Before Mizmor and before Hell, there was Sorceress. From 2008 to 2011, Sorceress was part of the stoner rock explosion of the early oughts. The members included A.L.N. of Mizmor and M.S.W. of Hell, who previously played together in Love Machine. Since that point, both of those solo projects have been decorated with accolades and acclaim. But Sorceress has remained tragically underheard outside of Salem, Oregon. That ends now. After 14 years, the lone Sorceress album Beneath the Mountain has finally been rescued from obscurity. After a fresh remaster, King Volume Records tattooed the album on wax for the first time (due out in March). Today Decibel Magazine presents one of our favorite tracks from the record, “Nine Muses.”
Don’t play “Nine Muses” expecting the blackened extremity of Mizmor or Hell. This is stoner doom through and through, albeit an exceptional offering of the genre. The band admits that Vermont rockers Witch were a big inspiration, and that’s easiest to hear on today’s exclusive stream. The song is drenched in occult grime and hallucinogenic vocals. But the guitars from A.L.N. and Blake Ferrin have an extra bite of heavy fuzz that starts around the 4 minute mark. That additional edge creates darker shadows throughout “Nine Muses,” down to the nightmarish psychedelic swirl of the song’s denouement.
“”Nine Muses” is one of the older songs on Beneath the Mountain and really epitomizes the sound Sorceress was striving for at the time,” A.L.N. shares. “I was greatly influenced by the band Witch while writing this record, and I think that is most evident in this track. I feel the song is kind of the North Star of the record, laying out all the aural pathways you are about to be led down over the course of the rest of the album, in an almost overture-like way. “Nine Muses” is the first example of released music that contains my now-signature vocal shriek, as heavily inspired by the Nazgûl in Lord of the Rings. You hear it at the end of the track and at times it’s almost whale-call-esque. This vocal style is scattered across the record as a sonic theme, alluding to the layers of fantasy and lore in the lyrics.
“Though LOTR was the main influence in that respect,” A.L.N. continues, “Greek mythology takes a close second, which is where the title “Nine Muses” comes from. The song also has crumbs of Zoroastrian and Christian lore sprinkled throughout. Though rich in symbolism, the track is actually about heartbreak; pining loss of love on the heels of a severed romance that was important in my life. Back then, I heavily veiled the meaning of everything I wrote to the point of being almost nonsensical to the casual reader or listener. I must have felt my experiences weren’t interesting enough, so I tried to turn them into the type of epic story that I loved.”
Surrender to the spells of Sorceress and play “Nine Muses” below.
Pre-order Beneath the Mountain on Bandcamp HERE
Or from King Volume Records directly HERE