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Ahleuchatistas: Heads Full of Poison

Ahleuchatistas are a duo from North Carolina comprised of Shane Perlowin (guitar and bass) and Ryan Oslance (drums). Heads Full of Poison is their seventh album overall and third for Cuneiform Records, and it's an often times bizarre instrumental release filled with elements of jazz, punk, metal, prog, surf, electronic, ambient, classical, and ambient styles. If that sounds like a strange mish-mash of styles, well at times it is, as these guys are all over the map here on Heads Full of Poison, and while some of it works and some of it doesn't, it does make for an intriguing listen.

When the duo is firing on all cylinders, as they are on the 16-minute behemoth "Heads Full of Poison", it's hard not to jump on board with what they are doing. This massive epic throws together Asian folk themes with metallic, crushing heavy metal riffs for an eclectic and quite successful combination. "Wisps" once again delivers those Asian folk references and tosses some Robert Fripp styled guitar lines into the fray, which we also see on the mysterious "Requiem for the Sea". Folk, jazz, and prog textures collide on "A Trap Has Been Set", while the bleak closer "Starved March" mixes some jazz elements with an almost 'post rock' sensibility.

There are some nice passages here, and I give a lot of credit to Perlowin for laying down a wealth of different guitar & bass sounds, colors, and textures throughout this album. The main problem is too many of these pieces tend to meander, and a few just plod along in a folky manner that doesn't differentiate much from the previous track. Despite that, there is enough to recommend here to anyone who likes avant-garde styled music that is well off the beaten path.

Track Listing
1. Vanished 2:55
2. Future Trauma 7:08
3. Heads Full of Poison 16:11
4. Lighted Stairs 2:58
5. Wisps 6:27
6. Requiem for the Sea 6:46
7. A Way Out 3:02
8. A Trap Has Been Set 7:23
9. Starved March 5:20

Added: December 16th 2012
Reviewer: Pete Pardo
Related Link: Band @ Cuneiform Records
Hits: 1784
Language: english

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