The smells of burnt cedar and sage are purifying. They harmonize body and soul. They lead us to our inmost sources of energy, thinning the veil between the material and the spiritual world. It’s not by chance that acclaimed ritual-folk-project OSI AND THE JUPITER has named its newest album, soon to be released on Eisenwald, after these plants: „Cedar and Sage (Riders of the Gallows) Vol. 1“. Once again, many listeners will follow multiinstrumentalist Sean Kratz, who has contributed two songs to the successful „Vikings“-series and has millions of music-streams to boast, on his spiritual journey.
Hailing from the shadowy forests of Ohio, the haunting hymns of OSI AND THE JUPITER dwell amongst the echoes of old songs. Sean Kratz offers his talent in honor to pagan traditions and in worshipful tribute to the peaceful finality of death. From its birth in 2015, the focus of the project has been on the spiritual connection between nature and the will of the old Gods. To this day, the project has already released four full-length-albums, the last of which was „Stave“ in 2021.
The music on „Cedar and Sage“ is again channeled through various representations of life, death, and rebirth. The songs resonate as tributes to these fundamental concepts, as they explore the spiritual connection to death and communication with otherworldly entities through incantations among nature. Sacred sacrifice plays a big part: What is given, you must give back to nature in good faith. It’s all about finding one’s own path and keeping the inner flame alive. Besides regular contributor Kakophonix on Cello, many other guests are involved this time: Among others, Dan Capp (Wolcensmen, Ex-Winterfylleth) provided lyrics and vocals for one song; so did Erik Moggridge (Aerial Ruin, Bell Witch, Stygian Bow) and Shawn Haché (Tithe/Night Profound). Czech project Nemuer played talharpa and
did guest vocals for the opening track.
On disc two King Dude provides a rendition of Johnny Cash’s „Ain’t No Grave“. For the album’s bonus part Sean Kratz has interpreted songs he grew up with and that has always moved him in some way or form, covering artists such diverse as Neil Young and Danzig. Consequently, Kratz‘ stepdad, who has always been his number one influence, as the artist states, played guest lead guitar on two original songs also included here. This album is a dedication to those influential artists. „Also with all going on in the world, we need to move forward together in these dark times. Seek nature as guidance when you can, and don’t let things around you bring you down, we will get through this, be you“, Sean Kratz says.
The album was self-recorded and mixed by the artist in his own Odinic Studios in Kent (Ohio). Mastering was done by Greg Chandler at Priory Recording Studios. The cover art was done by bone-artist Jeff Kastelic, known under the moniker „Death‘s Dust“. With „Cedar and Sage (Riders of the Gallows) Vol. 1“ ritual-folk-project OSI AND THE JUPITER continues its success story, drawing listeners worldwide in with earthy, meditative hymns. Follow mastermind Sean Kratz on his well-trodden paths to the Appalachian woods! They will finally lead to your core.
Tracklist CD 1:
01. Devoured Sun (Feat. Nemuer) (4:22)
02. Afterlight (5:19)
03. Abyssal Woods (Feat. Tithe) (5:31)
04. Cedar and Sage (4:37)
05. The Old Ones Speak Through the Trees (3:12)
06. Deathflower (Hunter of the Night) (3:05)
07. Trials That Hold (3:09)
08. Unto These Hills (4:23)
09. Out of the Darkness and into the Fire (5:04)
10. Hollowed (Feat. Aerial Ruin) (5:47)
11. The Wilder We Were (Feat. Wolcensmen) (5:44)
Tracklist CD 2:
01.There‘s No Way Outta Here (David Gilmour Cover)
02.Ain‘t No Graves feat. King Dude (Johnny Cash Cover)
03.Cascadian Thunder (B-Side)
04. Anything (Danzig Cover)
05. Our Mother the Mountain (Townes Van Zandt Cover)
06. My My Hey Hey (Neil Young Cover)
07. Hill Spirits (B-Side)
GENRE: Americana/Folk/Ritual Folk/Nordic Folk