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"CD Review of Evidence by Sublimatus"

Evidence celebrates the 13th anniversary of the genesis of Sublimatus with a definitive nine-song collection of tracks. The first three were re-recorded with her current line-up, and the remainder were extracted from the band’s Whore of Babylon, Magic(k); Will the Key or Desire=Fear CDs. Orgone Accumulator was unrepresented. Zena's live ensemble consists of Everette Zxui on bass, Gordon Odegaard on guitar and Cameron on percussion. Making guest appearances on the CD are Dave Turcotte and Stu Griffett on drums and Daniel Wintermans (of head/phone/over/tone) on guitar.

Sublimatus is currently set to embark on a Canadian East Coast tour, armed with ample supplies
of Evidence. The idea for a compilation or retrospective CD was conceived by Robert Croft ( in Hamilton, Ontario, and Walter G. Peter, who produced this CD and is a long-time devotee of the Sublimatus principle.

Bandleader Zena Hagerty (dubbed by writer Bruce Mowat as the Queen of Underground Music in Hamilton) is a former native of Nova Scotia, who cultivates her Celtic roots and pagan influences to create a techno-gothic musical signature. She's obviously comfortable in a recording environment and knows better than to stray from the boundaries of her vocal range, which makes the songs all that much more pleasing. Because it's a compilation CD, it's not really clear to me how much technical work Walter G. Peter had to put into it, but he wisely makes no attempt to exaggerate or embellish the musical concepts beyond what was originally devised by Mitch Fury.

Although I hadn't previously heard any of Zena's music, it sounded strangely familiar to me despite her vocal resemblances to Jane Siberry, Johnette Napolitano (Concrete Blond) and even punk pioneer Patti Smith (the latter most strikingly on "Burning the Fire"). I actually felt goose-bumps the first time I heard the phantasmically wavering vocals on "Majik Will Find Me". This ominous masterpiece of musical suspense from Zena's collaborative efforts with Mitch Fury and Andras Hornic also reminded me of a track called "Hitchhiker" from a duo known as Lamp (with Jim Luscombe on guitar).

The well-enunciated but cryptic lyrics are nevertheless emotionally evocative and open to interpretation, particularly on the thought-provoking "Under Attack", which could be referring to anything from pregnancy to menopause to ordinary paranoia. I am at a loss to comprehend the disjointed lyrical phrases, which only increases their mystical effect.

Anyone who got a psychological jolt from "Steven" (on Alice Cooper's Welcome to My Nightmare), Audience's "House on the Hill" or most of Pink Floyd's The Wall would probably prefer the latter half of this CD because the instrumentation there is much more intense, in contrast to the more vocally oriented and far less dramatic first half.

This cross-section of past music from Sublimatus is certainly fascinating enough to encourage a much deeper investigation of Hamilton's High Priestess of Harmony.

~ Diane Wells - rockintheblues /

"Evidence (Sublimatus)"

Evidence (Sublimatus)
By: Nick Mlatchkov

This Hamilton, Ontario band has outlived many outfits in its 15 years of existence, including Nirvana. Yet they're still deeply in the underground, even in Canada. Evidence is a compilation representing all of their works. It begins with 3 cuts recorded at Studio 33 in Hamilton, in 2003, with producer Walter G. Peter, a long time collaborator. "Your Touch" is a sensitive trippy composition, illuminating a girl's naughtiness, enriched with Zina Hagerty's vocals. "Under Attack" is in the same mould, slowly building up an obsessive beat enlightened by Zena's whispering.

The next 2 tracks, "It's Just a Game" and "Wind Play", are from "Magic; Will the Key", released in 2000, more ambient, even exploring drum'n'bass territory, the latter being more reciting. "Desire = Fear", relesed in 1998, explored the darkest psychological alleys of human soul. "Majik Will Find Me" mixes up Floyd-esque rhythms with drum'n'bass while "Mind Has Been" brings up Kraftwerk-ian flashes enhanced with valuable lines - 'frustration's getting me down'.

