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HERE LIES MAN

Here Lies Man

Ritual Divination

    Four albums in, the convenient and generalized catchphrase for Here Lies Man’s erudite sound — if Black Sabbath played Afrobeat — might seem a little played out. But Ritual Divination is perhaps the best rendering of the idea so far. Particularly on the Sabbath side of the equation: The guitars are heavier and more blues based than before, but the ancient rhythmic formula of the clave remains a constant.

    “Musically it’s an opening up more to traditional rock elements,” says vocalist/guitarist/ cofounder Marcos Garcia, who also plays guitar in Antibalas. “It’s always been our intention to explore. And, as we travelled deeper into this musical landscape, new features revealed themselves.”

    The L.A. based band comprised of Antibalas members have toured relentlessly following their breakout 2017 self-titled debut. Their second album, You Will Know Nothing and an EP, Animal Noises, both followed in 2018. Third album No Ground To Walk Upon emerged in August 2019. All of them were crafted by Garcia and cofounder/drummer Geoff Mann (former Antibalas drummer and son of jazz musician Herbie Mann) in their L.A. studio between tours. Ritual Divination is their first album recorded as the full 4-piece band, including bassist JP Maramba and keyboardist Doug Organ.

    Ritual Divination continues with an ongoing concept of HLM playing the soundtrack to an imaginary movie, with each song being a scene. “It’s an inward psychedelic journey, the album is the trip,” Garcia says. “The intention and purpose of the music is to create a sonic ritual to lift the veil of inner space and divine the true nature of reality.”

    Likewise, musically and sonically, the album is self-reflexive. “On this album the feel changes within a song,” Garcia says. “Whereas before each song was meant to induce a trancelike state, now more of the songs have their own arc built in.” Similarly, the guitar sounds themselves herein eschew the fuzz pedals of previous recordings, going for the directness of pure amp overdrive and distortion using an interconnected rig of 4 amplifiers. And, here, the well-versed live band is able to record as a unit, giving it much more of a live and dynamic feel.

    Rough Trade named the band’s self-titled debut in their prestigious Top 10 Albums of 2017. BBC 6 & Classic Rock Magazine deemed it among the year’s best, as well as countless other press outlets singing its praises. Each subsequent album furthered the band’s reputation for genre-smashing rhythmic experimentation, topping many year-end lists as well as earning features from countless metal and indie rock outlets, plus cover stories in weekly papers.

    “We’re very conscious of how the rhythms service the riffs,” Garcia explains. “Tony Iommi’s (Black Sabbath) innovation was to make the riff the organizing principle of a song. We are taking that same approach but employing a different organizing principle: For Iommi it was the blues, for us it comes directly from Africa.”

    STAFF COMMENTS

    Barry says: Here Lies Man amp up the groove on their latest outing 'Ritual Divination', taking them from a more percussion-based sound into the stoner drawl and half-speed Sabbathy grind that suits them so well. Psychedelic and heavy without being wandering, a brilliant step forwards for the band.

    TRACK LISTING

    Side A
    1. In These Dreams
    2. I Told You (You Must Die)
    3. Underland
    4. What You See
    5. Night Comes
    Side B
    1. Come Inside
    2. Collector Of Vanities
    3. Disappointed
    4. The Fates Have Won
    5. Out Goes The Night

    7" Bonus Tracks:
    Side A - Run Away Children
    Side B - I Wander

    CD Tracklisting:
    1. In These Dreams
    2. I Told You (You Shall Die)
    3. Underland
    4. What You See
    5. Can't Kill It
    6. Run Away Children
    7. I Wander
    8. Night Comes
    9. Come Inside
    10. Collector Of Vanities
    11. Disappointed
    12. You Would Not See From Heaven
    13. The Fates Have Won
    14. Out Goes The Night
    15. Cutting Through The Tether

    Here Lies Man took the music world by storm in 2017 with their self-titled debut positing the intriguing hypothesis: What if Black Sabbath played Afrobeat?

    Since that time, Here Lies Man has expanded and expounded upon their sound and ideas of heavy riff rock and psych within the ancient rhythmic formula of the clave. The L.A. based band comprised of Antibalas members have toured relentlessly over the past 2 years, while also releasing a second album, You Will Know Nothing and an EP, Animal Noises, both in 2018.

    No Ground to Walk Upon is their third album, and continues with an ongoing concept of HLM playing the soundtrack to an imaginary movie, with each song being a scene. The lead single “Clad in Silver” is the soundtrack snippet of a journey to the imaginary place called home, which can never be arrived at. With every step, the character imagines getting closer, but it is a hallucination that fades in and out of perception.

    Their debut album Here Lies Man was very well reviewed and featured in loads of end of year polls. BBC 6 & Classic Rock Magazine deemed it among the year’s best, as well as countless other press outlets singing its praises. 2018’s You Will Know Nothing furthered the band’s reputation for genre-smashing rhythmic experimentation, topping many year-end lists as well as earning features from countless metal and indie rock outlets, plus cover stories in weekly papers. No Ground to Walk Upon is the next step in the band’s rapid ascent to what is bound to be influential upon riff based rock.

