Davis Redford Triad

Mystical Path of the Number 86 (Holy Mountain 1997)


Not a triad, but a solo project from Faust member Steven Wray Lobdell, the Davis Redford Triad is a heavy listen. It is not heavy in a sludgy metallic manner, but in a way that scrubs your synapses with steel wool. Supposedly released after a stay in a mental institution, Mystic Path of the Number 86 contains some truly majestic guitar riffs buried beneath primitive electronic swells and warm drones that build in intensity until it is just a wash of white noise. It is a harsh album, but there is a lot of beauty hidden beneath these dark, claustrophobic constructs. At times, it kind of reminds me of Skullflower’s more “mellow” moments mated with loud hippie jams because it has this loner psych vibe going on, but Lobdell isn’t afraid to bash gorgeous moments into the ether.

I like his later albums for Holy Mountain, Blue Cloud, Code Orange and Ewige Blumenkraft, but none of them contain anything approaching the grandeur of “Hymn of the Virgin Sun Queen” which may be one of the best instrumentals I’ve ever heard. It is like Keiji Haino attempting to channel Jimi Hendrix’s Electric Ladyland and Cul De Sac’s ECIM albums. It is a ridiculous analogy, but it makes sense to me. This music comes from a place most guitarists cannot tap into without serious psychic damage. It’ll blow your boo-boo loose to be sure.