The eleventh Potmos Hetoimos album, “Vox Medusae”, will be released on September 12th, 2018.
Potmos Hetoimos are a multi-instrumentalist solo project from Baltimore that has made a name for itself by never making compromises. The two-hour, single-track “Dance With Divinity” in 2007, funeral doom concept trilogy “Agatha”/”Evelyn”/”Maribel” spanning 2010-2013, and 2015’s triple album “The Paragon Trisagion” with its hour-long closer all exemplify this ethic.
Noteworthy guests on these releases have included names like Persefone’s Carlos Lozano, Black Crown Initiate’s James Dorton and Rosetta’s Mike Armine. On “Vox Medusae,” however, Potmos Hetoimos have taken a different approach, shedding long-winded flashiness in favor of a more focused and intense sound.
Musically, the new album infuses the band’s signature progressive mathy sludge metal (à la Inter Arma, Kayo Dot, Intronaut, The Ocean) with a dose of blackened hardcore (Cult Leader, Plebeian Grandstand) as well as jazz and funk elements (Prince, Kamasi Washington). Piano and saxophone are interwoven with traditional metal instrumentation throughout. Love it or hate it, the resulting synthesis of styles is something you’ve never heard before.
Lyrically, the album relays a visceral and deeply personal struggle with pornography addiction, presenting the psychological tumult around this through nine voices, including lust, shame, and rage as well as characters such as the prophet, the conqueror, and Medusa (the personification of temptation). The Medusa’s lyrics are delivered by Jane Vincent of Baltimore doomwave band Curse.
Compositionally, the voice of each character in the narrative is associated with a different non-traditional musical scale. The album casts aside major and minor sensibilities in favor of Medusa’s Harmonic Locrian, conqueror’s Lydian Dominant, and shame’s Hungarian Augmented. These unnatural scales reinforce the discomfort and uneasiness experienced by the album’s central figure.
First and foremost, I hope you enjoy listening to the album yourself. If you do, then I hope that you deem it worthy of sharing with your readers. This album will be the first release of Not Music, a label focusing on supporting and promoting experimental, underground, boundary-pushing artists. A limited pressing of 100 CDs will be available through the PotmosHetoimos and Not Music bandcamp pages.
For a quick and convenient listen, the album can be streamed in full via this private YouTube link.
Read our review here.