Black Heart Procession
Dec 22, 2009 Web Exclusive
While inherently dark and possibly blasphemous, an album like Six draws its strength not from its lyrical content or its effective incorporation of influences, but from its ability to utilize space and sound together. Of course, the lyrical content and the might of Black Heart Procession's influences all play into it, but the band's latest opus is not simply a sloppy assemblage of the two.
"When You Finish Me" opens the album with a twinkling piano, distant with reverb, and unfolds as a back-and-forth between two chords beneath a low voice. Barely singing at all, the vocals call to mind the dejected confidence of Leonard Cohen. "Wasteland" plays out a lot like Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds' "Red Right Hand."
And throughout the album, Black Heart Procession maintains a spatial presence as well. Whether it be the reverb, the religious undertones of the organ, the shaky squeal of a theremin, or the echoed vocal lines that read more like a thought than a depth of harmony, the album defines and comfortably resides within its own limits, just tangible. Either we're in a darkened empty bar or the final pew of a grave and humorless cathedral. Or perhaps, as the band could very well be suggesting, the two are one in the same and we've hit upon the intersection.
Across 13 tracks, Black Heart Procession deftly positions its audience in a consistent and specific environment, allowing Six to be inherently dark and blasphemous and not just a dark and blasphemous album. (www.theblackheartprocession.com)
Author rating: 7/10
Average reader rating: 7/10