Throwback Thursday is a weekly feature where we bring back a review from The Apparatus’ archives. This week features a review of Basilica’s ‘the forever victorious unfathomable great mighty one’. Originally written in March 2007 by Chad Coup.
This is perhaps one of the most exciting developments in extreme music I’ve heard in years. Basilica is an extremely avant-garde, difficult to take in, super elite group of musicians. According to the liner notes, Basilica aims to create “the latest step in the evolution of a music that seeks to combine bold rhythms, incisive harmonies, broad yet angular melodies, and towering sonorities into an experience of relentless intensity, a raging discourse on the fundamental emotionalism that is at the core of human experience.” That’s quite a mouthful. What do they do to make themselves so apart from the rest of elite musicians?
They use violins mixed with grindcore.
If renowned film composer Bernard Herrmann (‘Psycho‘) started a metal band, this is what it would sound like. There are layers upon layers of strings, guitar and bass, not to mention blasting drums, to overwhelm and excite the listener. This is most definitely not music for everyone, but it is music that everyone needs to hear. The basic backdrop is extreme metal, but instead of vocals, you get violins. The violins both compliment the music and stand apart from it. They are most certainly audible at spots and then go into the background to great another layer of chaos and dissonance. When they are at the forefront of the musical attack, they much represent extreme metal vocals. Basilica‘s approach is akin to Ed Gein (circa It’s A Shame…) but with a maniacal sense of composure and chaos that Naked City wouldn’t have minded to implement back in the Torture Garden days. Many bands experiment with violins to accent their sound, but Basilica is the only one with the vision (and stones) to make it full-blown realization.
This CD is (sadly) only eleven minutes long but has some very eye-catching, high contrast black and white artwork. It looks like a close-up of a music sheet, or even some kind of quantum calculation. The CD itself is homemade, but the amount of professionalism taken with the presentation and the liner notes reveal a band that is most certainly serious about their art. Fans of the avant-garde, grind, tech metal and especially those of classical music need to buy this CD. Basilica will only get better and more focused in time. This is a unique and wholly diverse exercise in yet another form of technical progressive music.
If renowned film composer Bernard Herrmann ('Psycho') started a metal band, this is what it would sound like.