    “We’re very conscious of how the rhythms service the riffs,” explains founder and vocalist/guitarist/multi-instrumentalist Marcos Garcia (who also plays guitar in Antibalas) of the band’s sound. “Tony Iommi’s (Black Sabbath) innovation was to make the riff the organizing principle of a song. We are taking that same approach but employing a different organizing principle: For Iommi it was the blues, for us it comes directly from Africa.”

    No Ground To Walk Upon also includes an interesting conceptual mathematics to the entire proceedings, a theme begun on the prior album. “There are interludes between each song that are 2/3 to 3/4 of the tempo of the previous song,” Garcia says. “The reason it breaks down to 2 over 3 or 3 over 4 is that everything in the music rhythmically corresponds to a set of mathematical algorithms known as the clave. The clave is an ancient organizing rhythmic principle developed in Africa.”

    Garcia and cofounder/drummer Geoff Mann (former Antibalas drummer and son of jazz musician Herbie Mann) recorded the album much like they did their previous releases, at their own L.A. studio on a Tascam 388 8-track tape machine. Additional layers were recorded with former Antibalas keyboardist Victor Axelrod and other contributors in various other locations, all while the band continued its rigorous touring schedule. 


    STAFF COMMENTS

    Barry says: it's pretty impossible not to nod your head along to Here Lies Man, as alluring as the best funk and the most playful rock groove all mixed into one package. Fiery distorted guitar, rhythmic syncopation and hazy, chunky riffage. The Perfect combination.

    TRACK LISTING

    1. Clad In Silver
    2. Swinging From Trees
    3. Long Legs (Look Away)
    4. Washing Bones
    5. Get Ahold Of Yourself
    6. Iron Rattles
    7. Man Falls Down

    Here Lies Man took the music world by storm in 2017 with their self-titled debut positing the intriguing hypothesis: What if Black Sabbath played Afrobeat?

    'We’re very conscious of how the rhythms service the riffs,' explains founder and vocalist / guitarist/ multi-instrumentalist Marcos Garcia (who also plays guitar in Antibalas) of the band’s sound. 'Tony Iommi’s (Black Sabbath) innovation was to make the riff the organizing principle of a song. We are taking that same approach but employing a different organizing principle: For Iommi it was the blues, for us it comes directly from Africa.'

    Sonically, on "You Will Know Nothing" the dynamic range is thicker, crisper and more powerful. It glistens as much as it blasts. The songs are even catchier, more anthemic, and the production reflects that of a band truly come into its own. Lyrically, it’s an equally more conceptualized effort that reflects upon states of being and consciousness — a driving force that carries throughout the words and moods of all of the band’s releases, interconnected to their trancelike music. Here Lies Man have honed their sound and their focus, and soon, you will truly know Nothing.


    Garcia and Mann recorded the album much like they did the debut, at their own L.A. studio on a Tascam 388 8-track tape machine. Congas were later recorded by percussionists Richard Panta and Reinaldo DeJesus. Then, Garcia went to NY to record interludes with former Antibalas keyboardist Victor Axelrod. Mixing took the most time in order to find the proper sonic space for each layer of musical detail, with first album engineer Jeremy Page mixing the drums and the band tackling the remainder while also juggling a hectic touring schedule.


    STAFF COMMENTS

    Barry says: Bringing the frantic, almost percussive snapping guitars over the top of galloping toms and distorted, psychedelic vox, Here Lies Man have presented a fascinating and head-nodding stoner throb to the masses. 'You Will Know Nothing' pits nuanced stoned heft against swooning, psychedelic groove to great effect.

    What if Black Sabbath played Afrobeat? In short, that’s the underlying vibe to the self-titled debut by Here Lies Man. The L.A. based quintet is founded and conceptualized by Marcos Garcia of Antibalas, bringing his erudite experience of West African rhythms and music to the more riff-based foundations of heavy rock. The results are an incredibly catchy and refreshing twist on classic forms, without sounding forced and trite like some sort of mash-up attempt. Here Lies Man merges and expands musical traditions organically, utilizing the talents of drummer Geoff Mann (son of jazz musician Herbie Mann) and a host of skilled musicians to make Garcia’s vision a reality.

    “The repetitive guitar figures that happen in Afrobeat music are
    very close to heavy rock guitar riffs,” Garcia explains. “ This music is based on the clave. It’s the musical algorithm that the rhythms revolve around. It's what gives it integrity and provides the basis for the musical conversation that's happening. I knew I wanted it to be psychedelic and heavy, and I wanted to be expanding on a musical tradition rather than pretending to be creating something new.”

    And that expansion is the brilliant, hazy, psychedelic, hook-laden 8-song masterwork Here Lies Man, available on LP, CD and download on April 7th, 2017 via RidingEasy Records. (Written by Dave Clifford).


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