This seems to be the last piece of the mystical-musical puzzle started by Zorn. I’m still in love with the insanely brilliant “Ipsissimus” released in 2010, followed by “Templars-In Sacred Blood” in 2012.
Zorn formed in 2006 the hardcore voice/bass/drums trio of Mike Patton, Trevor Dunn, and Joey Baron which became known as the Moonchild Trio.
Moonchild is the title of a novel written by Aleister Crowley in 1917. Its plot involves a magical war between a group of white magicians, led by Simon Iff, and a group of black magicians over an unborn child. In the novel, numerous acquaintances of Crowley appear as thinly disguised fictional characters. Crowley portrays MacGregor Mathers as the primary villain, including him as a character named SRMD, using the abbreviation of Mathers’ magical name. Arthur Edward Waite appears as a villain named Arthwaite, and the unseen head of the Inner Circle of which SRMD was a member, “A.B.” is theosophist Annie Besant.
Same year two albums of Zorn’s compositions performed by the trio were released: “Moonchild: Songs Without Words” 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 followed by “Ipsissimus”, both of which featured guitarist Marc Ribot.
“Ipsissimus” is the highest grade of attainment in A∴A∴ (Argentium Astrum/Arcanum Arcanorum) – the Order found in 1907 by Aleister Crowley and George Cecil Jones as the successor of Golden Dawn. According to this, an Ipsissimus is free from limitations and necessity and lives in perfect balance with the manifest universe. Essentially, the highest mode of attainment. This grade corresponds to Kether on the Tree of Life. Ipsissimus is quite hard to translate directly from Latin to English, but it is essentially the superlative of “self”, translating rather approximately to “His most Selfness,” or “self-est.”
“Ipsissimus” was pure, consolidated genius and madness.
In a formula without Marc Ribot, but with John Medeski on organ, Moonchild returned in 2012. Written by Zorn, 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.
In the same formula as last time – Joey Baron – drums, Trevor Dunn – bass, John Medeski – Organ and Mike Patton – voice – Moonchild are back with the last – and essential – piece of this outstanding septology. And once again inspired by the legend of the powerful Knights Templar and their tragic demise under accusations of heresy in 1307, Zorn has composed a suite of pieces with a strong sense of continuity and emotional impact – sonic turbulence.
Almost calm and uplifting moments as “Le Tombeau d Jaques de Molay” and twisted out and shattered grindings as the opening “Tria Prima” are all elements of the same occult (hidden) universe. Medeski’s organ are completely integrated in this construction while Patton explosive and colourful interpretation it’s disturbing as always. The rhythm section it’s also absolutely brilliant.
Maybe it’s not suitable for everybody, but it’s definitively the essence of mystical music journey.
01 – Tria Prima
02 – Trinity
03 – Resurrection
04 – Le Tombeau d Jaques de Molay
05 – Sleepy Hollow
06 – Friday the 13th
07 – Misericordia
08 – Incant
09 – Slipway
Joey Baron: Drums
Trevor Dunn: Bass
John Medeski: Organ
Mike Patton: Voice