recently wrote on Theologian's new album on Handmade Birds, Finding Comfort in Overwhelming Negativity, and gave it a glowing review. I am quite pleased to report that another new album from Theologian has dropped - this one on Crucial Blast, titled The Chasms of My Heart.
As with Finding Comfort..., The Chasms of My Heart is a work of pure musical genius. I have honestly never heard another artist that straddles the lines between dark ambient, death-industrial, and power electronics so marvelously, that turns all three of those genres on their heads in creating something that borrows from all three but manages to create something entirely its own in both form and content. And while it's often difficult in electronic music to determine how much is just random, arbitrary sound manipulation and how much is pure passion, with Theologian there is no question whatsoever that Leech is practically killing himself in putting these albums together. It is also very clear that while some artists do what they do because they find some sort of gain in it - be it financial, emotional, social, or otherwise - I'm assuming that Leech does this out of compulsion. I can only guess, but it seems to me that this man makes music because he has to. With this much passion and heart in the music, how could there be anything else pushing him to lay it all out there? In any case, the end result is as crushing and as hypnotic as any metal release you'll hear. In fact, I'd say that if you were going to choose only two "heavy music" albums all year to sustain you for a time to come, these two Theologian albums are two that you absolutely must consider.
The CD, which consists of 8 songs and 80 minutes of gut-wrenching music, is available now, in the form of a six-panel DVD-sized digipack with Leech's amazing artwork, from Crucial Blast, with or without a t-shirt. If you're just looking for a legitimate download, you can get it in just about any form you like from the Crucial Blast Bandcamp. You can also get it straight from the artist, with a great many other things, here.
In other Leech/Theologian related news, there are some albums on the Annihilvs Power Electronix Bandcamp page that you should know about. First off, the Theologian/STROM.ec collaborative album celebrating the writing of the great Philip K. Dick, which has been 3 years in the making, is now complete, but the physical release has been delayed. Leech has decided, then, to make the album available as a digital download until the end of the year. You can get that here. Second, a terrific compilation called America, The Grave: The Death of the American Dream is available in physical and digital formats. It features tracks from many fine American purveyors of noise, including Theologian, Bereft, Compactor, Steel Hook Prostheses, and many others. The physical edition is a double-CDr, and can be purchased here in the Apex Armouries shop. The digital edition can be downloaded here. You are of course encouraged to explore all releases on these pages; if you're anything like me, you know that at this point, anything Leech is involved with deserves attention.
If you're in the mood to see Theologian in a live, more intimate setting, you're in luck. There are some Theologian and related shows coming up in the NY-area that are must-see events.
First, on October 20th, Theologian will be playing at Pitchfork's Show No Mercy CMJ Showcase at 285 Kent in Brooklyn, with Car Bomb, Batillus, Pyrrhon, and Primitive Weapons. All awesome bands. Be there.
Second, on the night of Halloween (October 31st, in case you're unaware), a show at The Acheron in Brooklyn will feature FM Enheit, of Einsturzende Neubaten, and Author and Punisher. Theologian isn't playing this show, as far as I can tell, but it is being put on by Annihilvs, so it is definitely worth seeing if you're in the area. More info here.
On November 4th, in Providence, Rhode Island, Theologian will be playing the third day of the Halloween Industrial Fest, sharing the stage with many prominent artists. Definitely something to behold. More info here.
On November 8th, again at The Acheron, Annihilvs will be putting on a show featuring Funerary Call, the terrific Oneirogen (whose albums out now on Denovali will be getting reviews very soon), Xiphoid Dementia, and 156. A mandatory event if ever there was one. More info here.
And finally, on December 1st, Theologian will be playing at The Acheron, this time with Menace Ruine, Northumbria, Sewer Goddess, and Requiem. I'm going to bust my ass to be at this one.