Confusion Master Premiere “In the Shadow of the Bong” Video; Debut Album Awaken out Now

confusion master

I’m not 100 percent sure Confusion Master guitarist/vocalist Stephan Kurth isn’t embracing the absurd himself when he says that the band’s album cut ‘In the Shadow of the Bong’ is inspired by Albert Camus. I guess the Rostock-based four-piece wouldn’t exactly be Confusion Master if all their intentions came through clearly, but if he is being sincere, working off what Kierkegaard did almost a century earlier, Camus had three ways he thought it was possible for humans to escape the absurd: suicide, religion and acceptance. You can either off yourself, in which case the absurd doesn’t matter, buy into one or another deity, which gives you a convenient answer to all the questions in the universe, or just know that the absurd is there and there’s no getting away from it while alive. It would seem Confusion Master have chosen the latter.

So be it. Their debut album, Awaken, with it Cthulhu-y cover art, is out now via respected German purveyor Exile on Mainstream, and it offers an unmanageable 59 minutes of rumbling modern doom, finding a space among the Windhands, Monolords and Electric Wizards of the world without really sounding like either of them. Topped with samples from Full Metal JacketTwin Peaks and others, there’s a ’90s sludge sensibility to be sure, but Confusion MasterKurth on guitar/vocals, Gunnar Arndt on confusion master awakenguitar, Mathias Klein on bass and Stephan Gottwald on drums — bring an effects-drenched spaciousness to their sound as well, a song like the 11-minute “Goner Colony” seeming to reach outward in a similar way to Sons of Otis while remaining no less tonally weighted than they were on the 10-minute-plus opening duo “Witch Pollution” and its feedback-drenched compatriot “Northern Midnight Ghoul.”

These three tracks, comprising more than half of Awaken‘s notably — you’ll note it’s already been noted as notable — significant runtime, form a decent crux of the album’s overall impression, and they tell a tale of doom by doomers, players obviously aware of the tenets of style and looking to cast their own niche from them. As much as “Witch Pollution, “Northern Midnight Ghoul” and “Goner Colony” are obvious focal points, “Reaper’s Fist,” “In the Shadow of the Bong” and the closing duo “False Dawn” and the finale “Awaken” — which all run between six and eight minutes, save for the closer, which is just under five — have a major role to play as well. They not only keep Confusion Master from being bogged down in the repetition of longform doom, but the title-track cut out into an almost post-rock ambient sphere, “False Dawn” toys with pace shifts and “In the Shadow of the Bong,” well, aside from winning the battle of track names, is a wah-soaked slab of psychedelic doom miseries that summarizes a lot of the atmosphere of the album as a whole.

Maybe that’s why they chose it for their new video, which takes performance footage and runs it through a ringer of swirling chaos effects. There’s some old film footage I think from War of the Worlds tucked in there as well, so keep an eye out.

Confusion Master play the release show for Awaken tomorrow night in Rostock alongside countrymen labelmates Treedeon, and head to Japan later this month with Guevnna. You’ll find those dates and more info under the Camus-invoking quote from Kurth, which of course is under the video itself, which of course is right under the next line of text.

Please enjoy:

Confusion Master, “In the Shadow of the Bong” official video premiere

Stephan Kurth on “In the Shadow of the Bong”:

“In the Shadow of the Bong” draws inspiration from the three antidotes to the absurdity of life according to Albert Camus. Conditions must be fulfilled to be translated in consequences such as revolt, freedom and passion. Camus’ call to a greater degree of understanding among people and greater sincerity building on mankind becoming ultimately frank and free to allow communication inspired this song. This all we wrapped up in a Cavity-/Iron Monkey-inspired riffage. Enjoy!

In support of Awaken, CONFUSION MASTER will tour across Europe and beyond in the fall (dates to be announced), A hometown record release show is scheduled for next week’s May 5th with fellow labelmates Treedeon. This will be followed by a run of tour dates in Japan with Guevnna scheduled for May 21st through 26th, with shows in Tokyo, Fujisawa, Gifu, Nagano, Niigata, and Tokyo. Stand by for additional dates to be announced.

5/05/2018 Plattnfischn Record Fair – Rostock, DE *Awaken release show w/ Treedeon
5/21/2018 Ruby Room – Tokyo, JP
5/22/2018 Gigs Shonan – Fujisawa, JP
5/23/2018 Casper – Gifu, JP
5/24/2018 The Venue – Nagano, JP
5/25/2018 Golden Pigs – Niigata, JP
5/26/2018 Moonstep – Tokyo, JP

Mathias Klein – bass
Stephan Gottwald – drums
Gunnar Arndt – guitars/effects
Stephan Kurth – guitars/effects/vocals

Confusion Master on Thee Facebooks

Exile on Mainstream website

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3 Responses to “Confusion Master Premiere “In the Shadow of the Bong” Video; Debut Album Awaken out Now”

  1. […] into CONFUSION MASTER’s “In The Shadow Of The Bong” video at The Obelisk RIGHT HERE.Awaken is out now through an LP/CD package and digital release via Exile On Mainstream; place […]

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