This is the third full course release, then, from Jason Kesselring in his Comets ov Cupid guise and who serves up an often mesmerising not to mention exhausting mix of drone/metal and cosmic noodling. Opener “Mysterium Cosmographicum” supplies the drone while “Sleipner” which follows supplies the manic shredding that screams “speed metal” at full voice. We’re two numbers in (from nine) and I’m not sure I’m going to be able to take the pace. Respite comes in the spectral form of “Viking Spacecraft” but only for the first couple of minutes before rolling drums and more fret mangling hurls us Valhalla bound once more. Actually I’m not sure if the title is a reference to Norse explorers/pillagers of yore or NASA space-exploration or both. I suppose it matter not.
The more subtle, restrained moments come from the likes of “The Hollow Earth”, featuring muted vocals although still with an intensity which offers little let-up but does hint at Kesselring as being more than just a noise monster. Such notions take further shape with “Ultima Thule”, which supplements the artist’s metal leanings and shows him more than capable of some capable cosmic dark-folk while “Volknut” sees Kesselring swapping megavolts for an acoustic workout that might surprise the Blackshaw/Basho fraternity out there. “Ginnungagap” (oh my poor spell checker) drones over some native American chanting and is, blow for blow, one of the real album highlights and which segues into “Jormungand” another jolly romp showcasing Jason’s searing axe work. It might have all ended rather noisily at that point but sensibly the coda comes courtesy of “Eternal Ice”, a highly atmospheric slice of ethereal, Arctic Circle chill-out which melds the Comets drone and Nordic folk trademark signatures most effectively and, I might add, gratifyingly.
I’m excited to announce the new Comets Ov Cupid CD “Vril Kosmische Urkraft” is now for sale. CD face features painting by artist/writer/occultist Roger Williamson. $10 + 2.99 shipping and handling.
Comets Ov Cupid is a gothic space rock project by Jason Kesselring : cosmic music evoking a sense of eternal twilight with a sonic landscape of distorted voices, cosmic pulse and hazy drones. Guitar based in composition that goes from full blow metalgazer bliss out to melancholy astral folk. “Vril Kosmische Urkraft is the third release featuring 9 faustian tone poems. A descent to the middle of the earth to the outer reaches of infinity.
“Vril Kosmische Urkraft,” the third full-length effort by Comets Ov Cupid, finds rural futurist Jason Kesselring paradoxically producing his most varied and yet cohesively-focused release to date. All the sounds he has been working with for years are there, but amalgamated and paced in such a way as to make a complete Work, rather than a collection of pieces that each showcase different aspects of Jason’s considerable command of his instruments. The album begins with a heady Branca-esque spaceward-looking introductory piece before diving headfirst into the most metallic pieces of the bunch, which show a somewhat more blackened and blasted side of Kesselring’s metal leanings than previous efforts have done. These two pieces are still very atmospheric and expansive in nature however, and show a virtuosity seldom apparent in straightforward black metal while using its atmospheric nature to achieve a more cosmic end (all the while the lack of vocals on this all-instrumental album keep things from veering into caricature or pastiche of any kind). From there things follow an arc into a true Kosmische sound art form, using sonic extremes both painful and meditative to explore outer and inner spaces alike (or indeed simultaneously). Previous releases have employed the acoustic guitar as a break or interlude, but here we find the instrument used in fuller effect in a couple of longer pieces, and Jason’s Jansch-influenced playing really adds a layer of depth and scope to a part of the record’s arc that could have delved lazily into “drone” territory for too long. The album once again veers into heavier territory toward the end before going out in a haze of “Eternal Ice” at its closing. It bears mentioning that Jason’s virtuosic command of the guitar is a means to an end and not an end in itself; throughout the record his technique is undeniable, but it is only brought to the fore with speed and volume when necessary to the whole and his playing does not ever veer into mere pyrotechnic display. Very few releases manage to combine such disparate elements as Cosmic Music, black metal, noise and acid-folk while still retaining a cohesive and total vision and purpose. A rare thing indeed. The tundra of North Dakota is indeed a fruitful place.” – Erik Wivinus (Thunderbolt Pagoda)
Video “Vikings Spacecraft” from Comets Ov Cupid’s CD “Vril Kosmische Urkraft”