Sons Of Perdition ‎– The Kingdom Is On Fire

Label:
GraveWax Records ‎– GRAVEWAX 79006
Format:
CD
Country:
Released:
Genre:
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Tracklist

1 This Land Is Cursed 2:58
2 The Party 4:24
3 Anhelo 5:18
4 There Is A Judgement 3:10
5 Blood In The Valley 5:38
6 Burial At Sea 5:51
7 Cannibals Of Rotenburg 1:36
8 All He Wants (Is My Blood) 2:07
9 An End To All Flesh 1:57
10 Death Of A Shuckster 2:52
11 The Legend Of Saw Jones 3:30
12 Fall To Your Knees 5:30
13 I Wanna Go To Heaven 3:29

Credits

Notes

All words and music written and performed by Zebulon Whatley. Except the most holy sermon in Blood in the Valley by the inimitably loathsome Lonesome Wyatt; the string quartet in Burial at Sea written by the nefarious Seth Flemming with violin performed by the most gracious Tamara Cauble.

Barcode and Other Identifiers

  • Barcode: 837101317306

Reviews

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streetmouse

streetmouse

May 24, 2017
I feel kind of strange, kind of spooky, kind of disingenuous, kind of like I’m seeing a crime in the making, and instead of calling the authorities, I’m standing transfixed, waiting, watching to see what perversion of mind and spirt will be unveiled next. And according to Zebulon Whatley, the leader of this deeply country gothic excursion, perhaps cultish endeavor, who says, “I make songs that shouldn’t be heard.” That being said, I can not imagine standing among those at a live venue, those whom he would attract, and what unmanageable messes encompass their minds.

Everything about his records, and this review is designed to encompass all of the Sons of Perdition albums, is bewilderingly bizarre, and not in the sense of some sort of displaced overt nature of despair, or the infliction of pain, but in the matter of fact nature of it all, as if Zebulon is putting things he’s actually witnessed or been apart of to song, in a manner of immersion, where he’s subconsciously saying “Look what I’ve been party to … “ Though, perhaps all and all, this is simply Twin Peaks taken to the next level.

Growing up in the town of Elkhart, Texas with a population of nearly 1000, most of what we know of Zebulon Whatley is a secret, so secret that we don’t even know his actual name, with Zebulon Whatley being a pseudonym, but even that meaning is in dispute, with some favoring the notion that ‘Zebulon’ is a reference to Zebulon Montgomery Pike, and his last name referencing sheriff Wills Whatley, both of whom lived during the first half of the 19th century. Of course others suggest that Zebulon Whatley references ‘Zebulon Whateley’ [with a different spelling] a character who makes several appearances in stories by H.P. Lovecraft. It’s claimed by Zebulon that he grew up in a very rural area of East Texas, about twenty minutes outside the town of Elkhart, that this real setting absolutely influenced his songwriting, that the religious zealotry, extreme Christian logic, spiritual decay, and abject poverty were things that he witnessed simply by looking out of his front door. He goes on to claim that religion was omnipresent for everyone he knew. In the interview he explains, “I find it easiest to write what I know about. Religion is king where I grew up … I'm never left without source material.” For a couple of years Zebulon Whatley was a devout member of a grim, no-nonsense fire-and-brimstone congregation where the penalties for those whose souls did not embrace the blood of christ would certainly be met with equal amounts of retribution and punishment; all this that have deeply fashioned, perhaps even warping his perceptions of reality, making these songs sound like working scripts for the television series “True Detectives.”

Zebulon’s voice is dark, though not haunting, almost as if he’s speaking while under the influence of hypnosis, or perhaps speaking in tongues, with another far less than benevolent person being channeled through him. His modulation seldom varies, his songs latch on to listeners and drag at their heels, infecting their vision, and I for one wish that I could un-hear some of the things he’s singing about.

There is a defined ethical ambiguity to this music, to these lyrics, to this expression of one man’s inner soul, and his desire to immerse himself forever in the confines and constructs of his past … but then I never had to rescue my sister from my father before she was married off as a teenager, nor did I suffer at the hands of church elders as they manipulated and shaped my mind.

In the end, after all has been said and done, I’m still not sure if this is some sort of edgy aesthetics, or just so much pain that it becomes boring and useless. Either way, I do believe that I’ve said enough … because these stories, these songs, are not simply immersion, this is what happens when the lead character of a movie believes what’s happening is real, this is what happens when what you’re hearing is real. This is where truth smacks up against fiction, this is where you learn that “The Road to Perdition” was far more than a gangster movie.

Review by Jenell Kesler