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Moonchild Trio - Six Litanies for Heliogabalus CD (album) cover


Moonchild Trio



4.16 | 43 ratings

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5 stars This is the third album of the stars/astronomy related trilogy ... and it's my favorite one. It has just the right mix of melodic elements and what I'll call "chaos" in the track reviews - the parts that consist of relatively free improvising, only conducted/guided by Zorn. See the track comments for further details!

Litany 1: The track begins in the "usual" way ... heavy, complex riffs which remind me of Meshuggah, with Patton's insane "vocals" on top. Half way through there is an interruption with subdued harmonic vocal parts, only to be continued with a free-jazz saxophone part and finally near silence with faint whispering and hammond organ bits.

Litany 2: The second track begins much like the first began, but at 0:50 the controlled chaos is suddenly interrupted by a straight beat ... only for a few seconds, then experimental parts continue. This is repeated once, until a calm, melodic part starts (2:30), dominated by Doors-like Hammond organ and cool jazz drums/bass with conversation-like vocals (several voices, much laughter) in the background. That continues for several minutes, with the bass taking the (improvising) helm. But at 6:30 Patton's vocals introduce a return to the controlled chaos.

Litany 3: This begins with organ and bass, followed by slight chaos, then organ and bass again with Patton whispering mystical latin words ("Heliogabalus" among others). At 5:20 there's an outburst of chaos again which totally reminds me of the Fantomas debut. At 6:00 we get something new: Strange angelic choir parts on top of near silence (whispering/breathing and effects). Then at 8:00 it's chaos time again with extreme screams, only to be followed (8:30) by a cool jazz rock part with an organ solo and much bass improvisation.

Litany 4: This track is dominated by Patton's "vocals" ... he does a magnificent job here. It's difficult to describe exactly what he does ... essentially he is describing sceneries/stories with vocal effects. It doesn't include words in the original sense - at least not English words or of any other language. It includes heavy breathing, whispering, screaming, shouting, growling (rarely), whistling, groaning, suffocating, coughing, puking, laughing, giggling ... at one point he's even imitating a gun fight, pigs or police officers (I know, it doesn't make sense). All that sometimes at lightning speed (a bit like scatting), sometimes totally calm and reduced.

Litany 5: This is a bit like the first track, but it also features the angelic choir / organ calm parts, which makes it a bit more interesting to me.

Litany 6: Much like the previous track, and a good combination of all the other litanies.

MikeEnRegalia | 5/5 |


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