A collaborative project featuring Dead Rat Orchestra, Sons of Joy and Extreme Noise Terror members. Lightenings: My Days Are Gone Like Shadow – debut LP on limited lathe cut vinyl and digital download.
“An exhilarating, vivid album, full of depth, emotion and rich texture” – Wyrd Daze
Release Date 1st February 2023
Album presale on Bandcamp 10am Friday 11th November 2022.
Label: Hypostatic Union
A pagan, a priest and a Muslim walk into Britain’s 15th most haunted pub and ask, “Does anyone have a microphone, please?”
Four days later, these three musicians and friends return to their homes with the album My Days Are Gone Like a Shadow recorded: a heady mix of experimental folk, disintegrating beats, soaring fiddles, whispers and chants, squalling guitars, and ethereal pipe organ.
Based in Cairo, Egypt and Colchester Essex, LIGHTENINGS is Stafford Glover (Enclosed & Silent Order, Extreme Noise Terror), Daniel Merrill (Nujumi, Dead Rat Orchestra, Sons of Joy) and the Rev’d Matthew Simpkins (Rev Simpkins, Sons of Joy). Having travelled a collective 3,500 miles to arrive at Shebbear, the band discovered that they had forgotten their microphones. Installing themselves in the local haunted pub, the Devil Stone Inn, LIGHTENINGS managed to borrow microphones form the landlady and to convince the local vicar to let them record his church organ.
LIGHTENINGS come together once a year to create an album in a location specifically for its local lore, which is drawn upon in the resulting recording. In 2022 they arrived in Shebbear, Devon, home of the Devil Stone. Legend has it that the stone marks the resting place of the Devil after he was cast out of heaven by the archangel Michael, to whom the parish church is dedicated. Michael then trapped him beneath the ground with a stone. The stone, which weighs a tonne, does not match any local geology. At 8pm on 5th November each year, the church bells are rung discordantly and the stone is turned by six locals to ‘keep the devil down’.
The band arrived in Shebbear dealing with their own devils – with one member learning the previous week that his cancer had returned, and the others coping with bereavements. The resulting music is full of the joy of dear friends reunited and sharing creativity, as well as themes of mortality, hope and life.
‘Pelican’ builds from psalm chants and whispers accompanied by rain and violin into heavenly organ drones and clockwork violin pizzicato.
In ‘Turn the Stone’ thunderous fuzz basslines drive swirling beats, plainchant and yells, punctuated by spiky and squalling guitar.
On ‘Blood Sun’ violin and viola interweave with whistles and vocal harmonies before building intensity above a disorienting broken beat offset against relentless bass line.
‘Evensong’ is simple incantation of the Evening Collect from the 1549 Book of Common Prayer accompanied by a disintegrating string quartet and washes of glitching bass and synth noise
‘Bellows’ is a monster constructed from all the sounds a church organ shouldn’t make. It is a living breathing thing created by Dan clambering around and inside an organ loft while Matthew put it through its paces. My Days are Gone Like a Shadow is available as a lathe-cut or download on Hypostatic Union.