In 2006 John Zorn formed the hardcore voice/bass/drums trio of Mike Patton, Trevor Dunn, and Joey Baron which became known as the Moonchild Trio. The very same year the trio performed and released two albums of Zorn’s compositions: “Moonchild: Songs Without Words” – an album inspired in part by Aleister Crowley, Antonin Artaud and Edgard Varèse and “Astronome”. A third album with the trio, but also featuring Zorn, Ikue Mori, Jamie Saft and chorus, “Six Litanies for Heliogabalus”, was released in 2007. Their fourth release “The Crucible” appeared in 2008, and “Ipsissimus” – one of the best albums of 2010 and my personal favorite albums of all time – was released in 2010.
Now Joey Baron – Drums, Trevor Dunn – Bass, John Medeski – Organ and Mike Patton – Voice are back with the 6th CD in the Moonchild legacy. All songs was written by Zorn and they spend over one year in the making. Disturbing and tumultuous, sometimes extremely intense or silently subtle, the 8 songs of “Templars-In Sacred Blood” will take the listeners into another mystical journey.
The album is a testament-tribute to the mysterious, monastic cult of warriors known as the Knights Templar, who were established and recognized by the Catholic Church somewhere near 1128 and the Poor Fellow-Soldiers of Christ and the Temple of Solomon, the legendary crusading Warrior-Monks whose 200-year rise to power ended abruptly when they in 1307 when many of the Order’s members in France were arrested, tortured into giving false confessions, and then burned at the stake. Under pressure from King Philip, Pope Clement V disbanded and excommunicated the Order in 1312 for heresy, allegedly for overtly worshiping Baphomet (Satan).
John Medeski’s organ makes them a quartet this time and adds a deeply religious tone and dramatic shades to the album. Patton’s versatility is at its peak, and he sings everything – as always, but still surprisingly – from Gregorian Chants and atonal melodies to hardcore screams, taut spoken word or mysterious whispers. The Dunn-Baron rhythm section it is tight and groove as it should, Dunn bring up sometimes some murderous riffs while Baron is extremely sensitive and expressive behind his drum kit.
Probably one of the darkest, on the other hand one of the most accessible albums of the Moonchild experiment by far.