Heroin in Tahiti – “Remoria” (2017) review

September 7, 2017

Heroin in Tahiti – “Remoria” (2017) review

Heroin in Tahiti – Remoria (Soave Records,
Fade in. The echoes of a jaw harp cloak you
in a deep apparitional enigma. Shakers and sporadic percussion induce a
prodding momentum. In the periphery, high pitched squeals
float and turn in on themselves. You feel yourself diving down, perhaps into a hallucination,
perhaps into your own hysteria. The drumming subsides into a sea of cicada-like
shakers and glistening bells. And then a pound, an omen. You do not belong
here. This is not your territory.

This esoteric disorientation comes from the
opening track to Heroin in Tahiti’s latest release, Remoria. Self-described as Italian occult psychedelia, the
Rome-based duo tends toward the ambient, progressive rock, ocean grunge way of
According to the release’s Bandcamp page,
the album seeks to explore a parallel universe in which Rome has been replaced
by the fictional citadel of Remoria. This reconfiguration of history comes from
rewriting the ancient Roman myth of Remus facing off against his brother,
Romulus. In this universe, Remus is the one to emerge the victor and found the
monumental empire.
And I can’t say that they don’t hit their
mark. The droning, almost tribal seething does not waver. The chaotic screams
of stringed instruments twirl into the ether as war drums pummel any remnants
of the enemy to a pulp. By track ‘V,’ as each of the songs are ironically given
a sequential Roman numeral, the energy becomes infused with the faint calls of
what I can only assume are nymphs, sprites, and sirens.
While a close listen of the first six
tracks will reveal a wonderfully brooding web of delay, vibrato, and other
effects, it’s hard to distinguish simulation from the real thing. It’s easy to
picture a galore of horn sections, animal skin drums, an army of rattlers, and a
choir of wailing soldiers.
However, knowing the variety the duo has
included in past releases, it’s hard to fall for this record like I have their
others. Having almost the entirety of the album as a swirling mass of
instrumental battle cries creates a certain aimlessness—their thought
experiment of a parallel universe seemingly without any conclusion. While it
may incite a spirited rush in the listener, perhaps with a longing to ride into
battle alongside your fellow Remorians, the tribalism here seems a somewhat one
dimensional appeal.
But a new authority takes command in ‘VII,’
the last track. A synth begins spewing out a throbbing phantasmagorical chord
progression. The tonality is warm, easily graspable, even climactic. After a
stream of rhythmic arcana, we arrive somewhere new. Perhaps we’ve lasted
through the antiquity and surfaced upon modern times within this parallel
universe. Perhaps we’ve simply arrived at the now glimmering gates of the new
empire. The mood is reassuring, alluding to a culmination, be it historical,
mythical, or both.
 – Gabe Kahan
© Copyright http://www.psychedelicbabymag.com/2017
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