Nearly a year in the making, and including a cast of 30 musicians, J.R. Robinson delivers his towering third album as Wrekmeister Harmonies entitled Night of Your Ascension. As with previous Wrekmeister albums, the ensemble is made up of an all-star cast of musicians from the metal, new music and rock communities. Musicians include Lee Buford and Chip King from The Body, Alexander Hacke (Einsturzende Neubauten), Cooper Crain (Cave), Marissa Nadler, Mary Lattimore, Olivia Block, Eric Chaleff (Bloodiest), Dylan O’Toole and Ron DeFries of Indian, Bruce Lamont, Sanford Parker (Twilight), Mark Solotroff (Anatomy of Habit), Solomon Lee Walker, Chris Brokaw (Come), and Jaime Fennelly (Mind Over Mirrors). Robinson has long been fascinated with those whose habits or actions have set them beyond the reach of redemption. Through his video art and his music, Robinson continues to explore humanity’s darkest impulses and society’s response to them. The death of Father John Goeghan and the life of Don Carlo Gesualdo were starting points for the two compositions on his new album. The title track, “Night of Your Ascension,” was as much influenced by Don Carlo Gesualdo’s horrific act as it was by the extreme nature of his compositions. There are many that have been inspired by Gesualdo’s imaginative and complex works, from Herzog’s “Death for Five Voices,” to Igor Stravinsky who created “Monumentum pro Gesualdo.” All were perhaps drawn to the unanswerable question whether or not the violence of his life was related to the violence of his music. Robinson, while intrigued by that question, focuses on evoking the extreme nature of Gesualdo’s act while using the man’s music as a vehicle. The resulting composition is compelling, and the hopes are that we ask why such horror is so captivating to the collective mindset. “Night of Your Ascension” is built around a reworking of Gesualdo’s madrigal “Ahi Dispietata e Cruda.” Intrigued by its microtonal qualities,” Robinson re-structured the madrigal so that it could fit modally into the key of A and to extend into the rest of the composition. This includes a haunting and lovely feminine presence voiced by Marissa Nadler, a presence Robinson fades into the ether with a complex arrangement of strings and choral voices before the impending doom renders all hope obsolete. This essentially becomes both a re-imaging of Gesulado’s complex musical work and the re-enactment of the famous murder.
1 Night of Your Ascension
2 Last Lights The Accusation (Japanese Bonus Track)
3 Run Priest Run
Night of Your Ascension (Japan)
drone doom metal
Country Of Manufacture: