Sunday, April 7, 2019

Skeltonics (Demo) by Knaves of Dis is Primitive Scholar Thrash

Skeltonics (Demo) by Knaves of Dis
Skeltonics (Demo) by Knaves of Dis
A very unique special album is what we have right here. A 2-man thrash outfit. OK that is not all that unique right, you all know how much I dig the metal jams of Dos Brujos. It's their debut album, and it's more towards lo-fi than it is towards super high-end polished and mastered and all that.

So then what is so unique about Knaves of Dis? Well, if the band name and demo title have not already given away the surprise, the lyrics are from the poems of John Skelton. As in the Middle English poet. The tutor to Henry the VIII. That guy. Like back before we spoke modern English. There is even a name given to his form of rhyme and alliteration which is called Skeltonics.

Don't run away yet because I am here to tell you that not only is this worth a listen just for the novelty and uniqueness of the idea, but it really works. I mean it REALLY works. The old English words when spoken and shouted over the two-piece thrash setup work really well. There is an anger in the words that is supported by their delivery, and all that is boosted by the banging drums and thrashing guitar.

I dig all three of the tracks and in particular the longest and last track. Here's a snippet of the lyrics, which are from the 1568 poem Ware the Hauke (full poem):
He made his hawke to fly,
With hogeous showte and cry.
The hy auter he strypte naked;
There on he stode, and craked;
Here is how Knaves of Dis describe their sound as Primitive Scholar Thrash, or as:
Conjuration of master poet John Skelton from five centuries’ sleep, to place his disturbing lyric inventions, his metrical onslaught, and his haughty and complicated provisions for the damnation of fools, back into their proper setting: dirty, ear-splitting thrash.
Knaves of Dis is Thomas Crofts on drums and backing vocals, percussive ritual ensemble, and recitations with Adam Timbs on guitars, bass, and lead vocals.  

Knaves of Dis is working on their next album already which is great news. Thrash is meant to be thrashed out, not tweaked and tuned and re-tuned and fine-tuned. So just kick it out guys, make a mess, take some prisoners. It won't always be pretty. In fact, let's hope it's never pretty.

I'm not sure if the next album will also be with Skelton's lyrics, or if Knaves of Dis will change to another poet, or what. Hopefully they will continue moving ahead exploring the ways thrash can bring out the best in other art forms. The anger and energy and raw emotion of thrash is something that is found in many other artistic endeavors so it seems like there are a lot of opportunities for Knaves of Dis to thrash around in.

Back to the masters of metal jams, Dos Brujos, because right here is another example where thrash intensifies the emotion of another artistic endeavor, in this case a scene from The Seventh Seal, the Ingmar Bergman classic: