Black Heart Procession + Solbakken CD review [Konkurrent]

Music Reviews
Black Heart Procession + Solbakken CD review [Konkurrent]
Mar 9, 2004, 05:20


Clever and intriguing as its “calypso murder mystery” concept may have been, Black Heart Procession's previous CD, Amore Del Tropico, just wasn't funereal enough to singe the walls of my charcoal heart. What can I say? I like music that makes you want to dance around the pyre like a codeine Frankenstein. Therefore I'm happy (errrr, I mean very sad) to report BHP's Fishtank collaboration with Dutch proggers Solbakken is a pleasant (that is, depressing) return to form. Although the production's a bit sharper than BHP's usual misty haze, the piano still caterpillars and cries minor-key tears all over your stereo system with the melancholy arpeggiations you've come to love. The vocals practically drool with implacable moodiness. And violins stitch a few bloody crimson threads of melody here and there, lending the proceedings a distinct Dirty Three vibe. Best of all is “Things Go On With Mistakes,” the album's epic 11-minute centerpiece, which builds its hypnotic mantra of bass and guitar crescendos to a gale-force strength not entirely unlike the post-gothic, velvet-crushing pummel of late-period Swans or the best Pleasure Forever material. Simultaneously expansive and claustrophobic—equal parts massive existential overstatement and miniaturized intimacy—it alone compensates for any shortcomings one might have attributed to Amore. I suppose the Black Heart boys must've forgotten their meds. Either that, or they needed to increase the dosage and no licensed physician would write them a scrip. Whoever those good doctors may be, I thank them. [Konkurrent]

-J Graham

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