Jan 11, 2008

silmaril (rare earth XIX)

silmaril - voyage of icarus (1973)

Awash in fuzz boxes and acid trips, the dozens of other overlooked groups from the psychedelic era bear little resemblance to Silmaril. While others buzzed within the hippie epicenters of Haight Street and the Lower East Side, Silmaril formed in haunted, industrial Milwaukee. Other bands might have met at a love-in; Silmaril were friends from a Catholic youth retreat bound together by a doomed figure in the eccentric madman tradition of Syd Barrett, Roy Harper and Mel Lyman by the name of Matthew Peregrine. The Voyage of Icarus captures the dark, mysterious, and achingly beautiful acid folk & Christian themed psychedelic sounds that emanated from 1973’s privately pressed album, Given Time... Or the Several Roads, and their dormant, unreleased follow up No Mirrored Temple.
Few have pondered harder than Matthew Peregrine, creative director of the churchy early ‘70s folk ensemble Silmaril. The group met at a Catholic youth retreat, and Peregrine was a practicing Catholic Pentacostal. (The Pentacostals are the ones who believe that, to be saved, they must go beyond gossiping and mumbling hymns, have a “personal relationship” with God, and let the Big Fella breathe down their necks at all times.) The Silmaril kids were also, as some of you may have discerned by now, fascinated with the thick arcania of Tolkein. But it wasn’t just a filtered fascination with the black art of imagination that gave Silmaril’s music a self-destructive edge. No, Matthew Peregrine was very, very gay, and no amount of evangelical fervor could change the tingle in his loins. Years after Silmaril dissolved, he became a hardcore leatherman. But, right here, we’re stuck in his conflicted, ascetic, gay-for-Jesus hell. And, man, is it compelling. Silmaril cut one LP in its time on this earth, the weirdly forlorn (but disturbingly optimistic!) Given Time or the Several Roads. It consisted mostly of acoustic ballads, usually detached (in a wannabe-mystic sort of way) but sometimes remarkably tender and wise (“Given Time”). The voices, both male and female, bleed a poisoned irony that can only come from extreme self-consciousness, and thus drink deep of the mortal pain that gives music soul. This is no hippie freakout. This is a deep, resonant conflict. It’s art defined by elements in its creators that they could not release through any other avenue.

Y comienza 'Poustinia'... y lo hace uno de los discos más sugerentes que recuerdo. Ha sido recuperado y redescubierto por Locust para nuestra fortuna. Todo un rare earth que tengo de camino a casa. En 'The Voyage of Icarus' se descubre un acid-folk cristiano que más allá de ornamentaciones y ambientes oníricos, está maniatado por un halo de misterio y de cierto vacío en su ambiente, así, van liberando en bellísimas canciones sus confesiones. 19 canciones son y ninguna abandona lo acústico, en ellas, las evocadores y sugerentes voces conducen a unas melodías del amanecer y entre tanto, alguna vez, el fervor cristiano se cuela por la ventana. Cuando se acaba, a uno se la hace difícil escoger con cual de todas ella le gustaría despertarse al día siguiente, con 'Vespers' quizá. Para colocarlo al lado de Fuchsia, Mellow Candle, Forest o sino, con otros cristianos como Harvest Flight.



Swill said...

this rar file don't work!


gris-gris said...

hi! fixed file, i hope.

Oscar Casali Fuentes said...

¡Hola compañero!

Gracias por compartir los discos. Veo que cada vez se pone más interesante tu blog, ahora con la propia música que comentas...y no solo el tema sino el disco completo. Excelenet.

De paso (y disculpa lo atrasado), que tengas un muy buen 2008 y mucha música por delante. A seguir disfrutándola.


Little Turtle said...


Esto del folk cristiano, de tanto en tanto, trae discazos!

Fdo: The Christian Astronaut