The Cult Of Dom Keller - Goodbye To The Light

The Cult Of Dom Keller – Goodbye To The Light

The Cult of Dom Keller are a four-piece from the Midlands who offer up their third LP Goodbye to the Light via Fuzz Club Records on 21st July 2016. Having grown in depth and intensity since their foundation in 2008, they are now a tour de force. They have pushed themselves to the sonic limits with this album and whilst fans have waited with baited breathe for its release; their stream of live shows has provided sufficient stimulation with glimpses of what is to come. It is their most experimental release to date and this only hones in on the skill of the musicians assembled under this banner.

Opening with ‘Shambhala Is On Fire’, the intentions of this album become immediately clear. (Shambhala, incidentally is the mythical kingdom hidden in Hollow Earth in Buddhist doctrine). The drumming of Al Burns provides the basis for melodic vocals and keys courtesy of Neil Marsden, a booming bass line from Jason Holt (Spectrum, Sonic Boom), rounded off with an effected guitar courtesy of Ryan Delgaudio (Cathode Ray Eyes). This is very much the sound of TCODK that we have come to know and love over the years, and yet there is a darkness looming that signifies what more there is to come.

‘Astrum Argenteum’ (a spiritual order created by occultist Aleister Crowley) is one of those that has been present in their live set; however the recorded version is an entirely different beast. The vocal harmonies provide a respite from an intensity that captivates, grabs a firm hold and does not relent. This track presents an almost sinister edge as the darkness hinted at in its predeceasing track is brought forward.

‘Bring Out The Dead’ with its harpsichord-esque underlying sound feels more upbeat and the creative use of joint vocal interludes is playful before the full onset of TCODK noise after some two and a half minutes. This interplay leads nicely into ‘Waltz Of The Morgellons’, (a delusional disorder centred on the belief that one is infested with inanimate material) which continues in a similar style, except with an instrumental persuasion. ‘Tunnel In The Clouds’ is another mostly instrumental number, with some vocal harmonies thrown in for good measure. There is a feel that these two tracks and their placement together on the track listing act as a reprieve from the overwhelming intensity which has preceded, allowing a moment of reflection, a musical interlude, allowing one to sit comfortably before they continue.

‘Raven & Rockets’ returns to the noise and intensity, with hints of Bauhaus and Sisters of Mercy in places especially with the dark vocals, only lightened by their accompaniment. The guitars and keys work in unison, with added tambourine, to create a hypnotic sound which draws the listener into an intriguing aural soundscape. ‘Nothing Left to stay For’ is another track which will be familiar to anyone who has seen them live in the past year, with its electronic drum pad providing an entirely different backdrop. The heavy electronic theme makes this the one that people want to dance too, channelling vibes from the likes of Dead Can Dance and Love And Rockets; a nod to both the past in its influences and the future in what TCODK are aiming for. ‘I Can See You’ is something completely different again with a vamped up electro beat.

‘Hole in the Whole’ is back to the more traditional TCODK sound, with a particularly haunting synth riff repeated mercilessly. In fact, it is the repetition which makes this track hypnotic in quality, the drums almost creating a sway within the sound. We move straight into ‘Exterminating Angels’, a track offering up more than a hint of a sound that any Black Rebel Motorcycle Club fan would appreciate. The instrumental segment displays their skills as musicians, a complexity of sound working in unison. ‘Deepest Pit of Emptiness’ hints at prog influences, but when delivered in a TCODK style the result is interesting and profound.

Concluding track ‘Broken Arm of God’ was the first single to come from the LP and is the kick that’s ends the album with a bang. When discussing this song, TCODK said that they “wanted it to sound like a volcano giving birth to an atomic bomb”. Now whilst one can only imagine what that may sound like, I think it’s far to say volume is the key emphasis. It would be easy to confuse volume with a lack of substance, but that is not the case here; there is put forward structurally complex elements which have been written and recorded with such precision that all are at the forefront of the sound simultaneously, whilst at the same time dipping in and out of awareness.

The band are the first to admit that this is an album rooted in darkness; “The new album deals with the theme of uncertainty, and put more simply – the end” – this resonates clearly throughout. And yet it feels very much like this is more like the beginning for TCODK, the dawning of a new sound which will thrust them forward into a higher plain of consciousness. It is clear to see why this record is receiving so much attention; it’s a work of art in its own right.

Goodbye to the Light can be ordered here

Release Date 21/07/2016 (Fuzz Club Records)

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Lover of all things psych and shoegaze and the mind behind Astral Elevator; constantly seeking new musical experiences in a world full of noise.