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Roly Porter returns to Subtext with “Kistvaen.” The LP takes its name from a type of granite tomb found predominantly in Dartmoor, an area in southwestern England. Scattered across the moorlands, the kistvaens were often found covered in a mound of earth and stone. They housed dead bodies, allowing them to lie facing the sun.


With “Kistvaen,” Porter speculates on the burial site as a mirror or a gate in time. Excavating stories and images of ancient burial rituals, the record teases out similarities in emotional and social rituals between the Neolithic period and today. While a myriad of social, cultural, and technological factors drastically differentiate our contemporary period and the end of the Stone Age, certain affinities may still be found in experiences of death across eras.


Venturing across histories, Porter soundtracks a moorland burial unanchored in time. Raw, unprocessed vocals are folded into field recordings made in the area, wordlessly relaying tableaus of burial rituals in Neolithic Dartmoor. “Kistvaen” features three singular vocalists Mary-Anne Roberts, from medieval Welsh music duo Bragod; Ellen Southern, of Bristol's Dead Space Chamber Music group; and Phil Owen, a singer, and researcher in vocal traditions.


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Recorded in part at BinkBonk studios in Bristol and during various performances and rehearsals, “Kistvaen” is Roly Porter’s fourth solo studio album and his first since 2016’s “Third Law,” released on Tri Angle. It follows previous releases on Subtext such as 2013’s “Life Cycle of a Massive Star” and 2011’s “Aftertime.”


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The pieces that comprise “Kistvaen” were developed for an audiovisual piece of the same name with visual artist MFO, which has appeared at Unsound, Berlin Atonal, and Sonic Acts amongst others.

Release date:

June 5. 2020




Multiverse Music

'Kistvaen' is available on

Subtext Bandcamp

More info

Roly  Porter - Timeless Rituals - Interview on METAL MAGAZINE

Roly Porter

Subtext Recordings

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