Friday, October 23, 2015

The Black Heart Rebellion: "People, when you see the smoke, do not think it is the fields they’re burning"

Well that has to be the most obnoxious album title of the year, song titles aside  the bar is raised pretty for for these guys as " Har Nevo" was impressive as hell. The vocals are more refined and the intensity the hit the opening song with has a more muscle to it . The guitar back off and shimmer around everything. Similar in the sonic sphere they dominate to Wovenhand, the land of this is as heavy as you can get without becoming metal. Things drop back and get darker  on "Flower Bone Ornaments" as synths become more dominate and the drugs begin to kick with a 60s like psychedelia. The vocals have grown by leaps and bounds this time around. "Om Benza Satto Hung" starts with droning noise. Taking cues from Swans there is some vocal rambling but the entire thing is more of a noise ridden interlude rather than an actual song. At over seven minutes it's a little excessive.

The vocals that come in at the beginning of "Bow and Silk Arrow" made me think iTunes switched over to Christian Death. They do use rather exotic eastern chord progression not unlike some of the post- "Only Theater of Pain" stuff. These melodies dance like serpents around the tribal pound of drums to create a ritualistic space. The song "Near to Fire for Bricks" finds the band returning to  the chain gang stomp they visited on the last album. Female vocals grace this one giving the melody more dynamic depth and a touch of something bittersweet. The drift into beautiful darkness continues on "Dorsem". The vocals have more of a Nick Cave like urgency to their narrative, building into a desperate prayer but never finding release.

They tend to stay in a similar sonic place on this album. There is a greater intensity to "Rust" than many of the previous songs. It goes manage to get even dark here as the song finds itself in a vibrating of churning strings. "Violent Love" starts off from a similar place in the shadows as "Set the Controls for the Heart of the Sun". The vocals are a more dominate element here than they were for Floyd's darker early days. The female vocals return and wail around the more dirge march the song carries. I'll round this one up to a 9.5, for now and see how it sits on me. It deserves a curve due to the improvements as far as the vocals go, but I am reluctant to proclaim its perfection as many of the songs sound the same, so it could drop to a 9.

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