Try to begin wrapping your minds around this idea: an hour-long doom metal space opera inspired by the Diva Plavalaguna — the “blue lady” from Luc Besson’s 1997 sci-fi film The Fifth Element. The idea is in fact a reality, because that’s what California’s Trapped Within Burning Machinery have created, and today we bring you the premiere of a song from the new album, named for the blue lady herself.
The new album, fittingly entitled The Filth Element, is the band’s second full-length, following 2012’s The Putrid Stench of Decaying Self. It began to take shape with a version of the song you’re about to hear and then evolved into an entire album of tracks that use characters from the movie as “hosts”, enabling the band to incorporate different stylistic elements in approaching the story from different perspectives.
All the members of the band are fans of the movie, and were intrigued by the concept of “an ancient being traveling to future Earth in hopes of saving it from the epitome of evil”. As explained by lead guitarist/vocalist Zak Esparza, “We’re fuckin’ nerds and the lessons of love and compassion in the story really round out the negativity we usually spew in our music.”
Well, as it happens, I’m a fuckin’ nerd, too, and a big fan of The Fifth Element, and so I jumped at the chance to premiere this track. But I also have to say that you don’t have to be a Fifth Element freak to dig this music.
You also shouldn’t expect that the song is all sweetness and light either, despite the nature of the persona that inspired it. It’s a slow crusher made of titanic, sludgy riffs, gravelly bass notes, gut-punching drumbeats, and a mix of blood-cauterizing shrieks and horrific, cavernous roars. The song also carries a bleak, groaning melody that will seep into your head like tar.
Immersing yourself in the track is a physically arresting experience that bends you to its will — those enormous riffs happen to be catchy as hell, as well as utterly pulverizing. And yes, the song also includes some otherworldly, almost ethereal lead guitar melodies that summon up the aura of the blue lady and are sure to connect with Fifth Element fans. And this is just one of the six long tracks in a multi-faceted album that’s fascinating.
The Filth Element was recorded by producer/engineer John Haddad (Intronaut, Exhumed, Phobia) and it will be be co-released by Southern California labels Midnite Collective and Black Voodoo Records on double-gatefold LP on July 21, 2015. The vinyl packages can be pre-ordered here.
1. LeeLoo (ft. Nicolas Rocha of Deathkings)
2. Korben Dallas
3. Diva Plavalaguna
4. Jean-Baptiste Emmanuel Zorg
5. Mr. Shadow
6. The Divine Light