One of the more profound conclusions I’ve arrived at over the last several years involves acknowledging the hyper-potency emanating forth from works of art heavily influenced by various, yet seemingly disparate, spiritual disciplines. Rather than relying on a single monotheistic dogma, I’ve found that taking in the writings of say, Grant Morrison, or the films of Alejandro Jodorowsky — which draw their inspiration from a tireless study of both ancient and new age concepts — actually transforms my psychic reality in a surprisingly coherent manner that I once thought unimaginable. It’s as if by triangulating data about exotic states of consciousness and reconfiguring them as entertainment, the artist is tapping into common and objective truths about the cerebral multiverse which possess the ability to impregnate my psyche with the ability to boldly transcend consensus reality.
Which brings me to Midday Veil’s brilliant and much-anticipated studio full-length LP (well, as a full band anyway), Eyes All Around, which has a title and album art that pays tribute to The Thousand-Eyed God Within experience, which is one of the most commonly reported of psychedelic hallucinations. Since so many people, including myself, have experienced such eerily similar ecstatic visions over the last several thousand years, at what point do we, as a culture, have to acknowledge that they fall far beyond the veil of subjective hallucination? These are all pertinent questions, as our species rockets toward what Terrence Mckenna referred to as, “the great singularity,” with an increasingly ferocious rapidity.
Listen to “Asymptote II” – DOWNLOAD MP3
The album starts off with a layered meditative choir of angelic cathedral vocals, which are quickly accompanied by an understated heavy tom drum repetition. Just when a pleasant headspace has been induced, the rhythm section locks into a groove with a keyboard-driven bassline, and the single line mantra of, “We are you when you are dead” — the song’s only lyric — is repeated over and over again, at first alone, and then through a series of calculated loops.
The lyric is actually a reference to the medieval allegory of The Three Living And The Three Dead, but it has a decidedly strange resonance within my particular micro-realm. In experimenting with astral progression years ago, I had what I can only describe as an encounter, in which I was pulled from my body and into an enchanting temple of otherworldly architecture by myriad versions of myself. That’s right; I was abducted not by aliens, but rather by me, and by a lot of me. To this day, other than educating myself as to the vast potency of the English language as a means to building the transcendent infrastructure of thought, I’m still not fully comfortable discussing the true nature of the discourse. But I can say that in a nutshell, it could be summed up as, “We are you when you are dead.” So clearly, my reaction to this particular track stretches far beyond the primal pleasantry of merely “rocking out,” as it were.
After the vocals subside, the song largely becomes a vehicle for the hip-gnostic synth wizardry of David Golightly, who takes you on a pleasant ride through the outer regions of supernormal time and space. Eventually the mantra reappears, even more prominent after feasting on the orgy of sounds, ready to beat the message of eternal life further into your mind’s ear.
A brief psychoactive intermission then ensues, paving the way for the track “Anthem,” which ruminates on the elusive and ephemeral nature of mystical states of consciousness. In this case, on a meditation of frontwoman Emily Pothast’s channeling of the last moments of her mother’s life — peering in awe at the lifecycle as it extends toward infinity: “Like the curve of a pearl/ Like a nebula/ Like the wheel in a wheel/ That Ezekiel saw.”
The track plays up a classic loud to soft dynamic to perfection, slowly building tension to a protracted crescendo, so when she finally lets the dynamic capacity of her vocals loose in full on “Great Gig In The Sky” freak out mode, it almost always sends chills through the very core of my being.
The album continues on side B, with a tender, slow-burning country number (“Divide By Zero”), and the largely instrumental psychedelic trance rock of “Asymptote” (Parts One and Two), the latter of which showcases guitarist Tim Mason’s rapid-fire staccato fret board mastery, kicking your mind back to the swinging late ’60s acid freak out culture that should exist at least somewhere in everyone’s subconscious.
The closing and titular (sorry, I love that word and couldn’t help myself) number, “Eyes all Around,” speaks to the listener’s DNA, reminding us “That’s just the kind of math you’re made of,” while appealing to the part in us all that craves things like song structure and hooks — before closing things out by rocketing into shaman drum rock territory.
Throughout history, mystics, sorcerers, holy men, artists, yoga practitioners, and countless throngs of mind-blown tripping kids have seen The Thousand Eyed God Within, which begs me to question: Have you seen it? Is this a mere psychedelic rock record? Is it? Or is it a work of spiritual technology designed to mindfuck you into heavenly submission — a channeling ritual that forces the listener to confront timeless themes of death and rebirth unconsciously?
Either way, you should probably check it out.