"The principle theme here is that we are all judged by our deeds, actions, and sympathies.' -- IN THE COMPANY OF SERPENTS' Grant Netzorg on "Scales Of Maat"
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BrooklynVegan is currently streaming "Scales Of Maat" from Denver-based doom trio IN THE COMPANY OF SERPENTS. Featuring guest vocals from Primitive Man guitarist/vocalist Ethan Lee McCarthy and Khemmis guitarist/vocalist Ben Hutcherson, the rumbling new psalm comes off the band's Lux full-length, set for release on May 15th.
Boasting eight hypnotic tracks, Lux - "light" in Latin - focuses on the notion of a Prima Materia, or a fundamental root-essence, behind everything in the manifest universe. "Philosophers, hermeticists, alchemists, occultists, and all manner of wizards have speculated what that Prima Materia, is," relays founding guitarist/vocalist Grant Netzorg, "but the three chief analogies I've employed in this record are: All is sound, All is mind and, critically, All is Light. With that in mind, we are employing a wealth of solar imagery with this record, both in the front cover, and lyrically."
Continues Netzorg of "Scales Of Maat," "The imagery here is of the weighing of one's heart/soul against a feather in Egyptian mythology. The scale was calibrated by Maat, and if you had lived a just, good life, your heart would be lighter than the feather. If you lived an unjust, evil life, you would be cast into darkness. The principle theme here is that we are all judged by our deeds, actions, and sympathies. The closing lyrics, which feature guest vocals from Ethan Lee McCarthy of Primitive Man, Vermin Womb, and Many Blessings, and Ben Hutcherson from Khemmis and Glacial Tomb, are, 'When we're gone we'll be consumed by the maw of the all. Will we have been a worthy vessel for the light of the all?'"
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Marking IN THE COMPANY OF SERPENTS' first release as a trio featuring Netzorg with Ben Pitts (Nightwraith, False Cathedrals) on bass and lap steel guitar and JP Damron (Vermin Womb, Bleakheart, Clinging To The Trees Of A Forest Fire) on drums, Lux was produced, mixed, and mastered by Dave Otero (Cattle Decapitation, Khemmis, Primitive Man) at Flatline Audio with additional engineering by Charlie Abend. In addition to McCarthy and Hutcherson, Lux includes a guest appearance by Colorado Chamber Players violist Paul Primus.
Illustrated by Christina Hunt with layout by Jake Harnett, the alluring cover is an artistic re-imagining of The Sun arcana from Tarot. "This ties into the broader solar and light themes at play in the album," notes Netzorg, "but the title, cover, and broader theme is also uniquely personal to me. Lux is the etymology of my daughter's name, Lucia. So, while this album functions as a form of esoteric prayer on one hand, it also serves as a message to my two-year-old, who, as they say in the cliché, is the light of my life."
Lux will be released digitally and in several limited physical formats including deluxe vinyl, standard vinyl, deluxe cassette, and digipak CD. For preorders, visit the IN THE COMPANY OF SERPENTS Bandcamp Page at THIS LOCATION where opening track, "The Fool's Journey" can be streamed.
IN THE COMPANY OF SERPENTS will play a special record release show this May with Glacial Tomb and Echo Beds followed by a performance in June with Palehorse/Palerider, Lord Buffalo, and Red Mesa with more live dates to be announced in the weeks to come.
IN THE COMPANY OF SERPENTS: 5/16/2020 The Hi-Dive - Denver, CO Denver * Record Release Show w/ Glacial Tomb, Echo Beds 6/27/2020 The Hi-Dive - Denver, CO w/ Palehorse/Palerider, Lord Buffalo, Red Mesa
Founded in 2011, IN THE COMPANY OF SERPENTS traffics in sonic catharsis. Their music inhabits the strange fringes between sludge metal and sprawling spaghetti western scores, constantly striving for visceral power and raw intensity, contrasted with eerie, spare instrumental passages.