Sometimes in our song premieres (in this case one that’s presented through a lyric video), it’s best to cut to the chase and then come back and fill in the back-story. This is one of those times.
The song here, which is as fascinating as it is unnerving, is “The Augurs of Spring (The Burial of the Dead)“. It’s the second movement in a rendition of excerpts from Igor Stravinsky’s 1913 orchestral work The Rite of Spring, and the people responsible for this rendition have taken the name 30 immolated; 16 returned. The lyrics, which seemingly appear as random words, were inspired by T.S. Eliot‘s great poem “The Waste Land“.
A compelling rhythmic pulse runs through this performance, executed in different ways, from primitive, titanic pounding by all instruments to brittle chords or a popping snare (and more). Around that reflex-triggering pulse (which occasionally changes in jarring ways), madness ensues — a cavalcade of burbling bass notes, dissonant slithering, seething, and screeching guitars, frantic drum acrobatics, insectile fretwork fevers, and an array of caustic growls and howls whose lunatic vehemence is almost as unsettling as all the bizarre instrumental intricacy.
It is, in a word, wild. Stravinsky may be spinning in his grave, almost at the speed your own head will spin.
And now for the back-story.
Previously hailing from Edmonton and now ensconced in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada, 30 immolated; 16 returned are an avant-garde metal band who are heavily inspired by the Marquis de Sade’s 120 Days of Sodom and who strive to recreate (in both their recorded works and on stage) the violent sensorial experience of the book, “while demonstrating the close relationship between extreme metal and modernist classical music”. In fact, two of the band’s members, Madame Champville and Dr. Death, have Ph.D.’s in music theory and composition from the University of Alberta. In further fact, originally formed for the purpose of performing Dr. Death’s thesis work of the same name back in 2011 (the thesis is available on the band’s Bandcamp page).
The name of their new record is The Burial of The Dead – Excerpts from Igor Stravinsky’s The Rite of Spring. The band have commented about the new release as follows:
“The album as a whole is a sneak peek into a larger project to be released in several three-movement chunks over the next several years. It is an arrangement of Igor Stravinsky’s The Rite of Spring – a ballet written in 1913 that shocked audiences to the point of starting a riot in Paris. The aesthetic of the work is considered part of the ‘primitivism’ movement from the early modernist period in that its basic ingredients are simplistic and rhythmic, with melodies inspired by Russian folk melodies. The music retains its dissonance through its strange use of harmony and colour, angular rhythms, and sudden changes. Our arrangement and use of samples paint a sonic picture of ritualistic murder from the Midsommar festivities.”
About the song you’ve just heard, which the band describe as “a spring time sacrificial ritual”, they tell us this:
“The Augurs of Spring (The Burial of the Dead)” was the first song from The Rite of Spring that was arranged and learned by the band. In T.S Eliot’s work “The Burial of the Dead”, the poem dwells on the violence of Spring – how it pushes aside the dead that has wasted away from the previous year and then uses it to generate new life. Spectacular new life through the appropriation of the dead.
“It begins with a primal pounding of all instruments in unison in a moderato tempo. It then carries through several textural changes, complex harmonies, and folk-like melodies that trade between guitars. The vocals are minimal, but are inspired by T.S. Eliot’s famous work The Waste Land. In the context of our act – it translates into the brutal murder of innocence to appease our never-ending hunger for the destruction of purity through vice.”
All of the instruments and vocals on the new record were tracked, edited, and mixed by 30 immolated; 16 returned. Mastering was completed by Jonsson at Dark Prod. Studios in Stockholm, Sweden. As revealed in the video, the album art is “Bulimia” by Kayla Rulys.
The album is set for release on May 14th and is available for pre-order beginning today. It’s recommended for fans of Portal, Howls of Ebb, Morbid Angel, Gorguts, and Imperial Triumphant.
1. Introduction (Spleen) (1:30)
2. The Augurs of Spring (The Burial of the Dead) (3:57)
3. The Ritual of Abduction ( Glorious Love/Languid Agony) (2:48)
4. Spring Rounds (A Paean) (4:22)
Total Length: 12:38