Death Chants might give you cause to expect something heavy and neo-Wagnerian, something like Swans or Sleep, but these local tricksters are more slippery than that, more attuned to sublime frequencies than sturm und drang. On tape, their murky drones and moans come across like the kind of liturgical music one might encounter on the Silk Road, under a cromlech or a yurt, wherever it is that druids and Mongolian shamans meet to talk shop. Onstage, Ak’chamel really get into the garb of the old-time medicine — masked, cloaked, mystical and cackling with mischief — all the while beating on balalaikas, finger cymbals and boxes. Fewer costumes on the rest of this bill, though the vibes are just as dank, steeped in comedy and various third-eye unguents and cleaners. Openers Bodyfat and Unified Space are both new-ish bands, but both can trace their steamy, psychedelic bloodlines back to the big space-rock freak show that was ’80s and early-’90s Houston.
With Lovecraftian song titles like “The Skull Spat Upon the Maiden’s Hand” and “Hearts Melt In Horror,” and with the umber tones and cloaked, antlered skull of the cover art, Ak’chamel’s new cassette