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Bright, "Bells Break Their Towers"

Like label-mates Landing, Bright dish out melodic tracks rooted in '70s prog rock, but with a distinctively modern feel and looks ahead as much as it looks to the past. With its heavy repetition and psychedelic feel, it's also an eight-song spiritual journey.

Strange Attractors

"Manifest Harmony" in particular feels like a ritualistic incantation with circling and heavily patterned music and vocals. It's easy to imagine vocalist Mark Dwinell performing shamanic rites in the empty desert landscape shown in the album's artwork. Throughout the album Dwinell's almost-chanted lyrics are invocations atop the layers of chunky guitars. Many tracks sound like an arcane ceremony overheard through an open window. But the music isn't at all quiet and hymnal; this ain't Enya. The electric guitars continually make themselves known and they open "It's What I Need" with a snarl.

The album is laced with a distinct Eastern influence, though there aren't any actual sitars, the guitars effectively mimic their delicate sound. Ringing chimes in "Flood" reinforce the east-meets-west feeling.

The album feels so methodic and deliberate, that I was surprised to learn that Bright generally improvise in the studio. But that also adds to the overall spiritual feeling...instead of improvising, it feels more like Bright was channeling.

sound samples:

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Review of the Day

Nurse With Wound & Blind Cave Salamander, "Cabbalism"

cover imageThis live recording from 2009 sees Steven Stapleton and Colin Potter team up with Fabrizio Palumbo, Paul Beauchamp and Julia Kent to perform one of, if not, the classic Nurse With Wound album Soliloquy for Lilith. I cannot pretend that they have succeeded in recreating that amazing work but they have made something equally engaging if aesthetically different to the original. Stapleton is still acting as an aerial or a receiver for the basic sound but the other players build on it to form an entirely novel and separate entity.

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