Sunday, 5 August 2012

REVIEW: The Blood Choir - No Windows To The Old World - LISTEN

The debut album from The Blood Choir is certainly an interesting piece of work that suggests a band well worth keeping an eye on. Consisting of Rob Maddicott and Joe Mountain, the group are augmented on a number of tracks by Port Erin's Reuben and Jacob Tyghe, who boosted the band's sound before the arrival of new recruits Rod Brakes and Sam Selby. Conjuring up images of black clouds gathering over colossal landscapes, the music is intelligent, emotional and often pleasingly progressive. The epic opener 'Wellwisher' is like some sort of vast atmospheric blues, calmed by some wonderfully lamenting vocals and reminiscent of 'A Northern Soul'-era Verve. It's one of three clear highlights, the second being the excellent 'Horror Head', where looming shadows and sweeping layers of guitar support the dark simplicity of a chorus that's not unlike Radiohead meeting the Jesus And Mary Chain. 

'Night School' sees a monotonous but effective vocal serving up pitch black lyrical imagery, the music occasionally dipping into a slow trip hop groove before the simmering darkness bursts into fat riffage towards the end. It's like three different songs amalgamated into one genuinely creepy tale, and it works rather well indeed. 'Tape 6', with its blossoming Cure-esque ambience, and the lightly gothic 'Dark Fire' are briefer snapshots of the group's musical scenery, without a doubt growers that require an attentive far to become fully appreciated. 

The third standout track, 'The Devil's Found My House' plays home to a dark crashing verse that the likes of Interpol and Editors would kill for. Built up by beautifully dramatic piano and ice cold guitars, the chorus sparkles with a sorrowful grace, before the song progresses into a dense roar of noise towards the end. 'From The Deep Waters', with its ghostly reverb and bleak chords, provides perhaps the album's most delicate moment before the title track closes the album in shadowy fashion with its unsettling ambience. It's a pleasing album with a number of tracks rising above the rest, and displays a band who one strongly expects will have plenty more of great moments to come. 7.7 

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