Album release: “Citadel” by Memnon Sa
Release date: 20 October 2014
Label: Pyramide Noire Records
Listen: on Tumblr
Out from the mists of London emerges Memnon Sa with their debut release ‘Citadel’. Memnon Sa is the new instrumental psych-folk/doom brainchild of the talented Misha Hering (Among the Bones, Holy Mountain Studios). ‘Citadel’ is a masterfully bleak collection of compositions, which combine the crushing suspense of the doom genre aligned against almost Boredoms-esque passages of texture and psychedelic and folk overtones.
You can find comparison for ‘Citadel’ in recent bands by looking to the more atmospheric end of the Doom genre with artists such as Sunn O))) and Boris, but you also find yourself being reminded of dark 1970’s Kraut Rock bands such as Popul Vuh, Tangerine Dream, and Ash Ra Temple which only adds a further transcendental appeal for the album. Memnon Sa lets you make comparisons to these artists and then adds to them further exploring what Misha calls “ancient psychedelia”.
‘Citadel’ works best when experienced as a singular piece of music, but standout tracks such as ‘Heca Emem Ra’ show a dark musical landscape all of its own, sombre but hopeful. By combining an arsenal of instruments such as analogue synths, mellotrons, tape delay and tube amps with undertones of world music you are left with the feeling that you are exploring the dark history of an ancient civilisation.
Memnon Sa creates an environment that combines very primitive forms of excitement and fear, which is very evocative of 1970’s cinema, particularly suspenseful soundtracks such as Solaris and Stalker. This can also be related to more modern films such as Prometheus or Leviathan, which would be suited to the sounds of isolation and mystery that ‘Citidel’ creates. Film is a big influence of Misha’s song-writing process as he states that it is very similar to “what a film composer would be doing, trying to create a musical landscape that evokes certain images”
Albums that manage to merge such a wide variety of styles and exhibit such a multitude of musical landscapes are rare, this is an LP that is drawn from a niche world, but will appeal to many below the surface.
Memnon Sa have produced a debut which is both accomplished and diverse, and only the very start of this journey.