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Vin de Mia Trix – “Pharmakos” (Song Premiere)

Palimpsests - cover

Mastering the art of the “long song” is difficult, but most bands certainly try. Having enough material is never difficult, but, as we’ve learned from the missteps of Opeth’s “Black Rose Immortal,” whose various sections are pieced together with haphazard “transitions, coherence is the framework which bolsters lengthy material. With four songs spanning an hour and a half’s time, Kauan-related Ukrainian death/doom unit Vin de Mia Trix‘s imminent Palimpsests is superficially daunting, but the potency and progressive nature of their death/doom metal majesty certainly warrants such length.

See second track and first disc (this is a double CD) closer “Pharmakos,” which slowly builds up to an explosive, organ-enriched funeral crawl. Through its many crescendos and emotional peaks, the flow of this particular track compounds upon its own intensity, slowly building to a gorgeous, choral climax around the eighteen minute mark. Too long? Maybe to some, but the steady stream of creativity logically builds to this conclusion. As opposed to “going for the gold” when it comes to hitting a specific length, Vin de Mia Trix treats these songs, and “Pharmakos” in particular, with a musical eloquence, backing up each conceit with appeals to the listener’s emotion. It’s like writing a good paper, if any of you can think back to your college days: everything requires evidence.

The Palimpsests double-album will be jointly released on Hypnotic Dirge Records and Cimmerian Shade Recordings on May 31st. Head below for an exclusive first listen to “Pharmakos” with a lengthy statement by bassist/vocalist Alex Vynogradoff.

From the artist:

PHARMAKOS is that one track we usually play at the end of our shows because of its emotional intensity. After finishing the climactic choir we feel utterly exhausted both physically and morally.

In Greek tradition, pharmakós literally means a ‘scapegoat’. It is a sacrifice that ancient communities would offer their blood-thirsty gods to avert disasters. Pharmakoi would usually be chosen among the weakest: slaves, cripples, etc. A very doom metal kind of story! But that is only one layer of meaning.

On a deeper level, pharmakós is associated with the most primitive fertility rites and especially the ancient Minoan cult of Dionysus, centuries before he became a jolly god of wine. In that old, pre-Olympic mythology, Dionysus, or Zagreus, was the king of the underworld, both husband and son of Rhea, procreating his own self and thus embodying the ouroborosian cycle of life and death.

The archaic Dionysian Mysteries involved killing a sacrificial animal (pharmakós), associated with the god himself, and eating its raw flesh, celebrating life’s victory over death. In more civilized times, these ecstatic rites would evolve into theatrical performances, giving birth to tragedy. Many scholars believe that the idea of Jesus Christ’s sacrifice (and who is Jesus if not a scapegoat?) is derived from these older cults. This explains the Eucharist ceremony of eating the flesh and drinking the blood of Christ, celebrating his immortality.

So, PHARMAKOS encompasses a range of meanings, but in a nutshell, it is a hymn to eternal life through ecstasy and sacrifice. As such, it has an almost religious feel to it.

-Alex Vynogradoff, Vin de Mia Trix

Follow Vin de Mia Trix on Bandcamp and Facebook.

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