Indrayudh Shome is a renaissance shaman. He’s as likely to be found in exotic locations such as Hong Kong or Calcutta as his Philadelphia home. Aside from being an aspiring filmmaker, he has also been in a succession of bands, all of which share a love of anything trippy.
Queen Elephantine, a self-professed “nebulous worship of heavy mood and time” is the longest running (they formed in Honk Kong in 2006) and prolific of his many projects. Gorgon is the group’s sixth full-length album alongside a handful of EPs and splits. It’s also the most consistent album he’s likely ever been involved with.
It is comprised of four songs, each running between 10 and 13 minutes long. They all seem like elaborate hymnals taking cues from the meandering likes of Sunn O))) and A Silver Mt. Zion, though they are interpreted through his international experiences and multicultural heritage, which include instruments such as tanpura and fuzzed out mosquito guitar.
“Mars” could come from that planet, as the droning chanting seems otherworldly, like Ufomammut in space; “To See Eyes” is absurdly slow and minimalistic even by Queen Elephantine’s standards; “Mercury” recalls that Black Sabbath began life as a jazz troupe.
“Unbirth” especially stands as the twisting, chanting mantra and suddenly turns violent about two-thirds of the way through the song. It lurches chaotically, racing to triple the speed, while the cacophony melts into the kind of psychedelic whirlwind that would get a thumb’s up from Helios Creed. It’s the shortest song on the record—10 minutes long—so maybe it’s the radio single.
A lot of drone music can be relegated to background fare, but not Gorgon. The varied influences help set it apart, but it’s the dynamic way they are all infused into the muck that pushes it to the forefront.