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CD Feature/ Kiss the Anus of a Black Cat: "The Nebulous Dreams"

img  Tobias

Your grandmother will call it the “good old times”, but when Stef Heeren looks into the past, all he sees are premonitions and helpless stabs at avoiding the inescapable. He raises his hands towards the sky, his voice turns into the organ of a preacher and his audience into an apocalyptic congregation baying for tales of horror and stories of pain.

The title of Heeren’s latest effort with his current band Kiss the Anus of a Black Cat is therefore to be understood less as a lullaby and more as mysterious message from the realms of midnight mutterings and Freud’ean metaphors. Consciously conceived as an excursion into “more doomy kind of waters roused by absurd and cosmic streams”, this concise thirty-minute three-track album penetrates forbidden layers purposely withheld from immediate attention by the protective powers of the mind.

Kiss the Anus of a Black Cat have always regarded form and traditional song structure as inferior to following an immersive stream of consciousness. And yet, pieces are remarkably spacious and expansive even gauged by their own standards this time around. The sanguine fantasies of morbid mantra “Dyptich”, orbiting the line “Some of us are bleeding children”, takes nine minutes to come full fircle and opener “Between Skylla and Charybdis” even meanders through the darkened valleys of its imposive three-note bass-line and hypnotically beebuzzing wall of paranoid strings for a full quarter of an hour.

The band has hardly ever been this epic before and yet, it has miraculously maintained its meditative minimalism. Bombast and “delusions of grandeur” definitely have no place in this crassly dissected cosmos and all tracks rely mainly on repetitive chord schemes as a basis for rich timbral and melodic ornamentation. “Between Skylla and Charybdis”, especially, is driven by a fluent vocal line, culminating in a soothing and hymnical polyphonic finale: “Doubt the Rain but the rain will come. Oh! I have seen your storm.”

Paradoxically, then, despite the “Nebulous Dream” firmly constituting a group-effort and despite its ambitious compositional aspirations, Heeren is firmly in the focus, almost like a heliocentric sun. His voice, frightened and fearless at the same time, acts as a guide through these music-made nightmares, leading the listener onwards along the edge of the razor. As bizarre and repulsive as some his visions may be, his persona offers the last recognisable traces of humanity within a mangled and deformed parallel reality haunted by teeth-baring ghouls, wicked rain, piercing thorns and mumbling reflexes.

It might be surprising at first that such a world should come to a completely earthly and consoling conclusion with the gentle Folk of “Miserere”. But then again, this relatively short coda may be nothing but a materialisation of the cleansing the audience has just gone through. After all these tales of horror and stories of pain are left behind, the good old times can finally begin.

"The Nebulous Dreams" by Kiss the Anus of a Black Cat will be released by Conspiracy Records on September 23rd.

By Tobias Fischer

Homepage: Kiss the Anus of a Black Cat
Homepage: Conspiracy Records

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