After burning up the live circuits and twice releasing the hot-potato artefact ‘Self-Titled Demo’ New York City-dwellers Lathe of Heaven crash, smash and trash the post-cultural landscape with debut album ‘Bound by naked skies’ out now on Sacred Bones. Comprised of members from groups such as People’s Temple, Porvenir Oscuro, Pawns, Android and Hustler this is a supergroup of total democracy.
Names are omitted. Names reveal information. Names are easier to blame. Anonymity negates enmity.
Compulsive pounding and propulsive propounding abound. Sonically it derives glacial noise from Finnish punk rock and spatial poise from early 1980s British post-punk groups like The Psychedelic Furs, Modern English and The Skids at its heaviest and darkest moments esoteric-tricksters and – no strangers to circumnavigating the end times themselves – Killing Joke.
The penumbra-crunching ‘Ekpyrosis’ (which is the supposed periodic destruction of the universe, no less) is an exemplary case in point. Existence’s futility meets fertility’s resistance (and vice versa).
Thematically it draws from the science-f(r)icton worlds of Arthur C. Clarke and Ursula Le Guin (whose novel provides the group’s name) and further takes inspiration from such head-in-the-stars (dys)topics as ontology (‘Genome’; ‘Entropy’; ‘The Spider’), mental illness (‘The Breaking Strain’; ‘Mood Driven Sea’), simulation (‘Heralds of the circuit-born’). Body. Mind. Realities. Serious times call for serious measures.
The masonic idol whose purposeful pose adorns the shadowed halls of the hypocritical hier-archon-y the world over also has a doppelganger that glares outwards on the album’s cover. This half human-half beast’s malevolent illuminating belies the benevolent ruminating within the group’s coded soundscreeds.
Lathe of Heaven rip away the mask of venality. Lathe of Heaven strip away the task of banality. Lathe of Heaven sip away at the cask of vitality.
Throughout the album there is beauty amongst the bludgeon. Grace betwixt the grit. Light amidst the darkness.
Lathe of Heaven can – and will –guide you. Once you permit and admit them in.