The Naked Future: We Boil The Raven’s Skull Into Gold


We Boil The Raven’s Skull Into Gold


The Naked Future


Gigantomachia (ESP-Disk ESP 4053)

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Arrington de Dionyso (bass clarinet, contralto clarinet), Thollem McDonas (piano), John Niekrasz (drums), Gregg Skloff (acoustic bass).

Composed by Arrington de Dionyso, Thollem McDonas, John Niekrasz, Gregg Skloff


Recorded: Portland, Oregon August 8, 2008


Rating: 92/100 (learn more)

This isn’t death metal as the title might suggest, but the dirge-like drone caused by Dionyso’s bass clarinet and Skloff’s alternately scraped and plucked low bass notes suggest a similarly dark mood. The two often sound uncannily alike; murmuring together with solemn contemplative overtones, while McDonas and Niekrasz cautiously follow their cues. Whenever an idea presented by Dionyso has run its course, the ensemble simply stops playing for a few moments and regroups to chew on a new abstraction.

About six and a half minutes in, anguished wails from Dionyso signals a piano barrage of Cecil Taylorian proportions that breaks down gradually. Another outburst occurs just thirty seconds from the end to take the song out on a frenetic note.

The group improvisation on “We Boil The Raven’s Skull Into Gold” doesn’t make this so much a song, at least not in the conventional sense. But it’d make a killer soundtrack for a thriller movie.

Reviewer: S. Victor Aaron


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