Sit down and pour yourself a big cup of melancholy, and while you’re at it, set some extra places at the table tonight for panic, desolation, and a dark and hellish nightmare or two. That noise coming from the basement? It’s the Black Heart Procession’s new CD Six, the latest in a progression (well, at least the first three were numbered) from Pall Jenkins and Tobias Nathaniel. Late of the famed San Diego band Three Mile Pilot, Jenkins and Nathaniel formed the Procession as a side project in 1997. Whatever their original intentions, the collaboration grew legs and morphed into a solid spook-show brand without the help of black lipstick. BHP are keen on prying up the boards and having a look at the kinds of personal afflictions that are, by and large, unpleasant. “I took your poison to see how you suffered,” sings Jenkins. “And I took your drugs to see you high/ And I took your hand to walk with you.” That’s from “Drugs,” a song about slipping down the drain along with an addict-lover. “But we’re not mopey,” Jenkins says. “As people, we just like making dark records.”
Six is a concept album. The music floats séance-like on layers of echoey piano or rocks out with the aid of homemade instruments such as the musical saw. Guitars wail like beasts, and the occasional midnight hook recycles like a theme in a recurring bad dream. There is a rather bleak but central theme that repeats as well, as told in the different stories about lost love, madness, and suicide: that sometimes, the only difference between heaven and hell is a difference of opinion. “With this record,” Jenkins says, “I left out any sense of hope in the lyrics. I jokingly encourage people to keep sharp objects put away and to be in a positive state of mind when they listen to Six. It’s not the most uplifting record.”
BLACK HEART PROCESSION: Casbah, Saturday, October 17, 8:30 p.m. 619-232-HELL. $15.