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Edison Suit: Persistence Of Vision

Let us go all the way back to the late ‘90s and the formation of Los Angeles band Edison Suit. Their first album The Ones Who Keep The Machine Functioning came out in 1998, followed by β in 2006. Then came a seventeen year break until the release of last year’s Persistence Of Vision, courtesy of Melodic Revolution Records. The core of the band is Mark Smith (electric and acoustic guitar, mandolin, banjo, mando guitar, dobro, bass, ebow) and Barry Wood (keyboards, bass, Chapman stick, lap steel, lap steel resonator, dobro, percussion) who have been present since the beginning. Rounding out the quartet are Paul McIntire (violin) and Bret Wadams (drums). Talk about an underrated band. I say this as the first two albums were self-released and seemingly were missed by many including me as I never heard of them until receiving this one in the mail. Thank you, Melodic Revolution Records.

This is an interesting album as the band has a unique take on electronic and acoustic sounds, mixing it up into something highly entertaining. There is a cosmic and tripped out vibe running through these tracks as electronics, keys, and violin unearth a wealth of spacey effects as the band delves into their take on prog, electronic, ethnic, and acoustic music. The guitar work is also a highlight, both acoustic and electric.

The disc opens with “Eyes Of Dust” with its moody percussive intro, lots of clanking sounds merging with a dark soundscape held together by electronics, keyboards, and violin. The full band emerges, the groove deepens, as layers of sound lead into heavy prog territory, complete with Smith’s fiery string bending. The tempo slows and the sound becomes more minimal as the song draws to a close. On “Darkness Gives Shape To The Light”, waves of keys and violin create a dense atmosphere with a tremendous amount of detail revealed, especially when listening with headphones. A real head trip as they say. Excellent soloing abounds but this is far from a shred fest. This band takes a much more nuanced approach to their trippy sound designs. “Deeper Into A Nether Empire” begins with dark rumblings amidst what I would describe as trip hop sounds, before a clean guitar emerges and a blistering violin solo takes it to the limit before closing with a fade out. I love the heavy riffs in the morosely titled “Breakers On The Beach Of Skulls”, featuring a kind of ethnic spaciness highlighting guitar and violin. More ethnic vibes can be heard on “The Breath Of Gaea”, starting out ambient-like with trippy acoustic strings (maybe mando guitar) and a slow build. There is a psychedelic feel to this one which I really appreciate.

With over sixty minutes of music there is much to absorb with this rich and varied release. I really enjoyed this one and very much look forward to hearing where the band goes from here. Highly recommended!

Track Listing:
1. Eyes Of Dust (5:48)
2. Darkness Gives Shape To The Light (5:35)
3. Deeper Into A Nether Empire (4:25)
4. Breakers On The Beach Of Skulls (4:34)
5. The Breath Of Gaea (5:56)
6. Vultures Of The Void (3:25)
7. Chromatic Mist (4:48)
8. Conceptual Mechanisms (4:36)
9. To Wound The Autumnal City (4:05)
10. Wednesday’s Gray Hand (6:14)
11. Cryptical Windings (5:22)
12. A Myriad Paths Of Entropy (6:51)

Added: February 21st 2024
Reviewer: Jon Neudorf
Related Link: Band @ Bandcamp
Hits: 422
Language: english

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