Wino Wednesday: Wino Guests on Paul Chain’s “Nibiru Dawn”

I won’t pretend to have a grasp on the catalog or progression of Italian doom master Paul Chain (né and now performing under Paolo Catena), and frankly I think most who do are full of shit. From 1977-2003, however, Chain contributed a few pivotal works that continue to find relevance today — his 1991 outing, Whited Sepulchres, was reissued this year by Svart — and from ’77 to ’84, he played guitar in Death SS in their earliest incarnation. His output with that band was culled together in 1987 for the compilation The Story of Death SS 1977-1984, and released on the Italian imprint Minotauro Records (also reissued by Svart in 2013, as it happens), and sounds of its era, but is definitely worth tracking down. Chain‘s subsequent work in Paul Chain Violet Theatre and under his own moniker gets more and more varied and experimental as it goes on, but even the first EP, Detaching from Satan, was ahead of its time. If it came out today, it would be called groundbreaking.

After having an “artistic death” and subsequent rebirth as Paolo Catena in 2003, Chain‘s career under that name was wrapped up in 2004 with two compilations, both of unreleased material. By their nature, they’re uneven — from what I’ve heard of them, there are a few gems and some stuff that was unreleased for a reason; pretty typical — but two of the tracks on Unreleased Vol. 2 were demos featuring Scott “Wino” Weinrich. Both “Bloodwing” (previously featured on Wino Wednesday here) and “Nibiru Dawn” are notable not just for the Weinrich collaboration, but also because they’re among the few Paul Chain songs to feature lyrics, as opposed to the phonetic syllables Chain used for vocals throughout his career.

More even than “Bloodwing,” “Nibiru Dawn” shows the kind of potential a Wino/Chain partnership might’ve had, Weinrich‘s voice soaring over Chain‘s atmospheric organ work, resting in the groove of a classically doomed verse riff on the way to a lead-topped chorus. Of course, it wasn’t to be or it certainly would’ve been by now, more than a decade later, but the song holds up and makes a great curio for anyone unfamiliar with Chain‘s output or who maybe wasn’t aware these two had ever teamed up. For anyone interested, Catena released a textured and experimental album, Quadri Musicale, last year on New Light Records.

Enjoy and have a great Wino Wednesday:

Paul Chain with Wino, “Nibiru Dawn” from Unreleased Vol. 2 (2004)

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