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Lion's Daughter, The: A Black Sea

Here's something worth discovering: a collaborative venture between the St. Louis-based doom / sludge group The Lion's Daughter and Indian Blanket, a folk ensemble from the same city. The result is less a random hodge-podge of music, a confused hybrid, but more of a creative exploration (mostly) into doom music, but with the unexpected sonic qualities of instruments like the banjo and the violin added for good measure.

Whatever you want to call the music here, it's worth a listen. As I explored this album, I sometimes felt like a character in a horror movie walking through a haunted house, experiencing all the uncanny voices of that place stirring up at the same time, sharing their sadness and despair. Put another way, the haunting sound of the folk materials (check out the beginning of "Swann" or "Timeless Waters") lends flavor to the sludge that will soon follow. I also thought the banjo in "Gods Much More Terrible" was spot-on, the perfect addition to the surrounding mood. The banjo has been used in extreme music before—the most recent example I can think of is "Saattokoti" by Unkind—but there are certainly more opportunities to what it can do when placed in a doomier atmosphere. Its unique timbre, its little bursts of pluck and clang, has a melancholy aspect to it that fits well here. The best tracks here are those that tend toward the doomier side of things, but that don't forget the collaborative nature of this album. In this regard, I thought "Timeless Waters" succeeded where "A Song for the Devil" did not. The latter struck me as too folksy. Surprisingly, the equally folksy closing track was quite good.

All in all, this is a strong album, one that demonstrates what can happen when creative folks get together and discover new possibilities.

Track Listing:
1. Wolves
2. Gods Much More Terrible
3. Swann
4. A Song for the Devil
5. Timeless Waters
6. Sea of Trees
7. That Place

Added: March 15th 2014
Reviewer: Carl Sederholm
Related Link: Band Facebook Page
Hits: 1812
Language: english

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