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Woven Hand - Mosaic CD (album) cover


Woven Hand


Prog Folk

4.01 | 24 ratings

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Prog-Folk Team
4 stars I sit at the desk in my study watching the New England snow fall gently, and listen for the umpteenth time to this spellbinding release, which, like the forbidden, holds a delicious attraction against one's better judgement. These comparisons are all the more paradoxical since WOVEN HAND is a brainchild of a fellow with deep middle American Christian roots. Still, while the original flavour of the lyrics is beseeching, the music has more in common with the pagan Goth of DEAD CAN DANCE and the suicidal gloom of JOY DIVISION than the shining optimism of popular Christian rock. Among the many wonders of "Mosaic" is how, thanks to David Eugene Edwards' painstakingly sparse visual arrangements and emphasis on melodic development, this is ultimately an uplifting listening experience.

Among the many highlights herein are "Winter Shaker" with a decidedly Native American stamp in the words and the vocalizations, "Swedish Purse" and its mesmerizing organ and banjo, the hypnotic "Whistling Girl", the dirge like "Truly Golden", and the more conventional country instrumental "Bible Bird". Still, the two pinnacles are the transcendent "Dirty Blue", augmented by fiddle and insistent beat, reminiscent of some of the OYSTERBAND's more adventurous work in the late 1990s, and the gorgeous "Deerskin Doll". Edwards' guttural voice complements the sweet melody and the bagpipe like sounds.

Only the atonal missteps of the double tracks "Slota Prow/Full Armor" and "Little Raven/Shun" bring MOSAIC down a half notch or so, almost as if Edwards was testing out a few pan cultural ideas but wasn't sure where to go with them. They might have been more suited to a purely experimental album.

This being my first exposure to WOVEN HAND, I can definitely recommend it as an entry point to the band. A desolate mosaic that offers so much more than cold comfort on this snowy day.

kenethlevine | 4/5 |


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