Jul 032023

In introducing From the Bowels of the Earth, the debut album by the German band Hallucinate‘s debut album (whose lineup features members of Graveyard Ghoul and Karloff), it would be extreme negligence not to explain the traumatic event that spawned it. So, we begin with that explanation, in the words of vocalist / lead guitarist Persecutor:

From the Bowels of the Earth sprung forth from a very tough psilocybin experience right before the onset of the pandemic. It almost broke me mentally; I wasn’t prepared for it at all. I started writing the songs in an attempt to put myself back together, trying to integrate that experience. It was a very dark and intimidating display of ancient powerful archetypes haunting me with synchronistic, apocryphal, and soul-crushing revelations – not the funky-shmunky colorful hippie shit most people associate with this stuff. So a psych-stricken, kinda-prog death metal record felt most natural to tell the story, where each song represents a stage of the trip with its physiological, psychic and spiritual implications.”

The connection between that dire trip and the album’s music is reflected in the song titles, which capture the changing visions. But the connection is also manifested in the music, which is crushing death metal at its core but also thoroughly infiltrated with influences of prog and (of course) psychedelia, ingredients that don’t sound stuck on like post-it notes but instead grew of their own accord, like arteries and veins in a gestating thing that has now found flourishing and frightening life.

Today we have one of the mind-altering visions brought to life on From the Bowels of the Earth in the song called “Crimson Rain” that we’re premiering in advance of the album’s release by Caligari Records on August 4th.

On the one hand, this new song is a hard-charging hammer-fest, and the words are expelled in gritty, vicious snarls and equally gritty screams — the aggressiveness of death metal is present and accounted for. But the malignant grinding undercurrents and the blurting, blaring, and boiling riffs transmit a kind of deranged delirium, both perilous and peripatetic, exsanguinating and exhilarating.

There’s plenty of heft in the mutating bass lines and lots of jolting punch in the drumming, but the guitars create dazzling sonic spectacles as they twist and turn, like a mental kaleidoscope that scrambles the colors, has them fall into place, and then shakes again into something else.

But don’t take that description the wrong way — the song is actually fiendishly well-constructed, and all those mad and morphing riffs (in addition to the compulsive rhythms) turn out to be damned infectious. It’s the kind of crimson rain you might want to dance in rather than frantically seek shelter (you can worry later about what it might do to your skin).

Caligari Records will proudly present From the Bowels of the Earth on CD, vinyl LP, cassette tape, and digital formats. In presenting it, the label’s press materials state: “Nods could be made to Sweden’s Seance and Desultory in the past or Chapel of Disease and Gold Spire in the present, but perhaps no better recommendation could come than with a guest vocal appearance by Sweven‘s Robert Andersson (of course, also ex-Morbus Chron).”

Now that you’ve heard the brazen and bamboozling “Crimson Rain“, we suspect many of you will be curious about what else the album holds in store. Fortunately for you, you can find streams of two other songs — “Black Smokers” and “AION” — at the Bandcamp page linked below, where pre-orders are also available. They’ll prove to you that the album as a whole is indeed a relentlessly dynamic musical kaleidoscope:

Black Smokers” is a fascinating and frightening blend of seductive hallucination, sizzling disease, full-bore slaughtering, and mysterious grandeur, while “AION” is thoroughly nightmarish, shot through with the pandemonium and gloom of fear. In both songs, the rhythm section put on a riveting show too, and the guitar soloing and conjoined vocal performances in “AION” are especially spine-tingling.



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