This past weekend, in Portland, the fourth Ceremony of Sludge was held at the Tonic Lounge. The likes of Holy Grove, Disenchanter, Diesto and many others played, but notably absent was the trio Lamprey, who headlined the first night of the festival in 2014. The dual-bass three-piece of Justin Brown, Blaine Burnham and Spencer Norman are on a sort of mini-hiatus leading up to the release of their next album, what you might call a “break” rather than a “break-up,” while Brown takes up the bassist role in Witch Mountain and embarks on that band’s rather considerable touring schedule. Also a principal organizer of Ceremony of Sludge, Brown was in NYC this past Saturday opening for YOB and Enslaved when the fest was going on. Hey, if you gotta be somewhere.
I asked him about missing his fest at that show and he was bummed (I’ve always had a reverse-knack for conversation) not to be there, but said he’d spend the next however many months editing clips of the bands playing, so he’d get to experience it one way or another. As Lamprey begin to move past their 2012 EP, The Burden of Beasts (review here) and into their new record preceded by the recently-revealed video for “Iron Awake,” they make a fitting conclusion to this series of videos that it’s been my complete pleasure to host. They’re the sixth band — a total of eight played over the two nights last March — but the final clip is their “Lord Fire Giant,” which also closed The Burden of Beasts. In it, we can hear Burnham‘s shouts in all their rawness and hear the interplay of his and Brown‘s basses on the Club 21 stage while Norman keeps the groove in fluid motion, almost a calming presence behind the kit.
The other videos are here if you’d like to catch up, but having dug Lamprey for a few years now and been to-date unable to see them live, the quality footage is appreciated. As we move out of one series of Ceremony of Sludge videos and look forward to hopefully starting another, I’m glad to bring forth “Lord Fire Giant” in all its frothing, molten fury.
Audio is by Tim Burke at Penumbra Sound Arts. Video is by Cole Boggess and Justin Anderson. Please enjoy: