Wovenhand - Puur
Does this album belong at the top of the Wovenhand catalog? No. Is it an extremely layered and interesting Wovenhand album? Yes. Very much so. Once again, Wovenhand teamed up with Ultima Vez to formulate a new experimental dance production and the corresponding soundtrack for the production. And, once again, a good portion of this album are remixes of past albums; in this case, Consider the Birds and Mosaic. However, unlike Blush Music, a large portion of the music on here is instrumental with dramatic monologues weaved in and out of the whole album. This is almost a symmetrical album:
a. To Make A Ring (sung) - Wovenhand remix
b. Breathing Bull (instrumental) - Wovenhand remix
b. Shun (instrumental) - Wovenhand remix
c. Horse Head (sung) - acoustic version of 16 Horsepower song
d. Lulah Harp (instrumental)
c. Low Estate (sung) - acoustic version of 16 Horsepower song
b. Twig (instrumental) - Wovenhand remix
b. Dirty Blue (instrumental) - Wovenhand remix
b. Lena’s Song (instrumental)
a. Silver Saddle (sung) - remix of 16 Horsepower song
Overall this album feels symmetrical and complete. Like the order was significantly chosen to gain the most emotive and narrative force for the production. Leave it up to David Eugene Edwards and crew to create extremely dark and dreary atmospherics for what seems to be a rather dark story.
Speaking of the story, there is a lot of interpretation that could go into the culmination of the music and monologues that make up this album. The most interesting part is that the story (whatever your interpretation is) has a definite Russian existentialist feel to it. Its like Dostoyevsky came in and wrote the monologues himself. The spotlight of this album is the mixture of the deeply religiously-toned music and the dark and enigmatic words of the actors speaking over it. However, with all of the positive elements of this album, it doesn’t make the listening experience enjoyable and this is an album that weighed on my ears heavily as the week went along.
At the end of the day, Blush Music is still the most comprehensive mixture of intrigue and entertainment of the Wovenhand/Ultima Vez collaborations. But if you are looking for something to scratch your head over, then I would humbly place this at your feet.
Apocalyptic Rating: 9 out of 10 (They want an anti-me, an antidote, an anti-boss)
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Wovenhand - Mosaic
By now, I am pretty used to the sound of Wovenhand’s music. Like I said before, there is not much variation from album to album, but with music this solid, there is no real need to shift style. Most of the songs are of a reflective and somber tone with the few occasional upbeat tunes (“Bible and Bird” and “Whistling Girl”). The main difference between this album and the previous offers are the various attempts that instrumental tracks. “Breathing Bull” opens up the album with a sparse and eerie opening tone overlaid on top of an eternal and changeless hum. Along the way, we have “Bible and Bird” and “Little Raven” as other instrumental additions to the album. “Slota Prow-Full Armour” opens up instrumentally with Edwards’ voice accompanying it with a spoken piece in a language that he pieced together from other languages. The song melds into the second half that is an exposition on Ephesians and the imagery of the armor of God. The speed from the first half of the song to the second increases and creates a slightly off-kilter feeling to the song as a whole.
This album has a few excellent standout tracks and the instrumentals actually work quite well in the mix for Wovenhand. However, the overall feeling of the album seems a little uneven and inconsistent. There are a couple of songs on here that just don’t add a whole lot to their catalogue. This is far from saying that this is a bad album, because it’s not. However, in the big scheme of their catalog, this one fails to meet the high expectations that were met by the others. The tremendous standout tracks are not enough to pull this album all the way through. It is tough to say that this album would be the bottom of the list for this band, because compared to a good portion of albums out there, this one still kills. But put up against the other work from Edwards, it just doesn’t quite come through.
Apocalyptic Rating: 7 out of 10 (His anger tore perpetually, and he kept his wrath forever)
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