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The Temperature In Hell Is Over Three Thousand Degrees

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Album Review

The Temperature in Hell Is Over Three Thousand Degrees is the result of Virgil Moorefield's desire to explore microtonality and the creation of a more loose structure than that of his previous work, solo as well as with artists like the Swans, Bill Laswell, and Damage. The title, which was also superimposed on a 30-minute composition exploring the sensations that Beethoven experienced while going deaf, was taken from apocalyptic leaflets that Moorefield encountered in lower Manhattan. The music, especially the title composition, lives up to its name by sounding both tortuous and revelatory at the same time. These are not the same dungeon dirges that one may find on a Swans album — besides being infinitely more complex structurally, the music manages to almost always convey beauty through the pain. Alternately flowing and tightly structured, Moorefield's compositions are expertly executed by a team of five musicians, with synth, strings, and reedwork producing an intimate, cohesive feel.


Genre: Classical

Years Active: '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

Virgil Moorefield was born in North Carolina and raised in Italy, Germany, and Switzerland. He began his career as a composer, settling in New York after receiving his B.A. and M.A. in 1979 from Columbia University. Moorefield's first album, Transformations, was recorded with his band, Equal Temperament, and released in 1983. His second album, Bhopal, appeared in 1986. He led a nine-piece ensemble (three guitars, two saxophones, trumpet, trombone, bass, and drums) on his 1994 Cuneiform CD, Distractions...
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