BOOK OF OMENS
"Rosenboom…sets the controls even further out with the ambitious, genre-mashing Book of Omens…inspired by a myth about the end of time and rebirth of the universe, resulting in songs that range from ominously abstract to explorations of the scorched middle ground between free-blowing experimental jazz and dark metal…the work of a musician dedicated to exploration and expression, regardless of anyone’s imagined boundaries."
— Christopher Barton, Los Angeles Times
Daniel Rosenboom | Composer, Trumpet Flugelhorn, Piccolo Trumpet
Vinny Golia | Tenor Saxophone, Contralto Clarinet, Alto Flute
Jake Vossler | Electric Guitars
Tim Lefebvre | Electric Basses and Electronic FX
Matt Mayhall | Drums
The Critics Agree...
"Rosenboom has created music terrifyingly spacious yet beautifully dense...a mushroom-free psychedelic experience."
— Gary Fukushima, LA Weekly
"Daniel Rosenboom is quickly becoming a ubiquitous presence in the West Coast's creative jazz scene...a singularly creative voice whose unique aesthetic encompasses an array of idiosyncratic influences...a lyrical virtuoso with a commanding tone, whose expansive trumpet technique is saliently paralleled in his diverse writing...an artist on the rise."
— Troy Collins, All About Jazz
"Mixing together experimental jazz and doom metal, [Book of Omens is] a series of explosive leviathans of surging power interspersed with moments of quiet sonic beauty...Rosenboom goes all-in on his vision…nothing here sounds compromised or scaled back."
— Dave Sumner, eMusic.com
"Many will duck for cover, but those who weather the maelstrom will be rewarded by stunningly ominous compositional ideas realised with brilliance and, sometimes, downright ferocity."
— John Shand, Sydney Morning Herald
"Oh, and it's not tech-metal in a jaw dropping WTF widdlemageddon Behold The Arctopus type way. You could probably get away with playing it in a fancy restaurant. Well, for a while. The clientele would soon be ordering their steak ultra-rare and eating it bare handed and smearing blood over themselves before demanding a human sacrifice for dessert."
— Ewan Frater, Spoonful Of Tar
"With Rosenboom’s clear trumpet piercing through the rock-inflected static...electric bassist Tim Lefebvre’s electronic effects swirling about in the background...the abrupt noise-rock desolation of Vossler and the rhythm section...Golia’s ominous flute during the impending doom of...Mayhall’s tribal beat...Omens is jazz-rock, exploiting the musicianship of the former and the intensity of the latter, wrapped in a purposeful concept."
— S. Victor Aaron, Something Else Reviews
"Rosenboom's Book of Omens...turn[s] the precarious jazz-metal soundscape into fertile ground for unfettered improvisational exploration... Vossler's guitar work is key to the overall sound: the combination of rapid-fire virtuosity (evident especially on track 2, "Playing With Fire,") and expert manipulation of distortion opens the space for the more "jazz-sounding" horns to bring their sound into the mix. Mayhall's versatility, from no-holds-barred drumset pounding to attentive and precise auxiliary percussion effects, along with Lefebvre's gigantic sound and mastery of electronic effects, round out a perfect "rhythm section" for this project. I put the term in quotes, because throughout most of the free-flowing compositions, rhythm takes a backseat to timbre; however, these musicians provide a timbral foundation in a similar way that a traditional rhythm section would lay down the groove.
Golia and Rosenboom float masterfully over the top of these shifting timbres. Golia, Rosenboom's former professor at CalArts and mentor to many young LA improvisers, alternates between a variety of woodwind instruments on each track, matching each with the demands of each track---rumbling etherially on bass clarinet, belting saxophone skronk, and a variety of shades in between. Rosenboom, operating perhaps the most timbrally limited instrument, nonetheless has created a cycle of compositions that allow for his trumpet to fit on the top of all these different sounds. His tone is piercing and unwavering, full of confidence that soars over the band with the same grace and power of a big band's lead trumpet. Supported as it is by such a rich foundation, he projects himself effortlessly, providing the keystone for the robust sonic structures the band builds here."
— Alex W. Rodriguez, UCLA Ethnomusicology Review
...Y para mis fans de habla española...
Desde los mas profundo de mi corazón, agradezco el apoyo brindado. Espero poder ir a presentarme ante todos ustedes pronto!, Muchas Gracias!
Released on July 9th, 2013 on Nine Winds Records
Recorded on March 30th, 2012 at Kingsize Sound Labs, Los Angeles, CA.
Produced by Daniel Rosenboom
Sound Engineered by John Baffa
Mixed and Mastered by John Baffa and Daniel Rosenboom at TV Tray Studios, Simi Valley, CA.
Album Art and Layout: Kio Griffith/9pm.com
All music © Daniel Rosenboom Music (ASCAP), 2013.
All Rights Reserved.
ABOUT BOOK OF OMENSNotes by Daniel Rosenboom and Gary Fukushima
Book of Omens is, in essence, a concept album inspired by an original shamanic myth about the cleansing and reforming of a corrupted universe. The album presents a new sonic zodiac, with 12 distinct chords representing 12 different symbolic “omens” or zodiacal signs, each chord governing the “harmonic astrology” for an entire piece, resulting in a suite of 12 pieces, bookended by a prologue and epilogue that state all 12 chords in succession.
As writer and pianist Gary Fukushima put it: “The music is cataclysmic and chaotic, a terrifying sonic prophecy of universal destruction and rebirth. The aesthetics are undeniably metal, but Book of Omens is also expansive and deconstructive, an illustration of time and space falling into irreparable catastrophe, with moments of incandescent beauty amid violent bursts of raucous groove lashing out in their death throes.”
BOOK OF OMENS - The Myth
and eyes emerge
caught briefly in a moment,
between Dream and Day.
