“Anguishing Reveries“, the song you’re about to hear, is an eye-popping, jaw-dropping surprise — in part because the title may lead you to expect one thing and the music will deliver something astonishingly different. The music is astonishing for other reasons besides the possible mis-direction of the title, but we’ll come to that explanation in a minute.
For now, let’s tell you that the song is the creation of Texas vocalist and multi-instrumentalist David Baxter (drummer of Plutonian Shore, ex-Skrew, ex-Škan) operating under the name Sarpa, a project that he formed in 2018. And the track appears on Sarpa’s debut album Solivagus, which will be released on June 5th of this year. Musically (to borrow from the advance press material), the album is “primarily embedded in the essence of black metal, but Sarpa throws other ingredients such as progressive rock, acoustics, old school death/thrash, and some Afro/Latin rhythms into the pot”.
And now let’s get back to the song you’re about to hear….
Methodically gut-thumping drum rhythms, punctuated with bursts of rampant double-bass and tom-drum acrobatics, provide the propulsive momentum for the track, while the riffing mauls, swarms, swirls, and darts about in a display of pyrotechnic extravagance, and the vocals veer in equally maniacal fashion from horrid roars to larynx-shredding screams and savage snarls.
The music is tremendously exhilarating, creating sensations of wild, mind-bending delirium and glorious, fiery, soaring magnificence. The intricately patterned, richly layered, and technically impressive guitar-work immerses the senses in a whipping whirl of ferocious, ecstatic ebullience, but the drumming is equally transfixing, fluid yet ever-changing and boisterous, and well-matched to the unchained energy of everything else.
The song is a huge thrill to experience for the first time, but so much happens in it that the temptation to track through it repeatedly, to better comprehend all the moving parts, is irresistible.
As for how the track fits within the scope of the album, Sarpa explains: “‘Anguishing Reveries’ is a chapter out of Solivagus in which the wanderer finds himself plunged into Leviathan’s bottomless seas. Whether in a physical sense or psychological sense is to be determined by you…. Sarpa was created to bend the laws of audible physics and more importantly, unchain the hearts of the fire born.”
Solivagus was written and performed by David Baxter in various studios throughout Central Texas in 2019. The album was mixed and mastered by Tony Petrocelly of Trepan Studios. And we’re told that the journey will not end with the release of Solivagus. Baxter plans on writing more Sarpa material for the next album, “the purpose of which is to fracture the illusory mirrors of time and space!”
You can pre-order the album now, an below you can also listen to the previously released song, “Triad of Might“, which provides further compelling reasons to pick this album up.