This meticulous and unsettling collaboration between G. Stuart Dahlquist (formerly of Sunn O)))) and Joel R. L. Phelps (formerly of Silkworm) feels medieval, almost devotional. The pace is extremely slow, with unpredictable, Scott Walker-esque soundscapes anchoring towering but unmanicured vocal performances. Immersive and meditative, but certainly not relaxing. I could see them touring alongside Dead Can Dance or Children of God-era Swans. Favorites: 2, 5, 8, 9, 10. No FCCs detected.
1. (1:17)—Dirge with clanging percussion.
2. *(5:52)—No drums or percussion. Warping, dark, churchlike tones. Choral vocals. Gritty early Swans bass.
3. (3:13)—Glitchy wind sounds, electronic chimes. Hymn-like second half.
4. (6:33)—Funereal, eerie (appropriately called “The Chant”). Minimal intro, then Swans distortion. Spacey second half.
5. *(4:05)—Starts like recent Scott Walker, then turns into a big and kind of poppy and mesmerizing tropical thing.
6. (1:01)—Bright, simple, soft keyboards. Blaring second half.
7. (3:16)—Thick synths, samples of cheering that sound downright scary here.
8. *(5:51)—Soft, droning, ceremonial, widescreen, with very brief but epic vocals.
9. *(4:35)—Minimal but emotionally overwhelming first half, with standout singing. Hellish, almost metallic final third.
10. *(6:37)—Ambient piano. Majestic and heavily reverbed vocals. Swells to a grand finale. Reminds me a lot of Brendan Perry’s Dead Can Dance tracks.