Not really a sludge band, but just as meditative, 11PARANOIAS is the ghosts that haunt the ward and hallucinations that mar your mind. Stealing Fire From Heaven feels like you are hiding in a cavern from society and the mustiness of their guitar sound cannot provide solace. These are the sounds of the mentally deranged. A Ted V. Mikels soundtrack, “Paranoiditude (Beyond the Grave)” is the pain we are to experience. Guitars soar in agony and the drums pound out every sludge-like beat.
The album takes on a life of its own that I am not sure even the band knew would happen. “Surrealise” is pure mortal terror. I would bet recording this song even frightened the band a little. Incorporating mental notes of Godflesh, Treponem Pal, and Lab Report, add in a dose of Type O Negative pacing and an exorcism, it is a roundabout way of describing the sounds that ooze out.
This is a long fucking album, and you can feel its weight. Songs average seven minutes and you end up feeling every blow. What I like about something like “Cursus” is that the minimalist experimental intros really ups the creepy factor. And when the band kicks in, the horrid howling is the equivalent to witnessing a homicide. There is no escape as the music peels back your eyelids and makes you experience some incredible performance art.
On Stealing Fire From Heaven nothing was planned or rehearsed prior to entering the studio. Everything was crafted at the moment, and the vibrancy the band exhumes in each of these songs is an effect from that process. How it is all pieced together is impressive. A serenade to the days the sun never shines. An ode to darkness and the twistings of nature as it contorts amongst itself. A soundtrack to the nights that haunt the internal fears the mind concocts, Stealing Fire From Heaven is pure agony, drawn out and piercing even in a sludge and doom environment.