Like the wrath of a vengeful God, Old Testament style, the new 20-minute instrumental opus from Mogwai channels enough power to level both Sodom and Gomorrah in a single haunting melody.
At the backbone of My Father King is an ancient Jewish hymn. Fitting, as the song tells, with all the passion of a biblical epic – a tale through feedback and distortion. When the shimmering curtain of hard metal is drawn back, the hypnotic string arrangement is left exposed, revealing the inner power behind the refrains of amplified guitars. There is something universal in that melody, a yen for the same tribal communion that can be achieved in an audience or a place of worship.
The track is reminiscent of the Moroccan influences on Houses of the Holy, alloyed with the psychedelia of “The End,” sans Morrison’s oedipal rage – the carnage is still there, but it has nothing to do with patricide. Rather, Mogwai seems to be tearing at the sutures on the primitive mind – the ones that cover the base emotions of jealousy, lust and hatred. The clouds may loom lighter in parts, but darken deeper than before with little sign of clearing. We are walking a path with the piper. It is irrevocable.
One of the hardest working bands on either side of the pond, these five Glasgow mates have a flair for the dramatic. But unlike most bands with lofty goals, they have the talent, dedication and technical savvy to pull it off. Jams this long have a tendency to get mired down in the tributaries of extended soloing. Here, 10 hands work with a single mind for the purpose of, like any good religion, weaving together a myth primeval with the sensibilities of the modern mob.