Blissfully unaware of what was to come later in the month, in preparation for WFMU's Web-only, "silent" fundraiser, the plan for My Castle of Quiet was to mount three special programs; The Sonics of Terror, a soundtracks-only special; and two double bills—one improvised / experimental "noise" bill, and one metal bill, the latter showcasing two bands that I'd been "courting" for some months—Chicago's excellent Sun Splitter, passing through on tour, and Brooklyn's relatively unsung black-metal giants, Yellow Eyes. The latter program was to top off a very eventful month on the show, and boy, did it ever.
As great as they are different, Sun Splitter and Yellow Eyes are both exemplary and plainly evident of how wildly varied what falls under the banner of "underground metal" can be; Splitter draw on "rock," with a thick and good-smellin' Sharpie, culling from Big Black, Led Zeppelin and all points between, with a pure, dense psychedelia permeating their unique compositions, while Yellow Eyes are one of Brooklyn's best-kept black-metal secrets, true to the parent genre, while unquestionably having their own sound, wickedly sea-ferring accomplished players, great songwriters with a murky sound and an attitude to match, seeking neither fame nor widespread success; thus far, YE have released their mini-masterpieces only on cassette, though two full-length vinyl releases threaten to drop within the coming year.
Intrepid WFMU sound engineer Juan Aboites helmed both sessions, bringing to both projects the cohesion that their complex deliveries demand, and though Sun Splitter were pre-recorded on 10.24, the night before the broadcast, had I not been admitting of this fact, the listeners would never have known, the band's pulsating energy and sheer volume rattling the walls at 43 Monty; heavy, hypnotic Gibson riffs broken asunder by the psychedelic cage-rattling of men captured in H.H. Holmes' damned filthy Chicagoan underbelly.
Sun Splitter - Eye of Jupiter-The Anthropocene-Starlit Mire/Time Cathedral
Sun Splitter - Two Cold Oceans
Yellow Eyes blistered through four of their finest songs, acute treble and assaultive blast beats casting their vivid mental picture of a band of ghost sailors, maddened by syphilis and too many hours alone at sea, listening to the persistent slap of the waves against the hull.
Yellow Eyes - Rotted Wheat-No More Than A Soaked Plank-Unlit Kingdom-My Candle Is Gone But I Do Not Move
Keep your eyes and ears on both of these bands, to build continually impressive live performances and discographies, and I cannot recommend highly enough the two full-lengths, Sun Splitter III (Bloodlust!) and Silence Threads The Evening's Cloth (Sol y Nieve.) Huge thanks to Juan and the bands for a night to remember. Both sets are presented as relative continuums, with Sun Splitter's final chunk broken off on its impressive own, and YE's set laid out as one continuous mp3.