A quick gasp
breaks fast from Darkness,
but the memory of Vision
A day's journey
to the edge of the world
where Earth meets Sky
and Spirits fly,
where visions travel
and tapestries unweave.
The Lone Rose,
shelters secrets in her petals
and intoxicates with fragrant scent,
leading Seers to the truth.
Her petals open gracefully,
like the pages of a Book of Omens,
and inscribed upon her sacred leaves,
12 Sigils for the End of Time:
The Playful Fire
rises wild to the sky,
dancing fast and rough,
like warriors on the precipise of battle.
As feral flames flicker,
embers soar into the night,
playing war games with stars,
until the Universe ignites.
And as wonder overtakes
and hearts are purged of expectation,
the Fire whirls itself away
and settles back to Earth.
Rising from the Fire's ashes
a chalky trail of smoke
spreads wide across the theater of the Sky
and gathers, swirling into form…
The Great Smoke Moth,
messenger of spirits,
conduit of knowledge
from another side of being.
His message thunders gently,
coaxing Seers forward and beyond,
bidding those who would discover,
"Embrace terror, awe, and trepidation,
and journey through mist,
and find yourself amongst stars,
enlightened in their glow."
And as Moth's deep and rolling voice
echoes faint and distant, fading,
smoke transforms and envelops
and leads forward with a cunning grin.
the prowler, the predator,
treads sly, intrepid,
through smokey jungles
leading Hunters through their fear.
He scans the jungle floor,
leaping into trees, across branches and vines,
searching for The Helpless.
Found and doomed,
Prey screams in terror,
and wails as red-eyed Death
slaughters without mercy,
and as their cries are silenced,
and Life spills out from open veins,
A bubble in the pool of blood
swells full and rises upward.
The Blood Moon rises,
full and gleaming,
drenched in sanguine glaze,
paralyzed in wonder.
The harbinger of final hours,
deep-red cloak shimmering,
and the faintest turquoise sliver
glinting on her bottom edge,
she makes her grand procession,
climbing high into the night.
Her halo stretches endlessly,
beaming bright throughout the Sky,
and when finally her journey summits,
a single drop of blood
and glaring yellow eyes
flash open at its head.
through stars and down the midnight dome,
to whisper honey-coated messages
to Listeners with open ears.
Yet sweetness often prefaces
toxicity and malady,
and excessive knowledge
poisons any mind with
plagues of useless thoughts.
And as Venom flows in deeper,
making way toward the heart,
a raging swarm of insects,
a horde of speculations
portends abduction of the Soul.
encircles with a deafening roar,
as though every insect that ever lived,
conspires to overwhelm,
yet the Master of his Fear
can rise within the chaos
and expand within the moment
into steadiness unfazed.
The Swarm grows furiously wilder,
and the Sound grows impossibly louder,
yet still the heartbeat slows,
and somehow, in the swirling madness,
a great Peace ascends,
and the Swarm diffuses as a silent mist.
And in the Mist of confusion,
a Seer needs a guide,
but faith in newfound Peace and Patience
draws noble forces near.
A Wolf in the Mist,
a lone companion through fog,
gives purpose to feet,
and beckons Seekers follow fast
with wind in stride
Swift and steady,
Past pine and fern,
Run fleet and flashing
through murky wood
and chase the scent of golden grass,
'Til bursting through a wall of mist
Sun's rays beam brilliant on face and plain.
The Last Regent,
the Great Bull,
guardian of rolling plains,
arbiter of nature's balance,
stands regal before Wolf and Man.
He hears the plea of a starving dog,
unfitting for a noble beast,
And must concede a tilted scale.
And in seeing merit to Wolf's entreat,
as balance is a state of flux,
sees only one response to maintain honor:
Self-sacrifice in service of the Wild's law.
And with a righteous bow,
so serves his flesh to ravenous jaws
redeeming a sad and unjust world,
and restoring balance for a moment.
As Life for one becomes Life for another,
Wolf howls his thanks toward the sun,
And Sound takes Shape
and soars into Sky.
A Golden Eagle,
Sun-kissed feathers shining in the sky,
emerging from Wolf's howling mouth
and spirals up toward the Sun.
And as he reaches nearer,
touching sunbeams with outstretched wings,
Time's relentless march
Begins to slow,
and by foretold time of Eagle Eclipse,
Time is but a memory,
and a ghostly figure looms in shadow.
The Pale One,
the androgynous specter,
a monolith with barren eyes,
holds Seers stunned in awestruck gaze.
A rush of feeling,
a tidal wave of all emotions,
consumes all who face the faceless god,
And just as the myriad array
of every sadness, passion, ecstasy
threaten to explode the heart,
an ashen arm stretches out,
a translucent finger points
to a blazing beacon
streaking across the sky.
The Celestial Arrow,
with an incredible jolt,
pulls Seers in its wake.
Zooming through the universe
at speeds unfathomed,
the heavens melt,
the tapestry of universal history
unweaves the fabric of Space and Time.
The arrow races ever faster,
stars and planets whizzing past wide eyes,
a resplendent tunnel of brilliant light
leading directly into the Sun,
One in the same,
the source of Life,
and with an incredible impact,
the arrow pierces the Sun,
the Heart bursts.
In the cosmic mirror of the sky,
WE watch in awe as the Sun,
explodes with unimaginable force,
consuming the universe,
an inexorable wave of fire.
All planets, moons, stars,
Stardust scatters throughout the heavens.
Yet in the wake of absolute destruction,
ash and ember gathers,
and a single rose springs forth
from a tiny fragment of The Earth…
In the bursting of the Seer's heart,
the explosion of his emotions,
and the infinity of his love,
The Universe is reborn.
— Daniel Rosenboom (2013)