'Heavy Fierce Brightness'

(Sounds of Battle records)

MARK: 86/100

When I get records like this (and it doesn't happen often at all) a bright of hope enlightens in my heart again. Why and how can two songs make this possible is easy explained: in 1968 Iron Butterfly recorded "In A Gadda Da Vida", a 17-minute track occupying the whole side of a platter. At that time bands were freer and a major like Atlantic records didn't raise a complaint about that. Try and go to a major and propose something like that today and you'll hear a sardonic laughter and the security will come and bring you to the door with a surly expression.
The initiative of this project doesn't come from a major company, notwithstanding it has nothing to envy a big release under any aspect. One song for each side of this long-playing, the former lasting 19 minutes, the latter over 20, an embossed front-cover, and most of all music sounding like a middle-finger to those enjoying to rock the boat. No compromises, absolute freedom, in the sign of pure art!

"Dragged by A Black Net" is infernal Ambient Doom, worsened by sinister, sharp noises in the background. A sound of distorted guitar is overdubbed, creating a vortex of evil and dark, in tune with the all-black front cover. The guitar fades away and slow it is replaced by sounds reminding space vastness; therefore emptiness, sense of floating in vacuity, no more terror and iniquity, just the anti-matter's wail and a lonely intergalactic journey. From relaxing the composition turns more intense, including a disquieting boomy bass and I can't but think of a masterpiece flick such as "Solaris" (the original Soviet movie, not the recent remake featuring George Clooney).
As for the title track on the other side, one could use the description on the record ('A mythic journey from the underworld to the celestial realm'), but I partly had dfferent additional feelings; it might be the Martian-like desert and the inhospitable ample landscapes of a scarcely populated State as Arizona to have influenced the one-project band, the UFO sightings and the consequent cover-ups competing in number with Nevada's, I don't know, what's sure is that only from there can such ideas be born. In this track, composed more recently, as the title suggests the Ambient becomes sultry and lancinating, like you in the sunny desert without a shelter with hungry vultures awaiting your last breath. The feedback is dilated and manipulated, winding you round in its coils, then crushing you and leaving you agonizing, hopeless on your knees, begging for mercy from above but no help arrives; on the contrary the feedback doubles and death comes after long unspeakable suffering when the moon appears in the sky.

Starting from the path traced by Sunn O))) and latest Nuclear Death, Gog explores virgin territories, delivering a real heavy and obsessive album where music is tied to a modern art installation by Colin Stinson shown in the back cover; in fact "Heavy Fierce Brightness", which is also the title of the installation, was at Chandra Cerrito Contemporary Art Gallery in Oakland, California, in September 2008.
A record for the few, not only because of its limited edition, but also in that few will like it but those will adore it.


Line-up on this record:
Mike Bjella - synth and noises

Scottsdale, AZ - USA

Official sites:


-Heavy Fierce Brightness (LP - 2010)