You may hope to see tourists in Bermuda shorts flitting past the sounds of a project called Malibu Wands, but if you step down the rabbit hole of the latest from ex-Pink Priest William Cody Watson's third or fourth moniker, you will soon find your latitude to be frost-bitten and dark, and it's very hard to climb back up.
Trondheim is a dark ode to the neopagan past, an homage to the city where one Varg Vikernes spent 16 years in prison for burning churches and murdering his bandmate Euronymous. You probably know that story.
Malibu Wands tells a more opaque tale written in the same dark red ink, with the kind of unholy commitment to unrelenting swathes of cold, smokey noise and unspoken melodic tension that could be a vision of hell, or at least the Scandinavian tundra one passes through to get there.
It's an illusion. When you do get to the concluding moments of this 26-minute
track, you may realize the journey was towards something more
redemptive than fiery pits — there's sonic resolution as haze recedes and we're left with nearly pure light.
Watson's offering up a free download here, or at his bandcamp: