With a nod and a cough to the great ones: Sabbath, Sleep, Hawkwind and even a little Foreigner for those who wanna feel a lil something, Little Rock, AR's Sumokem will reign down on your face with spurious riffs, smoked-out heaven-sent melodies, tribal, organic beats and passages of doom feels stretched out to cure for miles and miles as vocal harmonies soar across and into a most willing sky.
For fans of Pallbearer, Sleep, Black Sabbath, Led Zeppelin and THC.
The story begins with young Lu Shen Ti, a revered and powerful Chinese Emperor who rose to prominence during the Sui Dynasty. In adolescence, the young Emperor has gone mad with the passing of his beloved mother. Inconsolable, not even the methods of the Imperial Doctor seem to have any effect, and Lun Shen Ti’s ailment grows worse each day. Fearing the Emperor’s notorious wrath will befall him over a lack of a cure, the desperate doctor forgoes scientific method, and heads into the mountains of the province to find a legendary Witch, who is rumored to have great and mysterious healing powers. After an exhausting journey and search, the man of medicine finds the witch - she is living in isolation with her young child, a daughter: the Doctor offers the Witch and her child untold riches and a life of comfort if she will return with him and help cure Lu She Ti. The Witch agrees and returns with doctor - cautious, but optimistic that her child will be given a new life of comfort.
In the court of Lu Shen Ti, a healing ritual takes place. The Witch brews and serves a magic potion of her own design that is consumed by the Emperor and all in attendance. The healing qualities of the brew work instantly; the Emperor succumbs to the spirits of the draught and journeys far in his mind, through the cosmos and time. Plans and formations for grand schemes and inventions are revealed to his healing mind. And all present who have ingested the potion are changed and enlightened by the magic salve.
Lu Shen Ti is healed. The Doctor makes good on his promise and the Witch and her Daughter are welcomed to the court and the dynasty. They prosper in their new life.
As time progresses, the Witch's daughter grows into a beautiful woman and learned healer – she becomes the official spiritual guide to the Emperor. Through regular mediation and consumption of her mother’s Witch potion, the daughter and Lu Shen Ti, transcend time and space, and obtain supreme enlightenment. Upon visiting the great, unknown light, the Emperor and the Witch's daughter are greeted by an ancient, omniscient turtle, who reveals that the special ingredient of the Witch's magic potion is an ancient, magical plant called marijuana.
As the Witch eventually passes on in old age, her daughter, now the Emperor’s ward and advisor, cultivates an Imperial crop of green, the original strain of knowledge and sentience, cultivated from the great plant - the seeds of which the Emperor will decree be grown and tended to by every farmer in the province. A renaissance of enlightenment and health soon follows as much leaf is consumed throughout the province. The Emperor and the Witch's daughter eventually fall in love and are wed. A child is conceived, and all the promise of heaven shines down upon Lu Shen Ti. As every day the sun must set however, tragedy eventually finds a way into the lives of the Emperor and his wife.
She passes on giving birth to a daughter: a Witchling child.
In a fit of grief, his mind distorted by sadness, The Emperor turns his wrath and anger irrationally onto the magic plant. Convinced the magic of the plant has turned against him, Lu Shen Ti decrees that all crops, every plant, every last seed and leaf must be destroyed. The light and prosperity brought to the province is extinguished and a time of repression and darkness proceeds. The citizens mourn the loss of their beloved Witch Queen and yearn for a time when the magical plant was bountiful.
It is a grey existence, and Lu Shen grows old with sadness and pain in his heart. He is not the man he once was.
But just as the original Witch saved the Emperor from madness all those years ago, the Emperor’s daughter, now a teenager, practices and studies the ways of the mother she never knew, in secret, within the court of a group of magi who are determined to keep the way of the leaf alive. They invent and practice a type of guided mediation, and as the daughter masters the technique, she finds herself within the great, unknown light, where, she too is greeted by the mysterious Ancient Turtle. In a dream, the turtle informs the daughter of a secret growth of marijuana - the last small crop in existence, potency unrivalled - that grows high in the mountains in a mystical cave.
Upon awakening, the Emperor’s daughter realizes what she must do, and gathers a small, trained team who will be able to scale the mountain and retrieve the secret stash foretold to her by the turtle. It is a perilous mission, but months later, she returns to the Empire with a bushel of full and mature leaf, and five jars of fertile seeds. The Empower, however, well into his hundredth year of age, has declined greatly in health, and it is obvious to all that he too, soon will pass. The daughter, following the recipe of her Grandmother Witch, makes a batch of the ancient potion of enlighten for her dying father. They sit and talk as he sips on the balm created with the secret stash of the turtle of enlightenment. The Emperor’s mind is flooded with its soothing powers, and as he begins to fade into the other realm, he is able, for the last time in his life, to look upon his daughter and smile.
As Lu She Ti's mind is freed of worldly burdens, he transcends his human, mortal coil, and transforms into a great and wondrous dragon. He has fulfilled a life worthwhile, and in his new form he rises - higher and higher - until he is soaring wildly above the dense and plentiful crops in the heavenly realm of the Turtle of Enlightenment.
The Madness of Lu Shen Ti has ended.
released January 25, 2015
Jacob Sawrie Vox/Rhythm
Josh Ingram - Lead
Drew Skarda - Percussion
Alan Wells - Bass
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