The Meads Of Asphodel – “My Psychotic Sand Deity” (Stereogum Premiere)
This isn’t NSBM. The use of “Jew” in the title of longstanding crust punk-loving UK black metal Medievalist weirdos the Meads Of Asphodel’s sixth full-length The Murder Of Jesus The Jew comes in the context of the Biblical Jesus, “The King Of The Jews.” Of course, the Meads, dressed in their armor, push buttons on purpose: Murder… opens with “Boiled In Hell Broth And Grave Dust” a narrated intro set to a lilting polka-esque circus beat that quickly becomes eerier and more modern classical. The gist: “On a cold Spring morning around 830, a man was hung on a tree upon a mound of dirt this is the story of a man named God.” It’s followed by “My Psychotic Sand Deity,” the windblown horn-lined epic you’ll hear below. After that, you get a dance song called “Apocalypse Of Lazarus,” the mocking Freddie Mercury black metal of “Addicted To God,” a closing track with a name to long to post before the jump.
It’s impossible to nail their sound without just diving in, but keep in mind that since forming 1998 the Meads have covered Stiff Little Fingers, Discharge, the Stranglers, Conflict, Skeptix, the Kinks, and Louis Armstrong (sort of). They did a split with Mayhem in 2002. Mixing it up some more, Hawkwind’s Huw Lloyd-Langton was their longtime session guitarist (they’ve covered “Sword Of The East” with his assistance) and they’ve worked with members of Bulldozer, Ragnarok, Acheron, Sigh, etc. Ex-Hawkwind member Alan Davey (Gunslinger) has been handling bass since 2003.
All that in mind, The Murder Of Jesus The Jew is the densest, shiniest, more stadium-sized work to date. (Grab lighters for the 9-minute “Genesis Of Death.”) Play it beside Cathedral’s The Guessing Game and A Forest Of Stars’s Opportunistic Thieves Of Spring for some truly bonkers UK heavy metal, circa 2010. Mirai returns with Sigh bandmate Dr. Mikannibal, as does Acheron’s Vincent Cowley. Upping the intensity, Taake’s Hoest contributes vocals. As far as concepts, the collection’s framed like so:
The Murder Of Jesus The Jew details the historical life of Jesus (Yeshua) the Jewish rabbi who was slaughtered on a tree by the Romans on a cold winters day 2000 years ago, and thereafter his people condemned to be pariahs of the earth due to Christian hatred. It is ironic that the Jewish roots of the Christian church have been erased and the blame of their man-god’s death cruelly placed upon a people already broken by the yoke of Roman imperialism. Truth is often blinded by faith, none more so than the story of Jesus and his maligned people.
Enough talk, here’s “My Psychotic Sand Deity.” Suz Miller, Christina Poupoutsi, and Elle Torry contribute the female vocals, Stu Maxwell of Imperial Leisure the trumpet.
The Murder Of Jesus The Jew
01 “Boiled In Hell Broth And Grave Dust (Intro)”
02 “My Psychotic Sand Deity”
03 “Apocalypse Of Lazarus”
04 “Addicted To God”
05 “Stiller Of Tempests”
06 “Man From Kerioth”
07 “Dark Gethsemane”
08 “Jew Killer”
09 “Genesis Of Death”
10 “From Eagle To Cross”
11 “Apostle Of The Uncircumcised”
12 “A Canticle for the lost amputees of Aelia Capitolina who have been trampled under the iron shod hooves of salivating Hell Rams and impaled on the shimmering tusks of salvation within the abandoned tabernacle of a Bronze Age myth”
The Murder Of Jesus The Jew is out 1/11 via Candelight.
[Photo by Ester Segera]