peace, is exterminated.
Then It All Came Down was debuted at the Bohemian National Cemetery in
Chicago under a full moon in July of 2013, the first in a continuing yearly series
called Beyond The Gate. The series continued in 2014 with a debut of another
new Wrekmeister composition which will be released in early 2015. Wrekmeister
Harmonies will continue to bring large-scale productions involving a rotating cast
of guest musicians to unconventional performance spaces throughout 2014-15,
and has a future collaboration planned with The Body. An essay by Robinson
about Beausoleil's influence on Charles Manson and his ideological lineage from
Alastair Crowley is available for deeper insights into Robinson's fascination with
the controversial cult figure.
LP TRACK LISTING:
01. Then It All Came Down (34:01)
2014 Thrill Jockey Records