20 for ’15 – Wrekmeister Harmonies – Night of Your Ascension

Part 11 of a 20 part rundown of my favourite tracks of 2015

JR Robinson is a surprisingly popular man for one with such…unusual obsessions. He’s been releasing singular, uncompromising music under the Wrekmeister Harmonies moniker since 2009 and in that time he’s drafted in a veritable who’s who in alternative and avant garde heavy music to flesh out his compositions. This record alone features members of The Body, Indian, Einstürzende Neubauten, Yakuza and Marrisa Nadler. For starters. All of whom presumably chose not to put down the phone after Robinson invited them to feature on a piece inspired by legendary composer/murderous bastard Don Carlo Gesualdo and/or the crimes and death of priest and serial child molester Father John Geoghan. He must have quite a way with words.

Robinson’s continuing fascination with those responsible for heinous crimes (Then It All Came Down is a piece inspired by a Truman Copete essay on an associate of Charles Manson, Bobby Beausoleil) seems to be fertile ground for compositions that are at once achingly beautiful and unflinchingly harrowing. The two here as well as Then It All.. follow similar patterns – starting in some kind of fractured, corroded beauty and steadily sinking into doom/metal laced depravity, like Lucifer falling from grace. Night of Your Ascension begins with Nadler singing in choral fashion, some of the most gorgeous, yet unsettling, sounds Wrekmeister Harmonies have put to tape yet. From there everything gradually goes to hell, culminating in a contorted metal nightmare, all disembodied screams and unholy chants. It’s magnificent – if Night.. had come out a little earlier in 2015 it would have been right up there in my year best of list. As it is I’m still digesting it.

The video at the top is an interesting piece (featuring a very dusty David Yow running a bout for reasons unclear) but the edit doesn’t even come close to doing the full piece justice. I include the full thing below and implore everyone to listen to all 5 parts. I’m not choosing any one for this list – it’s a piece that needs to be heard in its entirety.