Today we’re premiering an official video for the second single from Nostophobia, the debut album of Portland OR’s Sea Sleeper, who have dfrawn inspiration from such diverse bands as Gorguts and Gojira, Mastodon and Blut Aus Nord. The song’s name is “George Van Tassel“. That name may mean something to some of you (the ones who are wearing tin-foil hats as they read this). For others, a bit of background is in order.
According to The Font of All Human Knowledge, “Ufology is the investigation of unidentified flying objects (UFOs) by people who believe that they may be of extraordinary origins (most famously, extraterrestrial alien visitors).” According to the same source, the roots of this “pseudoscience” date back to the late 1890s but began to truly flourish after World War II. The lineage of ufologists is a long and colorful one, and certainly one of the more colorful and influential exponents was the man for whom this new song was named, American author George Van Tassel (1910-1978).
in 1953, according to Van Tassel, “the occupant of a space ship from the planet Venus woke him up, invited him on board his space ship, and both verbally and telepathically gave him a technique for rejuvenating the human body”. To quote again from the great Font: “In 1954, Van Tassel and others began building what they called the ‘Integratron’ to perform the rejuvenation…. Van Tassel described the Integratron as being created for scientific and spiritual research with the aim to recharge and rejuvenate people’s cells, ‘a time machine for basic research on rejuvenation, anti-gravity and time travel'”.
Van Tassel‘s sudden death just a few weeks before the official opening of the Integratron robbed humanity of this world-changing invention. And if you think the Venusians had nothing to do with the suspicious timing of Van Tassel‘s death, think again. And, with this background in mind, let’s now consider the music.
Imagine, if you will, a horde of demonic alien ravagers straining at the gates of their electromagnetic cage, armed with sharp teeth, sledgehammers, and cunning death rays. When the song begins, it’s as if such a horde has exploded through the gates without warning, in a crazed torrent of screaming vocals, raging percussion, and vicious darting and writhing riffage whose dissonant tones only magnify the feeling of savage alien lunacy. The drumming spits bullets and thunders, the bass clobbers in huge atonal blows and groans in dismal, oppressive radiations. The guitar jitters in insectile frenzies and screams right along with the vocals.
And after these episodes of marauding mayhem, the song becomes increasingly cold, and devoted to methodically pounding the hell out of listeners, accented by fervent vocal harmonies and dragging, doomed chords. It’s an eerie and menacing experience, and in its own way just as demented as the way the song begins, yet also somehow beguiling. And perhaps in those ways it’s a fitting homage to Van Tassel, whose recorded words can be heard as bookends to the track.
P.S. From 1953 to 1978, Van Tassel annually hosted “The Giant Rock Spacecraft Convention” in the Mojave Desert, which attracted at its peak in 1959 as many as 10,000 attendees.
Sea Sleeper are: Nick Kessler, Jess Cooley, and Shane Cooley. “Nostophobia“, the title to their forthcoming album, is a word that refers to an abnormal fear or dislike of returning home — and so now maybe you’ve learned a further bit of trivia. The album will be released on February 6th by Metal Assault Records in a variety of formats, which can be pre-ordered via the link below.
Also below you can check out the video for the album’s first single, “Old Guard“, in addition to today’s premiere.