Friday, October 12, 2018
Gothtober-Rome : "Hall of Thatch"
By the second song Jerome Reuter proves his gets better with each album. By the 3rd song it's obvious this album is a lot darker, which is fine by me and a reason for this album to be included in "gothtober" as it carries a very Swans like feel. The theme of the album is a darker spiritual exploration and much more personal than the political themes he has championed in the past. I think this is a wise choice for him as this seems to elicit a more emotional response. "Slaver" seems to touch on personal issues with relationships. It blends a shadowy folk country with more northern European sounds. It aids his vocal performance and finds him singer with greater range and vigor.
"Martyr" is more aggressive to the point it has an abrasive sting like Swans and a vocal ranting more like Birthday Party era Nick Cave. "Hawker" has a more celebratory tone as is more akin to his previous work. He returns to a more experimental tone that carries another Swans like tone to it. I am less impressed by the Swans influence this time around. I prefer when he experiments more along the lines of "Keeper" where he uses the more ambient sounds to paint the backdrop behind him. This allows melody to still maintain the focus. The album ends with a more stripped down folk song. His vocals have been really well produced for the bulk of the album, but how they are double tracked here really resonates with me.
This is a really good album. I think while I can appreciate the Swans influence that cropped up on a couple songs, if it was another band doing it I might have liked it, but since I know Jerome has a much more defined sound of his own, there seems no reason to wear his influences on his sleeves in this regard as it doesn't meet with the same emotional results the other songs have. So I will give this one a 9, certainly placing it head and shoulders above the bulk of albums that have come out this year.