"I'm too far gone to go back," and "too worn out to run," sings Leon St. Heron on the opening of "Nothing is Sacred" from "Purgatory Heaven," the latest release from MC/producer Scvtterbrvin. At least, that's what it feels like -- as his last word dissolves before truly taking shape.
And just like that, a weary St. Heron ushers us into six songs, more than 16 minutes, playing as a modern take on Dante's 14th century epic, "The Divine Comedy."
It's classic source material, a story "about a guy living his life going through Hell, Purgatory and Heaven," says Scvtterbrvin, before describing his own rendering as something closer to a "sketchy Netflix reboot and Dante is a Mexican/Filipino from San Diego."
Indeed, this is a contemporary version, held together by steady plot and image-rich lines -- an almost picture making process, like this shot from "Supreme Bricks": "I step in Hell's fire with a talisman, clean as the Dapper Don and Dapper Dan."
Dark and sharp, "Purgatory Heaven" is filled with those moments -- "eating lizards in the Amazon, kicking it with mastodons," as he raps on "Divine Comedy," a third track neck nodder featuring another cameo from St. Heron.
From there, it's "Paranoid Hallucinations" with guest rapper Squeegie-O -- a clip as ominous as its title reads, which shifts into "Hunnit Stack$," an aggressive run-down, set to sandy horns, articulating the always crucial drive for more money.
Then, he closes with "Blue Flame," alongside his brother and fellow Masters of the Universe alum Odessa Kane.
It's the finale and final scene from "Purgatory Heaven," a fitting end to a proper narrative, with results that are pure fireworks -- their natural chemistry on display -- "Brain and Kane like two towers, storm clouds and nuke showers." - J. Smith