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It's right there in the name: New Mexico's Red Mesa is desert rock stained blood-red, drawing vibrant color into their hypnotic stream of fuzz and furor. On their third full-length The Path to the Deathless, their consistently bizarre approach to stoner rock finds itself walking haunted trails and delving deeper into mysticism while still retaining a heavy, head-nodding crunch. We're streaming "Swallowed by the Sea" exclusively now, a nine-minute expedition into the depths of their sound -- sink into it now.

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Poignant all the while, "Swallowed by the Sea" is crafted from peaks and valleys of both longing and menace, plotted along a trajectory: while the first half of the song is more peaceful, lulling listeners into complacity like a siren, the second is battered by violent storms of throaty screams and impaling riffs before a final, gurgling calm. Violin and pedal steel both feature on this track, creating an appealing imbalance: the unexpected dulcet strings and weeping guitar add a sense of passion and emotion to the more ironclad foundations. It all feels tied together, though, and the track, which closes out this album, never feels disconnected or segmented. Just like the sea itself ebbs and flows, "Swallowed by the Sea" has a cyclical motion to it, and succumbing to it is a vital part of the experience.

This is certainly an unusual song, and an unusual album, but that's kind of the norm for Red Mesa now: their last album The Devil and the Desert was half doomed-Americana acoustic jams and half relentless stoner rock, split right down the middle. Despite being located in Albuquerque, a bevy of classic doom influences flows into The Path to the Deathless and colors the sun-baked rock further, evidenced by the guest appearances on the album: Dave Sherman (Earthride) lends his iconic rasp to "Desert Moon" and the legendary Wino (Saint Vitus, Spirit Caravan) guests on "Disharmonious Unlife." In the jam-packed stoner doom space, Red Mesa has carved out their own tinted niche, uniting disparate strands of heavy and heartfelt into a blazing scarlet offering.

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The Path to the Deathless releases June 12th via Desert Records.
Regarding "Swallowed by the Sea," two members of Red Mesa offer insight on its origin:

I wrote the lyrics to Swallowed By The Sea a few years back while on tour in Jagged Mouth. Roman Barham, who played drums in that band also and I were camping on the beach in Lincoln City, Oregon. We had quite a night after all the other guys we were on tour with (Ol’ Dagger from Santa Fe, NM) left for a hotel room across the street. We definitely saw a UFO out over the water! At around 2am Roman woke me up, very concerned that the tide was getting close to our tent. Turns out we were camped at a safe distance, but the thought of being swallowed by the sea was born. I wrote the lyrics after returning home to New Mexico, and ran them by Roman for input. The song was never used for Jagged Mouth, as it disbanded not long after. Fast forward two years, and Roman told Brad Frye about the experience and the song that I was sitting on. Turns out it fit into a concept for the next Red Mesa album that they were working on. I was asked to lend it out, and contribute vocally or musically somehow. I got to work and wrote the structure and all of the riffs except the closing riff, which is Brad’s. Not long after, their bass player stepped down and I was asked to join the band on bass, which I was absolutely stoked to do. The end result, complete with haunting violin and watery, mournful pedal steel is beyond what I could’ve perceived, and it ends the album on the theme about having a sort of spiritual experience near the ocean, and then being given over to it, being willingly prepared for what comes next after passing from this world’s realm.

-- Alex Cantwell

Originally, "Swallowed By The Sea" was a song meant to be for a band that Alex and I were in called Jagged Mouth. Alex and I had an experience on tour while camping on the beach at Lincoln city, Oregon. We saw a UFO! I couldn’t sleep because it felt like we were going to get carried off by the morning tide. It was a crazy experience.

-- Roman Barham

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