" In A Dark Tongue is a gorgeous slow burning psychedelic song cycle, smoldering minor key epics, the sounds lustrous and organic, the guitars viscous and virulent, the atmosphere murky and mysterious, all the while sun dappled and dreamlike."
Harvestman is the alter ego of Neurosis' Steve Von Till. On In A Dark Tongue, his second full-length release using this moniker, the northern Idaho native is credited with: electric guitar, Appalachian dulcimer, synthesizer, m-tron, piano, bass, manipulation, filters, ring modulator, loops, vocals, delay and distortion. A few guest musicians round out the sounds on different tracks, but it's primarily a one-man show.
The music on this disc could be described as a dark ambient affair. However, that may conjure up images that might sell the material a bit short. Harvestman, for the most part, does serve up what one comes to expect from ambient music. Many tracks move at a snail's pace, with an emphasis more on exploring soundscapes within a very limited musical scope. However, there's a little bit more going on here than most drone rock releases. A remake of John Martyn's " Eibhli Ghail Chiuin Ni Chearbhail" gives us a slight folk element; and "Music Of The Dark Torrent" adds a slightly Far East flavor to this album . The overall sound of the disc, though, is a dark aural tapestry, with each track acting like a tile in a mosaic. Each number seems to lead to the next one in a logical sequence, giving the disc a conceptual feel. An interesting contrast is also thrown into the mix, courtesy of the disc's two longest tracks. "By Wind And Sun" and "The Hawk Of Achill" take the music in an alternate direction. On both these numbers (the former being the only song with vocals on it) Harvestman seems to be channeling directly from legendary space-rock outfit Hawkwind. Strategically placed as the 4th and 8th tracks respectively, one gets the impression that the songs which come before these two act as a form of build-up. Unfortunately, the latter tracks tend to meander a bit more as there isn't another epic to close off the disc.
In A Dark Tongue is a decent effort with more hits than misses. Fans of more ambient space rock may find something to their liking here; so long as they don't mind the repetitive, somewhat heavier nature of a couple of Hawkwind-inspired numbers thrown into the mix.
- World Ash
- Birch-Wood Bower
- By Wind And Sun
- Music Of The Dark Torrent
- Eibhli Ghail Chiuin Ni Chearbhail
- Headless Staves Of Poets
- The Hawk Of Achill
- Carved In Aspen
- Light Cycle
- In A Dark Tongue
- Centre Of The World