Welcome to "Sonic Mantras", the second album by Melbourne (Australia) heavy psych/shoegazers The Black Heart Death Cult, out through Kozmik Artifactz.
TBHDCult don't sing songs about love, they love. They try to understand what lies beneath & come up with the heart felt frustration of the fucked up state of humanity. We sit at the precipice of the end & they are documenting it one fuzz pedal at a time. Please take the time to listen to the earth. It is crying. This is what it sounds like.
Second albums are supposed to be difficult & this was no different. Founding member & lead guitarist Bill Patching left the band a just few weeks before the main tracking session & suddenly things had turned upside down. Push right on & worry about the rest later. There was no other option. Young riff prodigy Domenic Evans (Fuzz Meadows) filled in for an upcoming gig & two weeks later was on a plane to Brisbane to play a psych party.
Offered the job, he joined & dubbed in the missing lead parts. Mixing was a real mental struggle as engineer Julian McKenzie & the band agonized over bringing the tracks to life. Grinding. "6 months later" as they say!! Many thanks go to Jules on the engineering/mixing & Don Bartley on the mastering.
Like their much lauded S/T debut (Oak Island Records) "Sonic Mantras" is a real mix of styles that blend seamlessly as you float along through their cosmic universe. The original concept was to have the record as a connected journey & the album sits best as a single listen. "Sonic Mantras" opens with the very dark nine minute one chord drone rock epic "Goodbye Gatwick Blues". Not about an airport but about the loss of the institution that was the Gatwick Hotel, an inner city refuge for some of societies most marginalised & neglected. Progress?
The "GGB" outro blends straight into the waltz time space rock of "Cold Fields". Dark times call for dark stuff! Neo-psych banger "One Way Through" is reminiscent of early Black Angels & the drop out organ is just what your ears have been waiting for. The album turns a corner back to TBHDC's 60's pop styles with "TREES" including sing along chorus & mind crushing outro.
The B side starts with shoegaze drum fest "Death From Above" which was never slated for the album but as one of the session tracks never came up "DFA" was reworked from an earlier session with cool duet vocals & ripping outro. "The Sun Inside" is classic BHDC droney psych & one of the first tracks recorded with their now familiar Farfisa organ sound.
"Dark Waves" continues on with the gloomwave (think Blue Angel Lounge here). "Sonic Mantras" ends with what will surely become a BHDC classic in "Sonic Dhoom". A radio edit was released as a single in early 2020. The album track comes in at nine minutes & includes a stunning classical sitar intro from sitari David Balaban before we hear the radio edit section which then fades to one of the most entrancing outros you will hear in a long time.
Just let your mind & your body go!!!! Indeed. Thanks for coming on the ride! Love TBHDCult. See you soon(ish) ...
- 2nd pressing
- 300x half red/half blue split (colours representing the inside artwork)
- 200x half black/half white split+gold/white splatter (Kozmik Mailorder Edition, colours representing the outside artwork)
- Plated & pressed on heavy high performance vinyl by Pallas Group in Germany
- deluxe 300gsm gatefold cover
- special vinyl mastering