We’re about to fly off all of our site’s brutally well-beaten paths, and then keep soaring up and out, sort of like the leaping figure on the attention-grabbing cover of Barrows‘ new album Obsidion, which will be released on May 26th through the German label Tonzonen Records. The song from that album we’re bringing you today is “Zenith“.
This isn’t one of our infrequent exceptions to the rule proclaimed in our site’s name, because there is no singing at all on “Zenith“, or anywhere else on Obsidion. And bear that in mind as you further consider that “Zenith” is almost 13 minutes long, and includes only the barest hints of metal. What, you may ask yourself, could possibly hold my attention?
If you’re like me, staying in thrall to this song for its entire duration won’t be any kind of struggle. Listening is like being cast off the confines of mundane life and body-surfing the gravity lanes of deep space in a dreamlike exploratory trip.
The press material for Obsidion accurately scatters references to progressive, space, kraut, and psych rock acts, and drops names like early King Crimson, Pink Floyd, John Carpenter, and Goblin, and all of those allusions make sense when you listen to “Zenith“.
The band begin by gradually adding layers of sound — shimmering crystalline tones followed by beefy bass rumble, a tumbling drum rhythm, lilting guitar notes. It’s a mellow astral drift, but there’s power lurking in the space dust. The song periodically surges with heavy, heaving, abrasive chords, shrieking guitar emanations, and pulse-kicking drum progressions.
The guitar solo that lies ahead of you is a strange creature that seems to moan at first but then spirals up and around and sets off streamers of fire behind your eyes, and at the end you’ll encounter a compulsively head-moving drum and bass rhythm, with the guitar wailing in a crescendo. It’s a cool trip from beginning to end.
Barrows is the creative channel for the L.A.-based duo Jim Leonard and Richy Epolito, though when they perform live they’re joined by guitarist Ryo Higuchi and bassist Brock Haltiwanger. Barrows explain the concept behind Obsidion (which is their third album) as follows:
“The album depicts the experience of a man who is abducted from earth and brought to Obsidion, a place where dimension is indefinable and the boundaries of human consciousness cease to exist.”
Obsidion was mastered by Eroc from the Krautrock band Grobschnitt and features stark/abstract artwork and photography by Alexandre Souêtre. The album will be released on May 26th, digitally through the band, and on double-vinyl via Tonzonen Records. To pre-order, go here:
Barrows on Facebook:
P.S. Barrows will also embark on an extensive US tour in support of Obsidion. You can find the current schedule of dates right after our stream of “Zenith”.
BARROWS Tour Dates:
5/15/2017 The Echo – Los Angeles, CA *Free Residency Show w/ VS Colour, Hepa.Titus, Boarchucker
5/22/2017 The Echo – Los Angeles, CA *Free Residency Show w/ Psychic Jiu–Jitsu, Mothdrops, Dream Phases
5/29/2017 The Echo – Los Angeles, CA *Album Release Show w/ Hex Horizontal, Starving Daughters, Clear
5/30/2017 The Casbah – San Diego, CA w/ Deep Sea Thunder Beast, Bleak Skies
5/31/2017 The Rebel Lounge – Phoenix, AZ w/ Moons Eat Stars, The Idiot Mars, The Living Receiver [info]
6/01/2017 Sister Bar – Albuquerque, NM w/ Votives, Distances, Chess At Breakfast [info]
6/02/2017 Hole In The Wall – Austin, TX w/ Gold Leather [info]
6/03/2017 The Parlor Tattoo – North Little Rock, AR w/ Mainland Divide, The Light in the Woods [info]
6/04/2017 The East Room – Nashville, TN w/ Tape Deck Mountain, International Friendly [info]
6/05/2017 Galaxy Hut – Arlington, VA w/ The Orchid [info ]
6/06/2017 The Fire – Philadelphia, PA w/ This City Called Earth, I See Demons in the Wood Grain [info]
6/07/2017 Golden Sounds Bar – Brooklyn, NY w/ Hannibal Montana, Zevious [info]
6/08/2017 Cafe Nine – New Haven, CT w/ Mid Atlantic Title, Western Estates [info]
6/09/2017 O’Brien’s – Boston, MA w/ Sea, 28 Degrees Taurus, Voidgod [info]
6/10/2017 Monkey House – Winooski, VT w/ Dr. No, Gnomedad [info]
6/11/2017 Pauley’s Hotel – Albany, NY w/ Yoma, Grimer [info]
6/12/2017 Dinosaur BBQ – Syracuse, NY w/ Formidable Duke, The Magnetic Pull [info]
6/14/2017 Cobra Lounge – Chicago, IL w/ Coyote Man [info]
6/15/2017 Triple Rock Social Club – Minneapolis, MN w/ Hardcore Crayons, Nomia, Goodnight Gorillas [info]
6/16/2017 O’Leaver’s Pub – Omaha, NE w/ Low Long Signal, Towering Rogue [info]
6/17/2017 Electric Funeral Fest – Denver, CO [info]
6/19/2017 The Underground – Salt Lake City, UT w/ Yeti Warlord, Toxic Dose [info]
6/20/2017 The Olympic – Boise, ID w/ Desert Graves, Preakedness, Wall Of Ears [info]
6/21/2017 The Valley – Tacoma, WA w/ Fang Chia [info]
6/22/2017 Lytle Beach – Bainbridge Island, WA w/ Weeed [info]
6/23/2017 Victory Lounge – Seattle, WA w/ You May Die In The Desert, Chrome Lakes, Slumberbox [info]
6/24/2017 Turn, Turn, Turn Records – Portland, OR w/ U Sco, Stars’ Blood [info]
6/25/2017 Old Nick’s Pub – Eugene, OR w/ Cambrian Explosion, Paleons [info]
6/27/2017 Jub Jub’s Thirst Parlour – Reno, NV w/ Weight Of The Tide [info]
6/28/2017 Starlite Lounge – Sacramento, CA w/ (Waning), Axiom [info]
6/29/2017 The Night Light – Oakland, CA w/ Wander, Dokoe, Voidtripper [info]
6/30/2017 Davenport Ditch – Santa Cruz, CA w/ Cosmic Reef Temple, Oort Cloud
7/01/2017 Hemlock Tavern – San Francisco, CA w/ Floral, Wander [info]