Deimos: scary little quartet of occult sounds taking listeners on a trance journey

Official pack shot from
Official pack shot from

Un Festin Sagital, Deimos, Black Horizons, cassette BH-72 (2013)

In ancient Greek mythology, Deimos was the god of terror and together he and his brother Phobos, the god of fear, would ride on either side of their father Ares during battle, glorying in the slaughter of soldiers as they fell from chariots or their horses, or were cut down by storms of arrows and spears. This cassette might be short at 20 minutes but the terror and fear it delivers are perhaps no less in the music’s assault on the eardrums. The style of music might best be described as a mix of blackened psychedelic free noise industrial ambient punk. If I missed anything out in that description, readers are free to suggest more labels ad infinitum.

The A-side ( “Terror Diluviano” and “La Ofrenda Danzante del Cuerpo Enamorado”) promises a real scare-fest with a short passage of deep chanting vocals counterbalanced by solemn trance-like witch voices all surrounded by strange twisted wobble effects and wisps of airy sound. A creepy lead vocal takes charge and for a few moments you wonder whether you’re hearing a real Satanic Mass being performed. We continue into a bass-like doodle that transforms into a series of berserk piano squiggles, background sigh and whoosh, and evilly grim black metal goblin vocals chanting repetitively in a strange tongue. Weird FX dive in and out of the music.

The B-side (“Deimos” and “Ni Sobreproteccion, Ni Descuido”) is more ominous and ambient than avantgarde weird. The title track is based around an original contribution by Wesley Young / Deciduous Flux who plays electronics here. (Young also modelled for the artwork by Jesse Pepper.) It consists largely of sleepy bass drone suggestive of an idling grinding machine over which a flute might play or a lone speaker might say or whisper something. Bringing up the rear is a piece that might have escaped from a long moody movie-music soundtrack: blowing wind, space synth wash, glitch rhythms, ticking percussion and glittery space-ambient tone squiggle loops will keep you guessing as to what kind of B-grade sci-fi monster flick from the 1950s is being referenced here.

Your brain will be kept in overdrive figuring out how all four tracks relate to one another and whether a theme greater than terror and fear is struggling to emerge. Track titles suggest occult references and the sequencing of the tracks might imply the performance of a ritual followed by transcendence and its after-effects. On the other hand, there might not be any relation at all among the four tracks and all that holds them in common is the effect they have on your mood and thinking.

Un Festin Sagital is a Chilean act revolving around one Michel Leroy aided by various musicians who appear on tracks 1 to 3.

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