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Pombagira: Flesh Throne Press

I was so struck by the blend of heaviness and psychedelia on this album that I almost overlooked the broader themes and issues that it is working through. For those who don't already know, Pombagira, the band's name, also refers to female spirits within certain Afro-Brazilian religions (look it up—there's a nice Wikepedia entry). The band's promo materials also suggest some pretty deep connections with the ritual honoring of the dead. Peter Hamilton-Giles is also planning to release a book called Grimoire of the Baron Sentinel that links up to this album. If you are looking for ways to deepen your experience of this music, all this stuff may be of interest.

I confess that I love tracking down the intellectual or spiritual or cultural sources behind albums. It's fun to discover new ways of connecting killer music with interesting ideas. With this album, though, I find myself much more drawn to the music—and there's a lot of it. Not to worry, I'm still fascinated by the surrounding materials, but this album is so musically interesting that I'm not quite ready to read about it if I can be listening to it. This release is a double CD (or double vinyl) and clocks in at about 80 minutes. The music is, as I mentioned above, a blend of heavy riffs and psychedelia. It's fair to locate this band squarely within stoner metal, but it also makes sense to say that there is more going on here than just straightforward stoner music.

I think that most listeners will be struck at how tight the music sounds and how heavy the riffing can be. Those are important details, especially given the long song lengths and the tendency of psychedelic sounds to roam about freely. But this album keep things contained in impressive ways, never letting the music become either self-indulgent or simply lost. Instead, things bob and weave around the musical center of gravity. It's also impressive the way this band is able to create such a strong meditative space within powerful riffs and direct vocals. Check out tracks like "Blessed Are the Dead" and "Sorcerous Cry" for examples of this band at their best. I'd also recommend the long opening track "The Way" and the title track. This is strong stuff, well worth a listen.

Track Listing:
1. The Way
2. Gather
3. Endless
4. Sorcerous Cry
5. Soul Seeker
6. Flesh Throne Press
7. In the Silence
8. Blessed Are the Dead
9. Time Stone
10. Ash to Flesh
11. I Curse I Pray
12. Cold Descent
13. Yesterday's Tomorrow

Added: April 11th 2015
Reviewer: Carl Sederholm
Related Link: Band Website
Hits: 1614
Language: english

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