2016 : Van Records
Format : 12″ EP
It’s hard we we lose a friend. It’s even harder when we lose one at their own hands. I won’t get too metaphysical, this isn’t really the place, but I will say I do believe it’s not for you or I to judge when suicide is justified. I think the concept of taking ones own life being a “waste” or “wrong” come from 2000 years of religious indoctrination, especially in the West. It’s not always been seen as a sin, and in some cultures actually expected under the right circumstances. Obviously I never knew Selim Lemouchi, but as a fan of his music as the driving force behind Dutch Occult Rock masters The Devil’s Blood, I’ve felt his loss all the same. I neither know the circumstances surrounding his decision to end his life, nor do I want to. I’m here to celebrate one of my favorites from his band as interpreted by another of my beloved Dutch troubadours, avant-garde Black Metallers, Urfaust.
Side A consist of a cover of The Devil’s Blood “Voodoo Dust” from their phenomenal 2008 EP “Come, Reap” and one of my personal favorite TDB tracks. While holding fast to the original, this version is slower, more haunting, but what is it if not a eulogy for a fallen comrade? Relying heavily of drums, keyboards and a predominant bass line, the focal point becomes IX’s incredible voice. As I’ve said before, for my money he’s one of the best in the business. It’s an eerie hymn casting a gloomy shadow across the land, but with plenty of Urfaust weirdness. One thing I’ve always loved about them, you never know what they’ll do next.
Side B’s “Kalabhairava” is an original piece. Bhairava is an aspect of Shiva associated with annihilation, and at nearly ten minutes long, it’s nothing if not a mantra. Using mostly voices and keyboards, it’s completely eerie and ethereal. It also features Farida Lemouchi on vocals. She’s the sister of Selim and the original vocalist of TDB. It’s amazingly beautiful, but also incredibly sad, but too often we run from those feelings, when they should be embraced.
The EP was released in two versions: a standard version on 180 gram black vinyl housed in card board jacket with gold hotfoil embossing, and a limited edition on amber vinyl that includes a CD. This version is housed in a gatefold jacket with a massive metal sigil inset on the front cover. The sigil was designed by Jinx Dawson of Coven and rendered by Karmazid. While the music is and should be the real star, those special editions are indeed a thing of beauty. Long since sold out from the label, keep your eyes on the secondary market. It’s definitely worth it. In the meantime, just get one.