I Wanna Worship at the Gunpowder Temple

It’s Tuesday, and with a new day we see a new release from New Zealand’s tireless Campbell Kneale.  Nevermind the fact that he operates two different record labels– Kneale is addicted to the music game. Between his Black Boned Angel and Birchville Cat Motel projects, he manages to crank out releases well into the double digits on an annual basis. Most astoundingly of all though, is the fact that despite his high output of material, the quality remains insanely consistent.

Wasting no time in 2008, Kneale has dropped his latest drone behemoth under the Birchville Cat Motel moniker, Gunpowder Temple of Heaven— a single, sprawling, forty minute drone indoctrination. We saw Kneale indulge his metal and rock influences like never before on 2007’s Astro Catastrophes. Birchville had never sounded so… normal. More recently though we have seen Kneale step back into his more pastoral drone side as evidenced on the Seventh Ruined Hex album. Whereas the abyssic roar that is Black Boned Angel once threatened to swallow Birchville whole, on Gunpowder it feels as if Kneale has burst forth from his cocoon of darkness into an all-consuming light.

Gunpowder is a flock of golden swans emerging from the dawn’s horizon. A flock so thick that they blot out the still-starry early morning skies. Slowly, and one by one the swans begin to burst like fireworks into golden showers of sparks that transform the world into a beautiful, shimmering paradise. These warm guitar drones emit a sense of happiness. A sense of contentment.

Kneale never ceases to amaze me. He is truly a master of his craft. He has so firmly grasped and molded the drone world in so many beautiful, terrifying, and downright mesmerizing ways that it has become difficult to even imagine what his limitations are as an artist at this point. Gunpowder Temple of Heaven is but the first of what I’m sure will be many fantastic releases from Birchville Cat Motel in 2008.


~ by theoberlander on February 5, 2008.

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