The last two pieces are from their debut 1990 record Whores of Babylon. "Burning the Fire" sounds more like U 2 circa "The Unforgettable Fire" than anything else I've heard. "White Death" resonates with a Crimsonesque perspective even using an oboe. Unfortunately, the album doesn't contain lyrics which would've been quite useful. - In Music We Trust


Whore of Babylon 1991 - Kick Records (Hamilton ON)
Orgone Accumulator 1994 - Xcreteria (Hamilton ON)
Desire equals Fear 1998 - Independent Release
Magic; Will the key 2001 - Independent Release
Evidence 2003 - Independent Release
School of Sorcery 2008 - Cyberset (San Fransisco CA)



First dubbed the "Queen of Underground Music" in the Hamilton, Ontario, Canada area in 2000, Zena Hagerty is also the co-founder and creative driving force behind Sublimatus. While acting as vocalist, lyricist, and songwriter for the band for over 15 years, Zena has also been busy setting many benchmarks for the musical community across Canada.

Since an early age, Zena has classically trained in violin, flute, and vocals. She plays acoustic and bass guitar, and has spent years experimenting in free form jazz while blazing trails in electro acoustic improvised form.

But first and foremost, Zena is a composer of music and inspired text. Her voice is her primary tool for her musical composition and her daily journey of living fully in each moment is the impetus for her visionary lyrics.

Working in perfect collaboration with Zena, Andras Hornic is also a major influence on the compositional direction of the band and is both writer and producer on several albums.
As a "Renaissance Woman", Zena has spent many years in the performance of video, film, photography, painting, sound and dance. She has also served as the Curator of the most unique, experimental arts organization in Canada. Her cache of titles also holds "Hamilton High Priestess of Harmony", and "Fairy Godmother of Underground Music". Zena's titles could have just as easily included the "Chameleon Queen of The Transcendent Metaphysical Acoustic Experience" because she seems to be able to transform her appearance at a whim. As she desires, or so it seems, she can appear to become someone else.

This same mysterious and mystical property is true of the music of Sublimatus. Each song sounds as if it could be by someone completely different than Sublimatus except for the fact that Zena's exquisite vocal instrument is unmistakably ever present and complemented by the elaborately intricate instrumentals of Andras Hornic, Stu Griffett, Ben Leonetti and herself.

Over many years in Its various incarnations, Sublimatus has released 5 albums. And while other musicians have come and gone from the band, all of them profoundly changed by their participation, it is Zena who has been the continuous golden thread woven into the fabric of the essence of Sublimatus.

So what makes Sublimatus so unique and an experience to be sought out by the devoted music lover?

Sublimatus takes the esoteric and occult aspect of music very, very seriously. For them, all aspects of birthing music are a concept in the collective unconscious, crossing the bounds of the physical, psychological, and spiritual worlds. From the original conception of the tune and lyrics, to the final impeccable product overflowing the studio, Sublimatus has never feared to tread into the darkest of hidden alleys. For both the musicians themselves and the audience, Sublimatus acts as a spotlight into these hidden regions.

This metaphysical approach results in a most profound experience for the listener. Jeff Mahony of The Hamilton Spectator attempted to summarize it in the statement, "Sublimatus is not perhaps for the faint of heart."

Audience members have commented, "Wow. You should have a warning at the entrance." And, "I am sorry I had to leave. I was having a spiritual experience."

Myriad attempts have been made to describe Sublimatus for those who haven't heard their musical magic: vocal resemblances to many from Patti Smith to Concrete Blond; stylistic similarities to Pink Floyd and Alice Cooper. Yet any such pursuit of comparison misses the very foundational cornerstone of the essence of Sublimatus.

Sublimatus cannot and will not be confined to any one genre and to be known and even partially understood, must be experienced.

Sublimatus is an enigma. It brings magic to wherever it transpires. It will take you, the listener, beyond the limits of your imagination.