Trance To The Sun: Via Subterranea (CD)


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1. Max Mystic (4:50)
2. Railcar To Tasmania (4:56)
3. Lost Garden Gnome Hotline (6:59)
4. Eons & Ions (7:25)
5. Mammoth Capsule (7:08)
6. Loch Ness Square (6:19)
7. Aviatrix (The Sudden Birds) (9:02)
8. Where Smoke Blows Across (10:04)
9. Purple Mushroom House (7:42)
10. Sleep Divination (7:49)

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“There is really only one band that so skillfully combined
psychedelia, ethereal, dance, metal, ambience, punk, prog,
goth, darkwave and electronica.
“That band is of course Trance To The Sun.” – Paul Angelosanto (2007)

And now they’ve done it again!
Ethereal, engaging, atmospheric and evocative, Trance To The Sun’s latest offering has been met with a very enthusiastic reception from fans and critics alike.

Trance To The Sun is a Psychedelic Darkwave trio that was launched in 1990 and created a series of critically acclaimed albums for the California based Tess Records label. The group toured extensively across the United States and Canada, and appeared on numerous artist compilations during the 1990’s before disbanding in 2001.

In 2013, an effort to crowd fund the creation of a new album succeeded within 48 hours. This paved the way for multi instrumentalist Ashkelon Sain to reunite with vocalist Ingrid Luna Blue to write and record a stunning new magnum opus. A cross-state effort three years in the making, with the addition of new drummer Daniel Henderson, the result at long last is the title “Via Subterranea”.

Weight .3 lbs

Below Sea Level Recordings

Release Year





  1. Webstore Manager

    Review  –: wrote:

    Many of us waited at least three years for this crowd-funded release to come to fruition. Was it worth it? Yes. This is a stunner of sound art. Is this the best Trance to the Sun recording ever made? Perhaps. A little more time will tell because that is a big feat. It’s tough to judge yet as it only came out in December of 2016, but it climbed to the number three spot of the best cds of the year after only one listen. A third spin brought it to number two. Further listens didn’t get it to the number one spot of 2016. Sorry Trance to the Sun.

    This isn’t just a collection of unique songs, this is an addiction. I want to do nothing but listen to this record for months.

    Max Mystic opens the set and takes us to a hazy dreamland between pop, psychedelia, goth, and the indescribable. It has beautiful alluring sonic spaces, guitar wizardry and freaking finger snaps! The drumming (not a machine!) is tasteful and not overwrought. Yes a real drummer by the name of Daniel Henderson is now in the band and what a great addition he makes. Off and through the wall lyrics zigzag around this tune. Wow. If I could eat this song I would be sated for years.

    Another amazing track that must be singled out is Lost Garden Gnome Hotline. Yes, that is really the name of an incredible song that you should listen to right away. The words are so insane they would make Syd Barrett’s ghost jealous. This ditty booms, blasts, lulls, soars, crawls, and messes with your headspace in a delirious manner.

    Ashkelon Sain’s production and guitar playing are all delivered with a masterful stroke. What also is amazing about Ash here, is his bass playing. Sure there’s been tasty bits of bass playing on prior Trance to the Sun releases but nothing that sounds as deep and bouncy as on this audio tome.

    Before moving on, it is necessary to mention the force known as singer Ingrid Luna Blue. This record would not work if she didn’t deliver such a haunted nuanced, childlike, torch burning, wailing, rocking, monument to the power of the human voice. It’s all there in each breath and note. -Andreas Ravenwell

  2. Webstore Manager

    Review  –:


    Trance to the Sun is a post-punk, gothic trio that uses additional live members when needed. The core members consist of Ashkelon Sain (guitar, bass, keys), Ingrid Luna Blue (vox), and Daniel Henderson (drums). The band formed in 1990 with Sain being founder of the band. Via Subterranea is their eighth album and their first in 15 years. This band is not filled with newcomers to music nor to the genres they deftly meld together. They are veterans and the quality of Via Subterranea demonstrates that fact.

    “Max Mystic” starts off Via Subterranea with dreamy vocals and an addictive bass-line that just keeps walking throughout the song. Luna Blue channels a bit of Siouxsie Sioux in her breathy, ethereal vocals. Synths play beautiful, floating drones under the percussion. The guitar work glitters and has this amazing counter melody to the vocals. “Railcar to Tasmania” has an almost laid back groove it, with reverb drenched vocals and acoustic guitar. The drums are intricate and the bass work spot on. There are these moments in the song where it reminds me of Gene Loves Jezebel at the top of their game. Don’t get me wrong. Trance to the Sun has their own sound but there are all these wonderful moments where the right touches just spark references to beloved bands. At about 3:00, there is a bridge that is emotive and a post-punk dream. The bass tones in this particular track are gorgeous.

    “Lost Garden Gnome Hotline” has these sparse, almost disconnected drums and moody guitar. The bass plays a short line to keep it all together and in focus while Luna Blue does her vox in spoken word. There is a mystical and poetic nature to the lyrics here, as she breathes them into the speakers.

    Under a salt crust they wait for the orchestra but it never comes,
    it never begins.
    Blank space between leaves
    Blank space between…. Friends,
    he’s missing again!
    Quicksand or gusts of wind?
    Crows with armor?
    Some strange charmer?
    Sixty-eight were glimpsed on a receding barge,
    the horizon swallowed them,
    their present location a mystery

    Coupled with the tones and lines in the music, there is an almost ominous feel to the spoken words. The track builds as synths soar and guitars create slow, creeping walls of fuzz. “Eons and Ions” has spacey synth sounds, and a staccato texture just under the surface of the driving bass and drums. The piano work gives the piece depth and texture while guitars warble and create walls of sound here and there. It’s a wonderfully complex composition.

