On February 27, two powerful Philadelphia bands, Moros and Black Urn, will release a limited-edition split album on cassette and digitally, and we’ve got a stream of Black Urn’s massive track for your ears today. Its name is “The Spirituality of Elephant Bones“. In addition, we have an interview with Black Urn’s vocalist John Jones.
This new split also includes three tracks of blasted doom/sludge from Moros. The Moros songs were recorded and mixed by Jeff Barow (Ten Ton Hammer) and the Black Urn track by Austin Haines (Outerheaven). The split was mastered by Alex Poole (Skaphe, Krieg).
The split is the third release overall from Black Urn, preceded by their self-titled demo in 2015 and last year’s The Pangs of Our Covenant EP (both of which are available at Black Urn’s Bandcamp).
You’ll hear a beautiful acoustic guitar melody (performed by Black Urn guitarist Alex Onderdonk) and the plaintive strains of a violin (soulfully performed by Rachael Bodek) at the beginning of the song. Sorrow falls from the music like tears, but the weight of grief becomes dramatically more staggering when Black Urn take over, the pavement-cracking riffs and bone-smashing rhythm section delivering a crushing dose of despair, while the gruesome roars and caustic shrieks in the vocal department magnify the music’s wrenching power.
The lilting melody from the track’s beginning appears again, but this time as a prelude to the song transforming into an assaulting juggernaut of violence, eventually collapsing again into a doomed stagger, with the violin bringing this viscerally potent track to a close.
The artwork and layout for the split were created by Sara Sotaa. It’s available for pre-order now via the link below:
Moros and Black Urn will play a free record release show on February 24 at Kung Fu Necktie in Philadelphia, and the event page for that is here:
Here’s the interview with John Jones, and then our stream of “The Spirituality of Elephant Bones“:
INTERVIEW WITH JOHN JONES (BLACK URN – VOCALS)
Tell us about why you decided to collaborate with Moros. Besides the obvious location connections to Moros, what made the two of you come together?
Back in February last year we hit the road with Moros for a short weekend run. They’re all our homies and both bands respect each other’s craft. Real recognize real.
Tell us about the new song. How does it differ from past recordings/releases?
We started this song a few years ago when the band was still a 3-piece. We jammed it once and then revisited years later. With our lineup changes at the time, the song kept getting brushed off to the side until we unearthed it with the willing members we have now. It’s a lot darker and slower than most of our previous songs.
Please tell us how you collaborated on the song with the violinist and additional players.
When we first jammed it, I mentioned the possibility of bringing in violin for the quieter riffs in the song. It wasn’t until we talked about recording that we put the plan into action. Alex knows the violinist Rachael from college, and she took our idea and ran with it. The intro acoustic guitar was played by Alex. It’s also a great fit since Ryan originally wrote the song (minus the intro) on acoustic guitar.
Tell us about the recording process. Who did you work with and why?
We worked with Austin back when we recorded our demo in 2015. He was a good choice because days before recording we wrote the intro to the song and were still iffy about it, and he gave us some great input to help narrow down what sounded best. He’s also good at picking out what works quality-wise.
What is in store for Black Urn this year? Is this release a taste of what’s to come?
We’ll be releasing a split with Shrine of the Serpent from Portland later this year, but for now we’re currently writing our first full-length. We have one song just about done and a few more in the chamber. “The Spirituality of Elephant Bones” is more of a one-off, whereas the full-length is a culmination of the styles we’ve been dabbling in. Some of the darkness from this song will shine through, however. Sadness prevails every time. 🙂