IIVII releasing double album ft. mems of Soundgarden, Swans, Dillinger Escape Plan, more
IIVII, the project of A Storm of Light leader and former Neurosis visual artist Josh Graham, will follow his 2017 album Invasion (and 2019 EP Obsidian) with a new double album, Grinding Teeth / Zero Sleep, on March 20 via Consouling Sounds (pre-order). Josh says, "Grinding Teeth and Zero Sleep are individual albums that work together, exploring the grey areas between black and white, light and dark, life and death, good and evil, truth and fiction."
Grinding Teeth has some pretty exciting guests, including Kim Thayil (Soundgarden), Sarah Pendleton (SubRosa), Jo Quail, Dana Schechter (Insect Ark, Swans), Benjamin Weinman (The Dillinger Escape Plan), and more.
Here's more on the premise of each album:
Grinding Teeth - the inspired soundtrack to the true-life love story of Duane and Debra Johnson.
Battling multiple health and mental illness issues, Debra Johnson asked her husband, Duane, to remove her from a medical facility so she could die at home. Over the next 5 days, they had an extended "death party;” smoking methamphetamine, listening to Quiet Riot and having sex. After Debra died in Duane’s arms, he wrapped her in linen and called the police. When they arrived on scene, Duane was standing naked near the front door, screaming that his wife was dead. The words "Death Parde God Hell" were spray-painted across the door.
Touching on themes of love, death, drug use, sex and criminality, Grinding Teeth features guitars, drums, electric violin and cello, lap steel and electronic instrumentation.
The album cover for Grinding Teeth uses "crystal meth” arranged in the form of Lucifer’s sigil. This imagery plays off of Duane’s spray painted door and works as a contrast to Zero Sleep’s cross, while also referencing the surreal darkness of this story.
Zero Sleep - the adapted score from Thomas D. Rotenberg's sci-fi short film, Don’t Forget to Remember.
After humanity loses its ability to sleep, mass displacement ensues. Unnamed black pills are distributed to the people by governments at camps around the world. Highly controlled and coveted, these pills provide the only possibility of sleep; while an overdose of the pills opens up an unexpected path to salvation.
Touching on themes of hope, despair, love and liberation, Zero Sleep features a live string trio, live vocals and electronic instrumentation.
The album cover for Zero Sleep uses black capsules arranged to form a surrounded cross. The pills symbolize a path to sanity and salvation, huddled around their symbol of hope.
Check out the artworks and credits for both albums below, alongside a stream of the haunting, ambient "Sun and Solace" from Zero Sleep, which premieres in this post.
1. Crystalline Beasts
2. Disappearing Self
3. Bell Ringer
4. Sing Your Death Song
5. Coda. Ascending Ardor
6. Wrapped in Linen
7. Afterglow (Little Black and White Things)
Mastered by James Plotkin
Mixed by Josh Graham
Composed by Josh Graham with Special guests.
Kim Thayil – Guitar on Disappearing Self
Sarah Pendleton – Violin on Crystalline Beasts and Afterglow
Jo Quail – Cello on Disappearing Self, Sing Your Death Song and Ascending Ardor
Dana Schechter – Lap steel guitar on Sing Your Death Song
Gregory Simons – Drums on Crystalline Beasts. Percussion on Bell Ringer and Afterglow. Keys on Afterglow.
Billy Graves – Drums on Sing Your Death Song
Shane Ocell – Drums on Afterglow
Benjamin Weinman – Guitar on Afterglow
1. All of Us Refugees
3. This Chrysalis
4. Sun and Solace
5. White Light
7. Sleeping Dreaming
8. Coalescing Bodies
Adaptations from the original score for Don’t Forget to Remember.
Directed by Thomas D. Rotenberg.
Mastered by James Plotkin
Mixed by Matt Labozza
Composed by Josh Graham
Vocals – Mathilde Smessaert
Orchestrated by Hannes Vanlancker
Recorded at Amann Studios, Vienna, Austria.
Engineered by Christoph Amann.
Produced by Alfredo Ovalles
Violin – Dalina Ugarte
Cello – Loukia Loulaki
Contrabass – Rubén Sánchez