VEN A CASUAL GLANCE OVER RUE MORGUE’S AUDIO DROME SECTION REVEALS THAT REFERENCING H.P. LOVECRAFT AND ROBERT W. CHAMBERS IS NOTHING NEW to heavy metal. Oc- cult fantasy and horror have been a part of the genre since Black Sabbath’s self-titled album and through countless black and doom metal bands today. To design music that functions as a work of weird fiction in and of itself, as is the case with Brooklyn-based outfit Raspberry Bulbs, takes a little something extra however.


In truth, Raspberry Bulbs’ music is only partially based in metal, employ- ing instead a completely unique style that starts with ’60s garage rock, then adds a thick coat of underground black met- al atmosphere. Vocalist and principal songwriter Marco del Rio, better known as the drummer for black metal outfit Bone Awl, set out to find new sounds far away from anything typical with this project.

“There was an intent to progress the style, but exactly how was never really a clear motive,” he explains. “With Raspberry Bulbs though, I knew that I wanted to have a band that was not confined strictly to the boundaries of black metal, but rather would allow for other influences to seep in.” One of those influences is, of course, the afore- mentioned classic weird fiction, something that’s as prevalent as ever on their fourth album, Before the Age of Mirrors, out now on Relapse Records. “The title Before the Age of Mirrors is an overarching theme which refers to the period before digital media – essentially before the year 2000, which is, in my opinion, the moment at which traditional art culture died,” says del Rio. “Thematically, we are always dealing with the uncanny, and this album is no exception.”

For a fairly esoteric band, Raspberry Bulbs' interest in weird fiction came

from an unexpected source – GWAR. It was that band’s front monster Oderus Urungus’ reference to his phallus as “The Cuttlefish of Cthulhu” that got del Rio hooked.

“Shortly after that I had to do a [high school] presentation on Lovecraft, whose name miraculously turned up on the list of authors you could choose from,” he says. “It was quite a while before I went deeper, maybe not until around ten years later. I became aware of the constellation of writers, and then made that conscious decision to go out and understand more about the world of weird fiction. I think the next big moment was when I read The King in Yellow. It keeps going today.” Poring over Before the Age of Mirrors’ songs doesn’t reveal any obvious nods to the likes of Chambers or M.R. James, however, as Raspberry Bulbs strives to write its own original themes and stories in the vein of those authors. The band’s name itself is based on a creepy tale concocted by del Rio involving an eccentric son, his sim- ple-minded father, and a raspberry plant that would not die.

“I think all of the themes of the album can be found somewhere in weird fiction,” he says. “Songs deal with mysteries which are hidden and inscribed on the ocean floor, the paranoia of a man who feels constantly pursued by dangerous forces, grave robbers from Renaissance-era Flor- ence, a general who sees a battlefield populated

by hounds and hogs rather than his own soldiers, people who cut constel- lations into their flesh in order to communicate with the stars – it’s all con- cerning a general process of truth hunting and attempting to see beyond the veils of humanity and culture.” To read – and hear – more, crack open Before the Age of Mirrors and experience Raspberry Bulbs’ new brand of weird.

59 R M

Page 1  |  Page 2  |  Page 3  |  Page 4  |  Page 5  |  Page 6  |  Page 7  |  Page 8  |  Page 9  |  Page 10  |  Page 11  |  Page 12  |  Page 13  |  Page 14  |  Page 15  |  Page 16  |  Page 17  |  Page 18  |  Page 19  |  Page 20  |  Page 21  |  Page 22  |  Page 23  |  Page 24  |  Page 25  |  Page 26  |  Page 27  |  Page 28  |  Page 29  |  Page 30  |  Page 31  |  Page 32  |  Page 33  |  Page 34  |  Page 35  |  Page 36  |  Page 37  |  Page 38  |  Page 39  |  Page 40  |  Page 41  |  Page 42  |  Page 43  |  Page 44  |  Page 45  |  Page 46  |  Page 47  |  Page 48  |  Page 49  |  Page 50  |  Page 51  |  Page 52  |  Page 53  |  Page 54  |  Page 55  |  Page 56  |  Page 57  |  Page 58  |  Page 59  |  Page 60  |  Page 61  |  Page 62  |  Page 63  |  Page 64