Doomy sludge metal trio Bleeth‘s highly anticipated debut LP Geomancer is out now on Anti-Language Records! Hailing from Miami, FL, this band has been creating music and touring since their EP release in 2015. Also on tap today is a brand new music video for horror b-movie inspired “Divulging Souls”! It stars Casey Toimil, a Miami musician from the band Snake Hole. The video was directed by BK Adams for Figbox Video.
Geomancer opens with “VIA”– a lowlit, ominous track holding the listener in suspense. It gives an atmosphere that pulls you in. A psychadelic noise brings us to “A Lapse”, where the album gets real heavy real quick. They play like an unstoppable force, fast and then slow, it really feels like their own brand of doom metal. It feels like a hypnotic jam session after a while, as any doom song should, but Lauren’s vocals belt out in a way that just feels almighty. The tone is brought back down to what we heard on the first track before “Revenant” begins. This song feels much more stripped down at first, showing off the band’s range, but of course it consistently gives us a taste of psych metal.
One of the strongest points of the album for me is “Divulging Souls” for which the above music video accompanies. This is straight sludgy doom at its most powerful. Lauren’s vocals are much different here than on the rest of the album, very enticing and ghostly, which really matches the suspenseful aesthetic of the video. There’s a lot going on in this song and it makes for an excellent showcase of Bleeth’s range of sound.
“Populus” is a beautiful, lowkey noise track that brings the heart rate back down for a bit. “Mercury” opens with a similar vibe, it’s still very dark and driving, but in a slower, doomy way. The ending even has some synthy, shoegaze elements to it. There are minimal vocals as atmosphere is clearly the emphasis in this song. “Caput Draconis” is nothing like the previous noise/interlude tracks– this one’s got a lot of creepy whispers and a haunting, alien, but almost pretty feeling about it.
“Deliverance” is the perfect metal track to come out of this peaceful interlude. It’s probably the most uplifting doom song on Geomancer (and obviously we know where the bar is there), but moreso than that it feels ritualistic. The vocals are once again extremely different from those on the rest of the album. The guitar line that finishes out the song is my favorite on all of Geomancer. “Blood Moon” brings back that “big” doom sound we love from Bleeth. It really feels like the whole album has been leading up to this. This is probably the most vocal heavy song on Geomancer as well, and the melodies are incredible over the metal beats. Final track “Ingested Breath” is the fastest song on Geomancer– in fact it feels like a real headbanging party!
Here is my interview with the band!
Q: How and when did you form Bleeth? Were you in bands prior to this?
Bleeth was formed in 2015 in the ashes of Lauren (guitar) and Ryan (bassist) previous band. We wanted to start taking things a little bit slower in tempo and create a heavier vibe. We are all very inspired by the bands we were listening to in Miami at the time, Bleeth was really just a natural progression. As soon as we jammed with Juan, our drummer, who had previously played in bands in Colombia, we knew he was the right fit.
Q: What is the metal scene like in Miami? Is there overlap with other scenes?
The Music scene in Miami is pretty tight knit all around. We are so separated from the rest of the country that I feel we tend to stick together and inspire one another. The metal scene we are a part of defiantly overlaps with the punk, noise and for lack of a better word alternative scenes. At any given show you will have all types of people in the audience not just metal heads, with an array of intermixing between the genres in the lineups. I would say the music is on par with the diversity of the city (Miami).
Q: Are you all into tarot, the occult, etc? What is your affiliation with that?
I think we all are very much interested in the occult in its various forms, tarot and symbolism of things in genral. Lauren has a clothing company called Deep Antiquity whose roots are firmly planted in the occult. Ryan’s always been really into all things astronomical/Scientific with an old love for DnD and storytelling. Juan (Drummer) also can’t stay away from drawing and exploring art firmly rooted in all things esoteric.
Q: What was your writing process like for Geomancer? I understand this is unlike your previous songs.
We wanted the album to be something that you can turn on and listen to from start to finish and that has continuity in the moments between songs. We used a lot of instrumentation to make the “noise” parts of those in-between sections. French horn, Cello, Viola, and Analogue Synths all running through distortion and effects to compose these sections. Compared to our EP, Geomancer comes packing a heavier punch. Usually in the writing process we start out with a riff and will build together from there, stopping to think where we want to take the listener next, how we want them to feel. Where always trying to push ourselves to new sonic territory even if its bending and warping the perceived genre.
Q: Did you run into any hurdles while creating the album? How long did it take from start to finish?
It took us about a year to finish the album. Between life happening for all of us and the actual process. Recording took much longer than we anticipated. It was great recoding with Davin Sosa who has a refined ear for timing and pitch, and also happens to be the drummer for Miami natives Shroud Eater. As soon as we got those stems cleaned up and sent to mix with Ryan Haft (of Capsule/Wrong) everything was pretty smooth. We knew we were in good hands with Haft who shares a common vision and passion for the sounds and tones we were working towards.
Q: Can you explain the cover art and how it relates to the music?
The cover art is a Geode with a geomantic figure in the background.
The title ‘Geomancer’ comes from Geomancy which is a method of earth divination that can be determined through rock formations. We sought out to create a unique mythos for the songs in the album. Each track has a Geomantic figure attributed to it. The meaning of each figure was used as a guide in developing the mood and feel of the songs. Instead of providing lyrics we choose instead to give short descriptions, meant to be told as interpretive readings for the listener experiencing the album.
Q: What are your top 3 favorite albums?
Lauren: Acid King-‘Busse Woods’ , Portishead-‘Third’
Ryan: Godflesh-‘Streetcleaner’, Kraftwerk-‘Trans Europe Express’, Swans-‘Holy Money’
Juan: Nasum –‘ Inhale/Exhale’, Blonde Redhead – ‘23’, Bjork – ‘Homogenic’
Q: Your new music video is incredible! What was your inspiration for the horror approach?
We worked on this video with Bryan Adams who makes videos in Miami under the name Figbox. We came up with the idea together. Really wanted to have a 80s horror throwback vibe to it just because we are all quite fond of that aesthetic. We got really excited at the idea of making it in the styling of a short film. We felt like people are always making the typical videos these days showing off playing in a tight space and just rocking which is definitely always sick, however we wanted to do something a little different, that appealed to our more creative side.
Q: What are some of your favorite horror movies? Do you like any newer horror films?
A few of the classics for us would be ‘Carrie’ (1976) ‘The Fly’ (1986) ‘Nosferatu’ (1922) ‘Videodrome’ (1983) ‘Santa Sangre’ (1989) ‘The Thing’ (1982) ‘The Shining’ (1980). Definitely into the older stuff but as far as the new(er) films ‘28 days later’ for sure, ‘Mulholland Drive’ there are some great recent foreign films too like ‘let the right one in’ (2008) from Sweden and ‘The Host’ from S. Korea.