Tunnels Of Āh Updates

The final release date of ToĀ “Iron Speaks” is set on friday Oct. 22.
Album preorder will be available by friday Oct. 15 via our official bandcamp store. As usual, due to the limited nature of our records, preordering is suggested.
In the meantime the first words about “Iron Speaks” have been spoken by Vital Weekly podcast. Enjoy. 

TUNNELS OF ĀH – IRON SPEAKS (CD by Hypershape Records)

As ever, we find the Head Of David reference for Stephen Āh Burroughs’ musical project Tunnels Of Āh in the bio. However, this already being the sixth album under this moniker, one could argue Tunnels to be proper a career in its own right. I know, these musical biographies are rarely re-written, but perhaps in this case they should. Burroughs’ solo project has a strong sonic signature – and is quite prolific at that – so I’m pretty sure by now it will be able to stand on its own six legs. 
‘Iron Speaks’ is the follow-up to ‘Deathless Mind’ (see Vital Weekly 1237) but originally this was supposed to be the fifth album. Burroughs felt that the original album needed some reworking and so there its release was delayed. But I have to say that it was well worth the wait.
The title is a reference “to the chapter in the Koran, which states that iron emerges from the heavens as a gift to mankind. It often graphically depicted as a blazing ball of molten fire approaching its earthly target”. Let’s keep that in mind when playing the music, which, quite fittingly, arrived in a neat metal box. As always, Tunnels Of Āh gives us ominous dark atmospheres and indeed there are some clear cosmic references here. No tinkling Tangerine Dream-like arpeggios, but the sound of colossal objects plummeting to earth at a slow but steady pace – a true maelstrom of sound, if you will. Transmissions from beyond the world we know; perhaps there is an instruction on how to use the aforementioned metal? The tracks sport no actual voices here, and yet the sound itself definitely ‘speaks’. Maybe these are whispers from beyond, transmuted by the machines of Tunnels Of Āh. No inkling what kind of machines those could be though. Synthesizers, (physical?) tape-loops, and effects, but perhaps I’m thinking too easy.
As before, I am still thinking about actual tunnels when I hear this music. Yeah, clearly the band name is a strong visual trigger there for me, but I do feel there is something strongly claustrophobic about the music. I have this odd idea of being locked up and the music comes from outside, piped through some kind of ventilation tunnel. This adds a sense of isolation; of being imprisoned. In the distance we hear the sounds of dark and complex devices, metal on metal (to quote Anvil), putting the fear of (possibly the islamic) god into the listener. There are six songs, all around eight minutes and, at times, maybe just a minute too long. Still, let’s not take that as the grind of imprisonment, but as the sonic reveries of an apt musician who just doesn’t want to part with his sound world. (LW)