Vulcanodon Phazer

Album Title: 
Sorcerers Of Avalon
Release Date: 
Sunday, January 15, 2023
Review Type: 

It was a great pleasure when Patrick Mytron informed me about a new release under the Vulcanodon Phazer moniker. The guy is (or was) behind some other projects that dwell within blackened spheres, but this specific project differs from those Black Metal outfits. He used to be part of Alien Tab as well, which was an instrumental Doom / Sludge / Stoner duo that shortly lived during the second half of the Nineties. And I recently found out they did reform, by the way.

Why is this of importance? Well, Vulcanodon Phazer’s sonic approach comes much closer to Alien Tab’s than any of Patrick‘s blackish outfits, Music-wise. For this specific release, Sorcerers Of Avalon, Patrick worked alone, which means that his partner-in-smoke, eh, in-crime, I mean, Lex Hill, did not collaborate this time. That’s also why this two-track album is an instrumental one, since Lex used to take care of the vocals before. But Patrick and Lex will work together again in the future, so I guess the next album will contain voices once again. But that’s something we’ll see when it’s time for any upcoming release. So, Sorcerers Of Avalon, as said, was written and recorded in December 2022 by Patrick, as well as produced and engineered by this human being at the Odin’s Cave Studio (somewhere in South-West Canada). And it got released via his own Bud Metal Records label in digital form; there are no physical copies (not yet, or never?).

Sorcerers Of Avalon is a two-track recording, ‘transmitted directly from the ether’, yet both elegies clock almost twenty-two minutes each (!). It’s the result of an improvised session ‘to capture the free flowing essence found in jamming that is often lost in proper songwriting’. The aim was to capture, dixit Patrick, ‘the epic jams that he regularly does in his basement’. And they are divided into two chapters, if you want to: Side Doom (Demons And Sorcerers Of The West) and Side Stoner (Frankie Avalon And The Supercomputer).

First a small word on the cover layout. It is a fragment from ‘The Last Sleep Of Arthur In Avalon’ by some Edward Burne-Jones, painted at the very end of the nineteenth century. It focuses on King Arthur and his final slumber, after being fatally wounded in a battle. It’s legend, it’s fantasy, it’s mystery, and damn yes, it does refer to the aural approach of this hazy album.

The first piece, Demons And Sorcerers Of The West aka ‘Side Doom’ (21:55), starts with a multiple semi-acoustic introduction, gathering several string-melodies with a melodious and somehow adventurous character, and different percussions. The latter are initially quite modest, with distant shaman-like beats and uplifting cymbals, but the whole – strings and drums – slowly evolves into harsher proportions. After a couple of minutes, fuzzy Drone-Doom seems to grow, mid-tempo in speed, down-earthed in sound, uncompromising in execution. The great thing is that the semi-acoustic fragments from the opening sequence do return, subtly yet undeniably, yet permanently with a progressed continuation. At six minutes, for example, everything suddenly turns into truly harsh, down-tuned fractions, unpolished in production, intolerant in attitude, uncompromising in execution. This jam continuously evolves and progresses, touching the soft skin of psychedelic sonority, trespassing the limitations of narrow-minded constructions. And at the very same time, despite a maniacal, stoned performance, it all makes sense. At almost half of the hymn, everything changes (once again), now exploring necromantic, thaumaturgic states of mind and physics. Not little later, things evolve into a heavier section, when both drums / percussions and four / six-string guitars break their chains, overwhelming their new-worn freedom. Distortion, floaty repetition and mesmeric paralysis permanently influence the whole sonic adventure.

The second piece, which is called Frankie Avalon And The Supercomputer or ‘Side Stoner’ (21:48), too combines fuzzy, fuzz-out semi-acoustics and rough guitars, supported by sometimes funky bass-lines, sludgy riffs and intoxicated percussions. There’s such energy going on, and even each break, tempo-change or intermezzo immediately gives the feeling of an announcement for another manic moment of psych-laden delirium to come. The improvised attitude permanently defines the outcome, while covering the result in a surface of unearthly, anti-traditional mythos. Besides, the psychedelic details that permanently penetrate the whole experience, give the whole an attitude even more alienated and psychotropic.

I recommend listening before buying (or stealing), but in case of some mentally-happy deviation in your brain, there is no need to doubt…