Comprising two songs ‘Maleficia Lamiah‘ and ‘Grave Cardinal‘, their fifth album in as many years pushes the very boundaries of experimental, psychedelic, down-tuned, mind-expanding music. The album was recorded in June 2012 at Foel Studio and then finished at their favourite recording haunt Earthworks in Sept 2012. Maleficia Lamiah finds the band in a paisley ebullient mood given their success at breaching the suffocating expectations associated with belonging to a single genre.
No longer being sharply defined as a doom band, Maleficia Lamiah reflects a certain maturity which comes from POMBAGIRA‘s intent on concentrating solely on composition rather than playing live shows. While their retreat into silence, although missed by many, may have initiated whispers of disbandment, POMBAGIRA have steadied their intent to unleash something so monstrous and so exciting, that many will be surprised if not shocked when they hear this new tome.
Although the departure from previous releases will be evident, there are of course the anchor points to ease the listener into their new epic corpse-scape style. Amps rage and soar with a focussed endeavour to draw the crossroads onto your flesh while the drums breathe a new life, reviving the Haitian cascading rhythms which nail the point for your ingress into their world.
POMBAGIRA have drawn on their deep respect for the past. By acknowledging their influence to bands like Amon Duul II, Pink Floyd and Caravan this album stands as a testament to their ability to embody and innovate these past masters. For embedded within both ‘Maleficia Lamiah‘ and ‘Grave Cardinal‘ there rest tales of journeys into the world of the Pombagira as witch, while ‘Grave Cardinal‘ asserts the majesty of their critical mass as a moment of transgression where the dead meet the living. But this is no Hammer House of Horror ‘cheap trick’ reference, rather a reflection on POMBAGIRA’s involvement with the occult, academic writing on history and otherness, while also providing insight into the hypnogogic world where dreams and reality merge.
Resplendent in its intent, vibrant in its intensity, beautiful in its introspection, POMBAGIRA may this time have really found the portal between the visible and invisible worlds. A magnificent psychedelic down tuned progressive behemoth Maleficia Lamiah will after due process expand your mind. POMBAGIRA’s fifth album deserves to be acknowledged as one of the greatest progressive feats in the last decade or more. As a result the band don’t promise an easy ride through their paisley tinged sound scape, but like anticipating a gathering storm, the gradual shifts and turns build to a crescendo before Maleficia Lamiah finally makes landfall on your body.
It’s a journey fraught with trepidation but it does ensure that once you step aboard you will never be able to depart from their vision again.
Released on 18 March on Black Axis Records and Vic Singh, who infamously photographed Pink Floyd In 1966 for the Piper At The Gates Of Dawn album, was enlisted for this album to take a new set of press photos, and the results are mesmeric and splendid. This is what Vic has to say about Piper at the Gates of Dawn and Maleficia Lamiah.
“I was approached by The Pink Floyd a new and comparatively unknown band in 1967 to take the album cover photo for ‘The Piper at the Gates of Dawn’. The concept for the cover was left up to me, listening to The Piper for the first time surprised me, it was completely original, a complete break from the popular 60’s sounds, which we were all brain-washed into. The concept for the Piper cover photo remained mysterious for a while, finally I decided to use a prism lens which had been lying around in the studio and had never been used by me before. Piper at the Gates of Dawn and Maleficia Lamiah have similarities. Listening to Maleficia Lamiah for the first time I got a similar vibe as with The Piper of originality and the resolve to do something different, creating progression rather than repetition and stagnation.”
The LP version is limited to 500 copies will be available for pre-order at www.blackaxisrec.co.uk from 5 Feb. This version will contain three extra bonus tracks.
Source: Rarely Unable
Photo Credit: Vic Singh