Tomhetens Furste by Kungens MänRelease date: March 17, 2017
Label: Eggs in Aspic
Another strong Eggs in Aspic debut arrives with a new release from Kungens Män. The label continues to fire out album after album of enthralling, narcotic, belters; often, offering stellar psyche releases and tantalising stoner music. Kungens Män continues this pattern of spectacular releases from the label with a beautiful marriage of those two aforementioned elements creating a brilliant album suitable for the stoned and tripping alike: a most holy matrimony.
‘Tomhetens Furste’ gently awakens the album with a cornfield of bells and chimes cooing a light breeze over a sedately, plucked guitar line. Soft, reverberated synth tones sing a delicate, hypnotic sound like some tranquillising whale song. It feels like lying on the grass on a perfect summer’s day, watching fluffy clouds drifting, carefree across the sky. Dancing ribbons of smoke cascading into the air, like the quaint moment where the offspring of a joint and an incense stick flutter together and dissipate into the ether. The track’s drums delicately provide a resting pulse and heartbeat that maintains the calm through the track. It’s not until part way through that spaceship sounds shoot through the track and for a second everything seems a bit weird. The track slowly begins to brood now; a grey cloud has appeared in the halcyon sky and the romantic image slowly pulsates into a bleeding canvas leaking moody, expressive tones of maroon sunsets and suffocated storms. The crawling synthesisers and lurking bass roars; a tar pit dragging the Sunday afternoon atmosphere into a bleak, blackhole of ominousness and uncertainty.
How fitting it is that the descent into the unknown at the end of the first track should take the listener into new territory with ‘Är Det Jag’. The sophomore track provides the listener with the first human voice on the album; although, that voice is not one that grounds the listener in familiarity but, rather centres us in estrangement and intrigue. The performance to me is reminiscent of similarly bestial and guttural performances by Mick Jagger in Sympathy For The Devil and Jim Morrison in The End. The primal yet, almost exhibitionist performance feels like listening to a person unchained of themselves and that may seem frightening or even crazy to some but, what’s interesting to me is that it doesn’t feel aggressive in an outwardly way. It’s violence is one against the normality of the self and the conformity to society generally adheres.
Musically, I love how the final track ‘En Andra Natur’ ventures the album out further into the cosmos rather than allowing the previous track’s vocals to offer a path home to a safe avenue of music. It’s like the band dangled a rope down and shouted to the listener “climb on!” and so, you cling to dear life, not knowing to what abyss you may fall into from the gallows of the rope; your only grounding and life line in bewilderment. And they fucking sever the umbilical chord and you fall into the infinity below you. It reminds me of a scene from a film “darkness washed over the dude”. Lost to darkness and distance, the album closes with an assured, pioneering step into the unknown, dragging us off on some forthcoming journey into the band’s next release.
Kungens Män offer another bold, transcendent gem into the Eggs in Aspic arsenal in this bold, vision quest of an album.