(The End) Enslain Magazine Volume 2, Issue 1 Prepare to be enthralled. With an intro as lovely as a breezy spring morning, you are immediately given the vibe of the rest of the album. There is no more tranquil release than this. However, this album must be dissected into separate parts as every other song is written by a different composer, played by a different set of musicians, and recorded at a different studio.
The even-numbered songs on this disc were composed and arranged by Mick Moss. Consisting of acoustic strumming, violins, and occassionally accompanied by simple drumming, these four songs could soothe the most damaged of souls. Most remarkable about the playing is how delicately yet intensely the notes are carried out, giving more weight to more dramatic moments, and playing oh-so-softly at other times. The way the guitars and violins weave together is flawless and beautiful. Overtop the gentle chords is Mick's remarkable voice. If the atmosphere was not already created with the majesty and dynamics of the music, the vocals bring it all together in the most depressive of ways. With the slight raspiness of, say, Eddy Vedder, but the purity, depth, and emotion of Vinnie Cavanaugh, Mick's voice could melt butter in a freezer. There's a certain quality of hopelessness, mirrored also by the lyrics, and certainly drawn out in the sadness of the violins.
Duncan Patterson (ex-Anathema, also now ex-Antimatter) is responsible for the odd-numbered tracks, including the instrumental intro and outro. If you were expecting this album to be a cousin of Anathema's, these are the songs that reflect that quality in their mix of note-dissected chords and mild piano/organ. Most unique to these songs is the whisper-like vocals of Amelie Festa, often layered, and given the reverberated and distant effect of singing in a cave. While these songs are almost as desperate as the others, it sounds like listening to a completely different album.
Duncan's songs have more characteristics that differentiate them from each other, while each of Mick's sound very much the same. Still, I can't help but notice myself skipping past the odd-numbered tracks and getting lost in the melancholy Mick Moss composed. Either way you look at it, this is a fantastic emotional release that will delight fans of well-written gloominess.