Pothamus is a tribalesque sludge and post-rock trio from Mechelen, Belgium. The band is mixing sludge, tribal and post-rock elements, Pothamus takes you on an enchanting trip. In this trio’s enigmatic world – molded by repetitive riffage and floating drones backed by trance-inducing percussion and abrasive bass lines – the search for meaning stands central. Be sure to catch this captivating trip live. Tune low, turn up, drift off.Belgian sludge/post-metal newcomers Pothamus will release their debut album Raya on December 4th in collaboration with Consouling Agency,
Recorded and mixed at GAM studios (Waimes) by producer Chiaran Verheyden (Psychonaut – Unfold the God Man), and mastered at MotorMusic (Mechelen) by Laurens Grossens, Raya is the result of three years of intense writing that culminated in a fifty-minute journey through bleak and desolated landscapes, ethereal ambiances and massively gigantic and monolithic walls of sound.
Orath is the opening chapter of Raya. In its most prompt interpretation Orath represents the genesis of the Earth, portraying the primary creation within the band’s own mythology. Rather than a cosmogonic myth in which the earth is created ex nihilo, Orath expresses the coming-into-being of earthly matter as a process of transformation: a continual development of what already exists.
On Orath Pothamus contemplates the trajectory of nature as cyclical and eternal, rather than linear. As nature dies when winter emerges, it carries the seeds of spring in its demise. New life feeds on death in a cycle that repeats itself eternally, without beginning or end, necessitating the destruction of that which came before. The band recognized this repetitive reoccurrence of life and light in the Great Fire-ritual of Bouge (Namur), where the videoclip for Orath was filmed.
In primitive religions, fire – emblem of the sun – was believed to exert a profound influence on weather and vegetation. The Great Fire-ritual of Bouge thus animates Orath with personal impressions of Belgian folklore. Lit mid February, the fire announces the reappearance of spring, and is said to be a tradition in the region for over 1.000 years. It marks a moving moment when nature will wake up from its winter slumber. In the spirit of folklore superstition, embers and ashes from the Great Fire were sold at auctions and bought by farmers. Spread in the fields, it was said they would provide good harvests.
The track Viso is the second chapter of the album Raya, representing the birth of Man and paraphrasing the anthropogenic chapter in the band’s own mythology. In this subsequent stage, Pothamus ponders the primordial origins of Man. Not simply as born on this earth, but as born out of and from this earth.
One could interpret this quite literally, as astrobiologist Lewis Dartnell states that each of us is literally made of the Earth, as is all life on the planet. The water in our body, the carbon in the organic molecules of our cells, the salt in our sweat and tears, the calcium in our bones, and the iron in our blood “all eroded out of the rocks of the Earth’s crust; as the sulphur of the protein molecules in our muscles was once spewed out by volcanoes. The particles conceiving the cosmos are also found within us. The track Advaita,
In a more spiritual and metaphysicist sense, this awareness probes our relationship with the Earth. In Viso, the idea is thus put forth that nature is not merely around us, as the implicit but pervasive dualistic credo of the 19th century Enlightenment proclaimed. There is not a ‘natural world’ that is ‘out there’ from which we can withdraw. Nature is within us, as we are within nature. In its most abstract and general sense, Viso implies an absolute interconnectedness with our natural surroundings. A total refutation of the duality between self and non-self: We are the Earth.