In keeping with this week's theme of religion, religious music, and Holiday cheer, I offer today one of the most Christianity-obsessed bands on the modern market, namely Hertfordshire, England's resident psychedelic warlords The Meads of Asphodel. I had initially avoided this excellent band based solely on their name, assuming that they were some sort of "ambient-shoegaze" art-metal type thing. And although the Meads are not entirely without their artsy pretensions, my wild specualtion was, as usual, completely inaccurate.
This is a band that is weird in all the BEST possible ways, a band that will keep listeners guessing from not only album to album, but song to song and even note to note. As odd acoustic flamenco passages, techno beats, monotone Latin narration, searing blackened choruses, and a permeating sense of Christian Evil weave in and out of a Meads record, one often finds oneself completely lost in a medieval world of LSD and murder, a dark, horrific place as likely to produce a major-key Dad Rock guitar solo or a weird 90's alternative-rock sing-along chorus as a blastbeat or a grinding tremolo riff. In a way, it makes perfect sense that The Meads of Asphodel incorporate a couple former members of Hawkwind (true).
I have a question for those of you already familiar with this band: does anyone else hear a pronounced Rudimentary Peni influence here? Sure, MoA are way more obsessed with drugs and The Bible, but something about their simple, so-major-key-it's-evil guitar riffing and punky vocals scream Blinko to me, almost as if they are the 20-years-later psychedelic-metal version of said band. Anyone? I dunno.
Anyhow, Excommunication of Christ was The Meads of Asphodel's first full-length release, and they've only gotten weirder with each album leading up to this year's awesome The Murder of Jesus The Jew. If you're already down, good job. If not, start here.