Words by Sean Moeller, Illustration by Johnnie Cluney, Sound engineering by Mike Gentry
We are hurting. So we make it go away by feeling everything in that pain, by letting it consume us in ways that we've never let anything ever consume us. We are welcoming a full invasion of these awful and ruthless emotions - the ones that always dress themselves in the devil's black, with rotten-ed out eyes and breaths that make paint peel from the gloomiest walls. We want the pain to pour itself on, breaking us down into the pulp that we are so that when all of the rattling and tumult is finished, we'll be able to open our eyes again, wipe them clean of the dirt and the water, start to hear again something other than a terror-like roar of "healing" or "improvement" and we'll see that most everything is still as it was when the onslaught began however long ago it was. This process is not really for everyone, as it seems to take you to the depths of a body where all of the horrors are amplified after they've been introduced to you, but then again, nothing's universal and when someone is broken, they'll try anything to not be broken anymore, even if the side effects are scary. Here we are stood, face to face with our darkest thoughts, our regrets and all of the lingering sadness - the words that will forever be trapped and unsaid. Midnight Masses, a Brooklyn band that is essentially the writings and work that resulted from Autry Rene Fulbright's loss of his father, makes death somehow hurt more, even from afar, even when it's the death of someone we've never known. Fulbright wrote these songs with the help of Jason Reece, guitarist for …And You Will Know Us By The Trail Of Dead, but they are lyrically rooted in this most unsympathetic and unexpected death. Fulbright plumbs the very bottoms of what all of his clustered and bleary, odd and disjointed pangs of confusion and remorse are telling him, impressing upon him. He explores the lengths of these very dark voices and struggling venoms, intermixing the thoughts that are homegrown and of himself with the teachings of ancient religions, stories and myths and newer religions, letting it all bleed into one gloriously ambitious and rambling splotch. He's taken everything that's turning, everything that's weighing on him, everything that's no longer weighing on him, all of the everything, all of the nothing and emptiness and just thrown it against the wall in the middle of a room that's been shuttered off from all sunlight and seen what kinds of movements it makes with the shadowy whispers. Fulbright, who played for a time in Dragons of Zynth, finds such brutally heartbreaking and ingenious ways of confronting his pains associated with the death of his father and putting them into a context that feels right for him, even in all its discomfort. He doesn't shy away from pulling back the covers, opening his eyes and sinking himself into the unpleasant realities of losing someone and finding out what that makes you afterwards because you've stopped being the same person in relation to what you were. And you didn't have the choice. The music is brooding and open, daring and depressing and inside of it there's no escaping.