    “Mammoth Capsule” just screams seventies rock piece from the get go. However, it is sprinkled with moody synth and Luna Blue always brings the song back to a post-punk feel. High-hat blazes as Sain shows off his guitar prowess. Wah-wah shimmers through the track along with fuzzed out walls and long, drawn out emotive notes. The song ends with sounds of wind and then fades. “Loch Ness Square” begins with explosive tom-heavy drums a definite prog-rock feel. Something I haven’t mentioned much is the lyrics and their rather poetic quality. They are dark but there is a depth here, evoking a sort of goth and almost Black Sabbath sort of ominous feel. Luna Blue sings,

    They saw it pouring through the valleys,
    They saw it pouring down the hills,
    And they fought it with their torches,
    And their tinctures and their wills,
    But we had no use for valor,
    And we had no need for fear.
    We lay all wrapped in our winter coats,
    You lips against my hair,
    While blood turned the dirt to mud

    There is a large, picturesque, almost fantasy image being painted with words. The music, of course, really enhances the lyrics and mirrors the sense of urgency in Luna Blue’s words. Henderson should also be hailed for his intricate percussion work throughout the album. He’s another drummer that not only keeps time but plays his kit like an instrument, giving various touches and feels to enhance the overall composition of the music.

    “Aviatrix (The Sudden Birds)” is another song that evokes seventies guitar power bands with a beautifully rendered guitar piece at the beginning. It is coupled with breathy synth drones and expressive percussion and bass. At about 5:08, there is a rather interesting bridge, as the bass, drums, and synths play with the melody in various forms. “Where Smoke Blows Across” is the longest on the album, clocking in at 10:04. It beings with an ominous guitar line and melancholy synths. It is a dreamy, synth-heavy composition with understated percussion and bass that hangs back in the mix. There are even flavors of a middle eastern sort in the guitar work about midway through the track.

    “Purple Mushroom House” begins with rain and the sound of birds. Bright piano rings out as if in the distance. Jazz style percussion comes into the mix and then dreamy, floating guitars with droney synths fill the voids. This reminds me of the more ethereal moments in spaced out, drug-fueled seventies compositions. Luna Blue sings,

    Postman, please deliver my note
    To the purple mushroom house,
    You can only find it at night,
    By the light of the crescent moon,
    You ford the stream,
    Walking toad’s backs at night,
    With the glint of Aldebaran in your eye.

    Luna Blue’s lyrics are always provocative and create a story world with images, characters, and emotive touches. “Sleep Divination” begins with reverbed washed guitar, tinny sounds, synths that make spacey sounds in the deepest crevices of the composition, and expressive high-hat. A wood-block sound enters the mix and gives it texture. The guitars begin to build up layers as a wall of sound slowly grows throughout the piece. This is largely an instrumental song, with Luna Blue only punctuating the soundscape for brief moments with “I know you’ve been asleep for a few millenium” as a repeated line. The track fades as synths play a drone and the album is silenced.

    Via Subterranea is a melding of genres with expressive goth, post-punk, darkwave, prog rock, and middle eastern flavors. Channeling the likes of Siouxsie Sioux, Gene Loves Jezebel, The Cure and many other artists and styles, Trance to the Sun creates their own lush and mature sound. The lyrics create word pictures, fantasy lands, and emotive moments that are coupled with with the larger, intricate instrumentation. – Jason Lamoreaux

  3. Webstore Manager

    Review  –:

    OPUS.FM wrote:
    On Via Subterranea, their first full-length since 2001’s Atrocious Virgin, Portland’s Trance to the Sun conjures up a heady blend of goth, shoegaze, and psychedelia that brings to mind even such a landmark album as The Cure’s Disintegration.

    Like Robert Smith’s magnum opus, there’s a commitment on the part of Trance to the Sun to go big or go home. Ingrid Luna Blue’s voice is coy, ethereal, and sultry, delivering abstract lyrics like “I could disrupt the orbit of your distant molten eye” and even garden gnome-inspired streams-of-consciousness. Meanwhile, Ashkelon Sain’s guitar evokes middle-eastern textures, tears through soaring solos, and delivers haunting ambience — sometimes all in the same song. (To continue with the Disintegration comparison, think “Prayers for Rain” or “Homesick” rather than, say, “Lovesong.”)

    “Aviatrix (The Sudden Birds)” is a personal favorite. Sain’s guitar is at its trippiest even as the rhythms (anchored by Daniel Henderson’s drumming) evoke classic Cure-ish gloom. At nine minutes, it’s not for the faint of heart, but if you’ve been looking for the kind of ostentatious (I mean that in a good way) dark rock epic that goths don’t seem to make any more, then you’re in for a treat. – Jason Morehead //

  4. Webstore Manager

    Review  –:

    ROCKNERD.CO.UK wrote:
    TRANCE TO THE SUN: Via Subterranea — dreampop with an emphasis on the “pop”; first track “Max Mystic” makes its case immediately without undue faff. (And that’s even with it being, at 4:51, the shortest track on the album.) Real muscle and not just atmospherics (though you can still tell they were a Projekt band with a not-so-secret goth past). Find of the day. – David Gerard //

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