Italian occult band Father Murphy is coming to an end—and thus has composed its requiem. With the newly announced final album Rising. A Requiem for Father Murphy, the band, which released its self titled debut back in 2004, will be shuffling off this mortal coil—with live dates scheduled in lieu of a wake.
Rising is due out this spring, three weeks after Easter, along with a scheduled tour which includes a series of dates with ex-Swans chanteuse Jarboe.
Read this thoughtful Eulogy from Tristan Bath:
“Across the Italian occult duo’s 2015 ‘Trilogy of the Cross’ (the Calvary cassingle, Croce LP, and Lamentations EP) Father Murphy’s sound reached down into grave new depths, more inspired than ever by music from their Catholic heritage. They’ve long been integrating a wider variety of field recordings, empty space, drones, and sonic processes alongside their core elements of pounding percussion, ecclesiastical organs, gnarled guitars, and ritualistic chanting. Again working with longtime mixer/masterer Greg Saunier (Deerhoof), Rising takes the group’s music into new territory. The format of a requiem mass for the dead—in this case for the late Father Murphy himself—brings with it all manner of traditional structural codes, musical reprises, and lyrical rhyming schemes. During the recording process, these sorts of limitations represented something totally new for the project’s core members: Freddie Murphy and Chiara Lee.
“For the very first time we were not at liberty to do everything we wanted,” they explain. “We wanted to stick to the format but also to make it personal.” Father Murphy solved the challenge of integrating their clanging occult sounds into traditional requiem formats via various inventive ways. The text of ‘Libera Me’, for example—sung at the final moment of burial in a requiem mass since the 19th century—is replaced with a gut wrenching field recording of maggot larvae (recordings are contributed by composer Luca Garino throughout the record). “For us it’s really the triumphant sound of death. something that brings you back to the earth through the most natural process.”
Certain moments see the music adhere far more closely to requia traditions, including the grander sounds of timpani or trombone, and following the metres and rhyme schemes borrowed from traditional texts. The words themselves have all been rewritten for Father Murphy’s requiem however, disengaging from their standardized religious message. The lyrics across Rising are far longer and more complex than the shorter chants and verse that made up previous albums, while the variety and sheer detail of sounds used by the duo has never before been wider or more daring. The album is mixed and mastered by longtime collaborator Greg Saunier (Deerhoof), who follows suite and touches up the duo’s album with stronger hands than ever. “Through the years he went more and more extreme in “filtering” our filters,” say Father Murphy. In addition to Saunier’s input and Luca Garino’s field recordings, additional vocals appear courtesy of Maria Mallol (Lame) and ARIADNE.
Even in its final hour, Father Murphy stick to their core working philosophy of sonic exploration; of never resting on what they’ve already accomplished, and always aiming for new fringes. With Rising: A Requiem for Father Murphy, the project reaches its zenith.
“It’s from the high of the cross that Father Murphy accepts his death,” explain Freddie Murphy and Chiara Lee. “Death as a confirmation of his life.”
Tour Dates w/ Jarboe, Tomaga, and Mesange
- April 11 Muziekcentrum Kinky Star Star, GENT (BE)
- April 12 GoMokry, HAMBURG (DE)
- April 13 Arkaoda, BERLIN (DE)
- April 14 Pawilon Nowa Gazownia, POZNAN (PL)
- April 15 Teatr na Plaży, SOPOT (PL)
- April 16 Szpitalna 1, KRAKOW (PL)
- April 17 Fuga, BRATISLAVA (SK) w/ Jarboe
- April 18 Potrva, PRAGUE (CZ) w/Jarboe
- April 19 Doom over Leipzig Festival, LEIPZIG (DE) w/Jarboe
- April 20 Roadburn Festival, UTRECHT (NL) w/Jarboe
- April 21 Le Kalif, ROUEN (FR) w/Jarboe
- April 22 la malterie, LILLE (FR) w/Jarboe
- April 24 Bulgarian National Radio’s Concert Hall, SOFIA (BG) w/Jarboe
- April 25 Control Club, BUCHAREST (RO) w/Jarboe
- April 27 Temple Athens, ATHENS (GR)
- May 9 Macao, MILANO (IT)
- May 10 Karemaski, AREZZO (IT)
- May 11 Istituto Svizzero, ROMA (IT)
- May 12 Circolo Nadir, PADOVA (IT)
- May 13 Si, BOLOGNA (IT)
- May 16 81 Renshaw, LIVERPOOL (UK) w/ Mésange
- May 17 Eagle Inn, MANCHESTER (UK) w/Mesange
- May 18 Cacophonous Sarcophagus at St. John’s Crypt, BRISTOL (UK) w/Mesange
- May 19 The Moon Cardiff, CARDIFF (UK) w/Mesange
- May 20 Aslomga, PLYMOUTH (UK) w/Mesange
- May 22 Nice N Sleazy, GLASGOW (UK)
- May 23 Golden Lion Todmorden TODMORDEN (UK)
- May 24 The Chameleon, NOTTINGHAM (UK)
- May 25 Raw Power Festival, LONDON (UK)