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The Pax Cecilia - Blessed Are The Bonds CD (album) cover

BLESSED ARE THE BONDS

The Pax Cecilia

 

Experimental/Post Metal

3.91 | 44 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

N Ellingworth
5 stars Lurking between post metal and experimental music are The Pax Cecilia, who with this release have hit upon a fantastic form of advertising; giving albums away for free complete with mini poster, booklet and incredible artwork, this is how I came to listen to them.

Blessed are the Bonds starts with The Tragedy an initially quiet piece which pick ups pace and intensity in a similar way to many of Godspeed You Black Emperor's best songs. The vocals are almost ethereal and add very well to the atmosphere of the song, the strings and piano add to the atmosphere created by the vocals incredibly well. As the song continues the volume increases and the vocals become harsher but the song soon returns to it initial pace, before immediately becoming more intense and calming down again. A great way to start the album.

Like The Tragedy a piano is used to open The Tomb Song, creating a similar dark atmosphere when combined with the vocals, with the introduction of guitars, percussion and violins the song becomes very intense. After a period of relative calm the song really start to pick ups and The Pax Cecilia show off their metallic edge but still with the ever present piano and violins as the core of the music. A great follow up to The Tragedy.

Unlike the previous songs The Progress starts with a heavily distorted guitar riff, this song is a relatively straight forward heavy piece with suitable screamed vocals. However that does not mean that the subtle melodies created in the previous songs are missing, far from it they are still present but the guitars really shine here with some wonderful riffs being played. Towards the end the song calms down and provides some respite from the intensity of the rest of the song. This is another very strong piece.

The Machine is another heavy piece again with the guitars doing the bulk of the work and again the vocals are screamed rather than sung. This piece is relatively short in comparison to the previous songs but is far from being filler and stands up very well on it's own.

The Wasteland reintroduces the clam starts of The Tragedy and The Tomb Song, this time using wind effects punctuated by piano chords to create the impression of a vast wasteland. What sounds like a sample of the Mellotron Choir also makes an appearance in this short but very ethereal and atmospheric piece.

The Water Song continues the use of ambient effects but this time the melody is provided by a guitar. This is initially a beautiful ambient piece, but soon the metal riffs return as the song gets more intense, the riffs played here are reminiscent of the heavier songs by Red Sparowes in their feel and power. After the brief metal moment, the violins and piano take over with a very melancholic section. Again the song builds up to a very intense section this time with the piano and violins taking the lead. After another quiet section the song reaches new peaks of heaviness and intensity. The Water Song is easily one of the albums strongest tracks.

The Tree is a surprisingly fast starter, it begins with a very quiet guitar but as instruments join in the pace quickens and helps create an interesting atmosphere. Soon the riffs make an appearance but only briefly as the song continues to intensify. The riffing guitars return again until near the end and this time they are heavier and well accompanied by the violins. Ending quietly The Tree is another very strong song.

Blessed are the Bonds closes with The Hymn which feature acoustic guitars for the first time on the album, which give the song a different feel to the rest of the album, but it is not out of place and still fits in perfectly with all the other songs. Very delicate vocals provide a strong accompaniment for the guitar line. A gentle close for a truly enjoyable album.

Blessed are the Bonds is one of the best albums I have heard this year, I'd recommend it to anyone.

N Ellingworth | 5/5 |

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