Following the release of their acclaimed debut ‘Citadel’ in 2015, Memnon Sa return with ‘Lemurian Dawn’, a cosmic journey through space, time and myth. Much like ‘Citadel’, the primary element of the new album is its carefully constructed atmosphere. Whilst the overtones of doom metal have subsided the sense of dread and mystery remain, the new album is more Sun Ra than it is Sunn O))).

The guitar driven sound of ‘Citadel’ has been replaced here by a myriad of analog synthesisers, ancient world instruments, throat singing and strings. ‘Lemurian Dawn’ channels New Age meditational works, film soundtracks and cosmic jazz from the 70s and 80s. The result could be the soundtrack to a lost 1970’s European sci-fi film, warm analogue sounds that hint at cosmic foreboding and sinister forces unseen. Instead of ancient psychedelia and shamanic rituals, “Lemurian Dawn” conjures up images of a binary sunrise on forgotten worlds, of terrifying unidentifiable objects hovering over sacrificial pyramids in lands forgotten.

This is accentuated by the influences behind the album, sonically there are still nods to kraut rock artists such as Popol Vuh and Ash Ra Tempel, as well as some of ‘Citadels’ darker sounds, but Memnon Sa’s sound has evolved to become far more cinematic. You’d be forgiven for comparing the record the likes of an Edward Artemyve soundtrack (Stalker/Solaris) or films such as Phase IV or Prometheus when drawing references.

Speaking about Memnon Sa’s progression, Misha Hering says, “I wanted to keep the core of the first album intact. The atmosphere, cinematic scope and mystery, but take it out of an ancient, medieval, primordial setting and into the world of science fiction. That’s one of the reason I scrapped guitars and any sort of significant metal influence. It seemed incongruous with the images I wanted to conjure up in people’s heads. Ultimately though, I just wanted to tell a different story, with a different setting. Hopefully, the music, along with the cover art and short film that will accompany the release, will transport people into the world that I’ve been imagining in my mind’s eye for the past year.”

The album was recorded over a month and a half at Misha Hering’s Holy Mountain Studios in Hackney, London, and mixed using almost exclusively analog equipment to 1/2 inch tape. It was mastered by legendary mastering engineer Dave Cooley at Elysium Masters in LA (Flying Lotus, J Dilla, and Animal Collective). Moving away from Pyramide Noire, ‘Lemurian Dawn’ will also be released on the estimable Aurora Borealis (Jesu, The Haxan Cloak, Conan and Grumbling Fur).

‘Citadel’ was drawn from a niche world, and was incredibly accomplished in its ability to traverse and transcend a vast range of musical landscapes. ‘Lemurian Dawn’ expands on this even further, diversifying Memnon Sa’s depth, dynamics and creativity, to encompass that same ceremonious, alien and spiritual sub-current, and develop it into something new and intriguing.

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