Most visitors here know that we often delight in musical horrors of different kinds — roaring and shrieking voices; percussion that resembles the discharge of devastating weaponry; guitars that sound like whirring bone saws or sledgehammers pounding concrete; and moods of menace, mayhem, and abysmal agony.
But today we share a delight of a very different kind — four very talented individuals embarked on a head-spinning musical adventure, reveling in their instrumental mastery but with no more apparent effort than what’s required to breathe in and breathe out. The chance to watch them all do what they do makes the smiles even broader. (There’s still no clean singing, nor singing of any kind.)
There’s also a tale behind this song and video. The tale itself is also a delight, and we’ll begin there.
DARK HALL c. 1996 – Photo by Julie Dugan
The story begins in April 1992 when fretless bassist Steve Di Giorgio (then a member of Death and Sadus), saxophone and flute player Robert “Flamp” Sorvari, and drummer Chris Dugan (subsequently an award-winning recording engineer for Green Day and other groups) started a studio project which became Dark Hall. After adding guitarist Eric Cutler (Autopsy) they recorded a first demo named Solace in the summer of 1994.
Four years later the original trio reunited with new guitarist Ken Schultz and recorded a new untitled demo — and now, 25 years later, it has been remastered and will be released on September 1st by Subcontinental Records on vinyl, CD, cassette tape, and digital formats.
In addition, this new release includes not only the re-mastered four tracks from the 1998 demo but also a bonus track from the 1994 demo studio recording (which includes guitarist Eric Cutler), a live medley track from a concert in 1996, and the new recording captured in the video you’re about to see.
To help spread the word about the new release, the lineup from that 1998 record reunited to make this live playthrough video for the 1998 demo track “Changing Weather” — the first time they’ve recorded together in those 25 intervening years.
Steve Di Giorgio, who needs no introduction to the denizens of our site, has explained how the video came about:
The idea for this video came from Subcontinental to promote the reissued 98 material. First idea was for a bass playthrough…just me, sitting there, trying to remember what & how I played it 2 1/2 decades ago. So just on a whim, I thought what if the other guys were able to do a playthrough also and we could just combine each person’s individual footage together and it would be more interesting than just the bass part. And they agreed!..after so long of radio silence..!!
Once we started talking about how difficult it would be to make it look like we were playing the original solos, as for the most part the solos are improvised, or at least vary on a theme based on the energy or vibe. It was actually Dugan‘s idea to not only record the video playing the song, but to record the audio also and basically “redo” the song.
Now you have it that we didn’t mime anything, these are the actual live takes from each of our own locations – improvised solos and all..!! 25 years later, broke the rust off, dusted down old riffs and it was a virtual reunion of sorts!
And now the tale is fairly complete, and we can turn to this extraordinary video. As Steve Di Giorgio has explained, it does feature soloing by all the performers in addition to what they do together, and it’s a hell of a thing to see as well as hear.
And I suppose we should mention for all you metalheads who found your way here, this isn’t metal. But it should bring joy to your hearts anyway:
This music video had the audio mixed by Chris Dugan and the final video editing was done by Christos Nikolaou. The new release was remastered for vinyl by Colin Davis at Imperial Mastering and features artwork by Bernardo Gosaric.
The record can be pre-ordered now via the link below.