Ramesses – Possessed by the Rise of Magik

Typically I tend to stay away from remix releases, believing an artist’s initial conveyance often remains his or her strongest, while a decision to tweak knobs and re-release an album can, at worst, amount to nothing more than second-guessing. But in the case of Ramesses’ Possessed by the Rise of Magik, remixed by the respected and mighty Justin Broadrick of Godflesh (and of course many, many others), I have chosen to abandon my usual disregard for such. Broadrick’s more distorted, yet still quieter and somehow cleaner take on Ramesses’ blackened-doom opus push the power and the nuance of the guitar notes to the forefront, allowing the drugged-out-Ozzy vocals to claw above and below, but never really through the Sabbath-isms. Adam Richardson’s tormented screech-roars and spoken-word refrains, complimenting Tim Bagshaw’s open-chorded, hauntingly slow black metal wails, prevent you from ever feeling like it’s total Sabbath-time, however. As can be heard on the original version, Ramesses steer their plodding, hellfire-fueled freighter of doom its own way, with music inspired by and for those of a be-deviled, mind-altering persuasion…which should come as no surprise to anyone familiar with Bagshaw and drummer Mark Greening’s previous work in fellow UK-residents/-doomsters Electric Wizard, or Richardson’s earlier contributions to Lord of Putrefaction. The psychedelia present in songs such as ‘Sol Novico’ emphasize their past and present, seeping in via repeated tribal rhythyms and low-moaning guitar lines intent on stapling wings to the sides of your mind and forcing it to fly. And Broadrick’s effective mark melds the heavy and atmospheric passages more effectively than last year’s thicker, ‘louder’ production, utilizing overdriven, almost line-clipping distortion-auras, which add substantial heft to Ramesses’ subtle nods to Joy Division-esque gothicisms (like those found in closer/title-track ‘Possessed by the Rise of Magik’). All of these elements work as one churning, molten mass that needs to find its way onto your record player, and soon: only a thousand copies are to be pressed (800 black/200 clear red vinyl). If you missed this the first time around, or are curious to hear what the man behind Jesu/Napalm Death/ad infinitum can do with doom, this album is a must. -Jim

Ritual Productions

~ by cliftonium on September 30, 2012.

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