Templars harkens back to John Zorn’s days of jazz/grindcore abrasive instrumentation and unrelenting screaming…
Review by Daniel del Ben
If you are unfamiliar with the Moonchild trio, know that it harkens back to John Zorn’s Naked City and Painkiller days of jazz/grindcore abrasive instrumentation and unrelenting screaming. It’s music composed by Zorn and performed by vocalist Mike Patton (Mr. Bungle), bassist Trevor Dunn (Mr. Bungle) and drummer Joey Baron (Naked City). Templars is their sixth release and also features organs by John Medeski.
Zorn’s had some different musicians added on the past few albums, and it helps to give them an individual and distinct feel. And this one really stands out from the pack. Along with the organs is a mellower Beat sound. There are even lyrics as opposed to the normal, screams, growls, and shrieks. Said lyrics have a terse kind of stream of consciousness feel; apart from being about Templars and half the time in Latin.
At first, I really didn’t like this album. More than anything I think it wasn’t what I expected from Moonchild. Not that there aren’t loud and abrasive parts (because there are), but the quiet nature of this album threw me off. Also, the lyrics are a bit distracting at times ( I should note that I’m not always the biggest fan of lyrics). Anyway, after a couple weeks of listens, I’m starting to like it a lot more. In some ways it’s a lot more cohesive and structured than some of the other albums. I guess it’s a bit more traditionally song-like. You might enjoy this one even if you thought the other offerings were a bit too much. Released on May 22.