Ten years ago, cult label Profound Lore, itself a major force on the rise at the time, put out a record by a somewhat mysterious one-man project from England. It was already said project’s second record, but the first one to be made available to a larger audience, so many of us had their first contact with it through this piece, ominously called Mourner.
The name of the project, Caïna, was suggestive enough to inspire curiosity (Caina, minus the umlaut, is a place on Dante‘s ninth circle of hell), but very few of us could have imagined the depth of the abyss we were about to fall into as we gave it that tentative first spin. While retaining some of the incredibly intense and raw black metal that was at the core of the early demo material, Mourner turned out to be much, much more than an album you could describe with one or two comfortable genre tags. Moody, sombre and profoundly emotional, it uses mazey songwriting and tense atmospheres to create an uneasy listening experience. Even the folk-like acoustic passages, with placid clean vocals punctuating them, feel foreboding and hint at the raging chaos that will eventually follow.
In short, Mourner was a landmark. For black metal, because that is still the genre sort of closer to it, it was one of the few good occasions to use the “post” prefix aptly, and it showed how many boundaries can be broken if you approach extreme music and its “square” genres with a fresh mind and an inventive spirit. That all of it was the work of just one man, a Mr. Andrew Curtis-Brignell, who didn’t really feel the need to hide under some “evil” pseudonym even then, just made it all the more visceral and organic. It was the record that made Caïna a well-known name in the European underground, and since then, it has been a prolific and significant entity.
Several musicians have been added to the line-up with time, most notably vocalist Laurence Taylor who has been the most consistent presence, and throughout the past decade, a few other records from the Caïna discography – like the creepy Temporary Antennae which followed Mourner, the gigantic Hands That Pluck, which closed a cycle and signaled a small hiatus, or last year’s nasty, vicious Christ Clad In White Phosphorus – turned into underground classics that rival Mourner‘s impact. Sadly, last October, Andrew announced the end of Caïna, focusing on his future solo work under his own name, his other project Ritual Object, or his participation in Crowhurst.
However, in 2017, Mourner will be ten years old, and some opportunities just need to be seized. So we invited Caïna to celebrate this anniversary in the same form as Mourner was originally born – Andrew Curtis-Brignell, alone, as Caïna, will therefore perform the Mourner tenth anniversary set, a unique, once-in-a-lifetime occasion to hear this cult classic performed almost in its entirety, plus a few other bonuses Andrew has in store for us. We talked to him recently and he is as excited as we are about all this: “Although I’ve never managed to go, because I’m a penniless screwup, Roadburn feels like a pilgrimage point for anyone passionate about groundbreaking music. I can’t really put into words how excited and honoured I am to be playing this year and to just experience the festival as a whole – it may sound hyperbolic but it feels like being called up to the Majors or something,” he told us, and we are humbled to be held in such high regard.
“I’m thrilled to be putting together this exclusive set of material from Mourner (with a few other selections from my first three albums). With the tenth anniversary of the album’s release looming this year I had been wanting to revisit it, and Roadburn feels like the perfect place to do that. It’s still my most popular record with my listeners and was really my breakthrough – the first time anyone took me seriously – and I’m so proud that the Roadburn crew asked me to revisit it before I even brought it up. Whilst Mourner was a critical success in 2007, to a certain extent it never quite found its audience and has remained something of a cult favourite. Although Caïna is redundant as a project, I’m returning to a lot of the album’s themes in my forthcoming solo record, and to a lesser extent in my side project Ritual Object, meaning that this set comes at the perfect time for both me and the music. Playing solo again after a couple of years as a duo is a challenge, but I can’t wait to give it my best shot for the best festival in the world.”
We can’t wait either, Andy.
Caïna will perform this unique set at Roadburn, at the 013 venue, on Sunday, April 23.
José Carlos Santos
Roadburn Festival 2017 will take place April 20-23 at the 013 venue, Tilburg, The Netherlands. Tickets are now on sale!
This entry was posted on Tuesday, January 10th, 2017 at 1:44 pm and is filed under 2017, Festival News . You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.