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Pax Cecelia, The: Blessed Are the Bonds

The brand new album from The Pax Cecilia, titled Blessed Are the Bonds, is an interesting mix of classical, ambient, prog, and metal. In this day and age when artists like Sleepytime Gorilla Museum, Opeth, The End, Unexpect, and Devin Townsend, are really pushing the envelope of what we consider "progressive music", it's nice to see another group come along to add to this sense of experimentation and adventurous attitude. Blessed Are the Bonds is by no means an easy listen, but being that it warrants multiple spins to fully sink in, each new sitting will uncover plenty of thought-provoking tidbits. While "The Tragedy" and "The Tomb Song" are as close to classical and ambient as you can get, with sweeping strings and lovely piano, the band lurches into extreme metal realms on "The Progress", complete with savage vocal growls and pummeling guitar riffs. "The Machine" approaches Rush-like territory, especially the rhythms and guitar chords, until the tortured vocals come into play, reminding a bit of Burst or Dillinger Escape Plan. Just when your blood is pumping from all the head banging, things quickly settle down for the creepy "The Wasteland", an ambient instrumental with lilting piano and sound effect washes. This one segues right into the epic "The Water Song", which slowly builds in intensity, starting off as a meditative ambient track and then violently exploding in grand Opeth-like brutality, before once again settling down with cello and plinking guitars. Power and tranquility, all in one piece, and lots of both.

"The Tree" once again reminds of Rush, right down to the riffs and nimble drum work, but there's a certain post-rock feel to the song as well. The closing piece "The Hymn" features some nice acoustic guitar work, and ends the CD much as it began, on a calm note. Despite the appearance of the occasional extreme metal vocals, this is mostly an instrumental release. Don't expect full-bore intensity here; the band certainly can hammer the listener with metallic passages, but this release is more about moods and textures than anything else. In the end, Blessed Are the Bonds is a very progressive and varied effort, sure to please those into avant-garde prog and metal styles.

The band is giving away the CD for free-click on the link below for more information on how to get a copy.

Track Listing
1. The Tragedy
2. The Tomb Song
3. The Progress
4. The Machine
5. The Wasteland
6. The Water Song
7. The Tree
8. The Hymn

Added: May 28th 2007
Reviewer: Pete Pardo
Related Link: Band Website
Hits: 2612
Language: english

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