This very cryptic and brief effort is the second release by this enigmatic Aussie. The packaging doesn’t come with any information at all besides the song titles and Grave New World’s description is merely a murky riddle of allusions to ergot, the nature of consciousness, crystals, and a “dark vortex.” I really don’t know quite what to make of this, frankly, which I suppose is good. Silver Bulletin has certainly drawn some inspiration from the New Weird America milieu, but this sounds far more like a long lost tape from a bizarre death cult or a morbidly depressed druid than anything Sunburned Hand of the Man have done.
The whole thing only lasts about 17 minutes, which is probably just about right. Aside from the beautifully shimmering, multi-layered acoustic guitars of the opening instrumental “Around Dead Sons,” the focus of this EP is devoted solely to somnambulantly chanted ritualistic vocals, slow-motion thumping, and skillfully exotic guitar noodling. The lyrics have a very existential and darkly psychedelic bent, which would be unintentionally hilarious in the wrong hands. These, thankfully, seem to be the right hands: Silver Bulletin’s acid-damaged philosophical introspections are repeated endlessly in discordant harmony until they achieve a sinister mantric power.
This is a very impressively unique and memorable release, though it took me several listens and some suspended disbelief to ultimately reach that conclusion. I initially thought it was kind of ridiculous, wildly self-indulgent, and possibly half-joking, but Silver Bulletin is actually kind of brilliant in an outsider art kind of way. “Diamond Vibrations” might be as deranged and intense as it is possible to sound with just a voice and some acoustic instruments (aside from Jandek, anyway). If I were to find out that this guy has spent the last twenty years eating peyote in a cave somewhere, I would not be especially surprised at all. This does not sound at all connected with the world that I am currently living in. Nice work. 8/10 -- Anthony D'Amico (11 August, 2010)