Aural Innovations Review of Comets Ov Cupid “Vril Kosmische Urkraft”

Comets Ov Cupid – “Vril Kosmische Urkraft” (self-released 2013)

September 23, 2013 Aural Innovations Uncategorized

Comets Ov Cupid returns with its third release, following Metalgazer (2007) andWestern Lands (2010). Vril Kosmische Urkraft finds the former Skye Klad and Satyrswitch frontman Jason Kesselring expanding on the territory he plumbed inWestern Lands, a mix of noisy drones, quaking metal, and cosmic folk. This time out, the mostly instrumental album explores the depths and chasms of Germanic and Norse mythology and mysticism, taking the listener on a journey deep into the realms of the hollow earth and beyond.

Vril was the ancient cosmic power harnessed by the advanced beings that dwelled in the hollow of the earth in The Coming Race, the 1871 novel by British writer Edward Bulwer-Lytton (and indeed, kosmische meaning ‘cosmic’ and urkraft meaning ‘ancient power’ fall in line with this). It certainly does seem that Kesselring is tapping into some kind of power as he unleashes the shivering drone attack of Mysterium Cosmographicum, the opening track on the album. It’s a brief piece, less than two minutes, before we’re flung full force into the throbbing intensity of Sleipner, featuring Kesselring’s trademark sound: a roar of hazy noise; enormous, fuzzed out bass; drum loops buried deep, deep in the mix, and relentlessly creative guitar soloing. It’s a thundering anthem for Odin’s steed. Viking Spacecraft, both a nod, one would presume, to ancient Norse explorers, and the unmanned vessels that landed on Mars in the 1970′s, takes a similar direction, but this time replaces the galloping rhythm with more of a zoned out interplanetary vibe. It’s pure spacerock for the cosmically inclined, perhaps one last glimpse of the outer cosmos before Kesselring turns the listeners attention inward with the brooding soundscape of The Hollow Earth.

It’s as if he’s provided us with a map (Mysterium Cosmographicum) and the transportation of both ancient myth and the space age, then set us on a course into the unknown (something he did well on Western Lands too). Here, besides the aforementioned The Hollow Earth, the unknown manifests in the hauntingly melodicUltima Thule; the weird, psychedelic folk of Valknut; and the eerie dronescape and restless chants of Ginnungagap (the name that the ancient Norse gave to the vast, primordial void that existed before the universe was created). The album concludes with the rollicking heavy metal stomp of Jormungand and the desolate, empty landscapes evoked by The Eternal Ice (a reference perhaps to the Norse end of the world?). And although that may leave the listener a bit chilled, it’s a good chill, the kind of chill that sends shivers up one’s spine, say, after having witnessed a manifestation of the unexplained, touched the cosmic or dreamed the endless dream.

Kesselring takes a very unique and intriguing approach to mixing his music, like an alchemist experimenting, often inverting the typical mix, burying drums and muting melodies in favour of textural explorations. It serves his music well. One always gets a sense that there is something hidden beneath, some ancient secret or lost wisdom swirling under the surface. It makes the listener want to dig deeper, to find what lies within. But there’s the magic of Comets Ov Cupid: one can never quite find it. It remains elusive and mysterious, as all great cosmic secrets should remain.

To purchase cd: https://cometsovcupid.wordpress.com/2013/09/13/new-comets-ov-cupid-cd-vril-kosmische-urkraft-now-for-sale/

For more info, visit: http://cometsovcupid.bandcamp.com 

Reviewed by Jeff Fitzgerald

New Comets Ov Cupid CD “Vril Kosmische Urkraft” now for sale!

I’m excited to announce the new Comets Ov Cupid CD “Vril Kosmische Urkraft” is now for sale. CD face features painting by artist/writer/occultist Roger Williamson.
$10 + 2.99 shipping and handling.

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Comets Ov Cupid is a gothic space rock project by Jason Kesselring : cosmic music evoking a sense of eternal twilight with a sonic landscape of distorted voices, cosmic pulse and hazy drones. Guitar based in composition that goes from full blow metalgazer bliss out to melancholy astral folk. “Vril Kosmische Urkraft is the third release featuring 9 faustian tone poems. A descent to the middle of the earth to the outer reaches of infinity. 

“Vril Kosmische Urkraft,” the third full-length effort by Comets Ov Cupid, finds rural futurist Jason Kesselring paradoxically producing his most varied and yet cohesively-focused release to date. All the sounds he has been working with for years are there, but amalgamated and paced in such a way as to make a complete Work, rather than a collection of pieces that each showcase different aspects of Jason’s considerable command of his instruments. The album begins with a heady Branca-esque spaceward-looking introductory piece before diving headfirst into the most metallic pieces of the bunch, which show a somewhat more blackened and blasted side of Kesselring’s metal leanings than previous efforts have done. These two pieces are still very atmospheric and expansive in nature however, and show a virtuosity seldom apparent in straightforward black metal while using its atmospheric nature to achieve a more cosmic end (all the while the lack of vocals on this all-instrumental album keep things from veering into caricature or pastiche of any kind). From there things follow an arc into a true Kosmische sound art form, using sonic extremes both painful and meditative to explore outer and inner spaces alike (or indeed simultaneously). Previous releases have employed the acoustic guitar as a break or interlude, but here we find the instrument used in fuller effect in a couple of longer pieces, and Jason’s Jansch-influenced playing really adds a layer of depth and scope to a part of the record’s arc that could have delved lazily into “drone” territory for too long. The album once again veers into heavier territory toward the end before going out in a haze of “Eternal Ice” at its closing.
It bears mentioning that Jason’s virtuosic command of the guitar is a means to an end and not an end in itself; throughout the record his technique is undeniable, but it is only brought to the fore with speed and volume when necessary to the whole and his playing does not ever veer into mere pyrotechnic display. Very few releases manage to combine such disparate elements as Cosmic Music, black metal, noise and acid-folk while still retaining a cohesive and total vision and purpose. A rare thing indeed. The tundra of North Dakota is indeed a fruitful place.”
– Erik Wivinus (Thunderbolt Pagoda)

Video “Vikings Spacecraft” from Comets Ov Cupid’s CD “Vril Kosmische Urkraft”

Comets Ov Cupid (selections from my performance at Roger Williamson’s “Chimera” exhibit Aug 3. 2013)

A collection of clips from my solo performance at Roger Williamson’s (www.rogerwilliamsonart.com) “Chimera” exhibition of paintings. My performance was on guitar, guitar loops, and theremin. The event took place on Aug.3 2013 at Stevens Square Center for the Arts