Thursday 11 June 2015

Review: Veil Of Thorns Feat. Jarboe – 'Sun Falling'

'Sun Falling'

The Necrofuturist P. Emerson Williams returns with his critically acclaimed Veil Of Thorns project – a multimedia assault of art and music that has been pushing boundaries for over 20 years now. His latest release under the moniker sees Williams joined by ex-Swans member and avant garde music queen Jarboe for 'Sun Falling'. After a successful world tour together in 2013 it seemed inevitable that the pair would at some point have to join forces and the result was worth waiting for.

The album may only feature three songs, but with the shortest cut weighing in at twelve minutes in length its obvious this is going to be more of an exercise in substantial musical exploration.

The title track opens the proceedings with a surge of droning guitars and rolling industrial meets tribal rhythms through which the distinctive feminine counterpoint of Jarboe's vocals cut with grace and ease. The song blends a firm rhythmically pleasing grounding with a minimalistic avant garde execution that uses the repetitive nature of the backing music to from the evolving vocal line to create a feel of a ceremonial incantation being performed.

'Atmospheric Conditions' delves into a psychedelic dream scape that makes use of more definable instrumentation, if still undefinable in it's use. There is a wonderful 60s jam feel to this track and once again there is a very tribal nature to the percussion although with the addition of a classic trip-hop beat evoking the likes of Enigma and early Juno Reactor. Meanwhile Jarobe channels the spirit of Grace Slick becoming the psychedelic priestess, guiding the listener through track and eventually back to reality.

'Dust Storm' rounds the album off with a big dose of ambient industrial. The bleak soundscape drones and swirls with dark synth noises and metallic sounds to create a huge but altogether crushing atmosphere akin to being dragged through one of H.R. Giger's biomechanical nightmares. Everything, including the vocals sound alien and foreboding as the track circles ever downwards towards its event horizon and slowly silence envelopes.

If you thought previous Veil Of Thorns releases were diverse, then prepare to re-evaluate your position. There may only be three tracks here, but each one is a colossal statement of intent by two of the most accomplished experimental musicians at work today. Long time fans of both artists, as well as those with a sense of curiosity, should be more than happy with this monolithic recording.  

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