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Long Live Death - Bound To The Wheel CD (album) cover


Long Live Death

Prog Folk

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Sean Trane
Prog Folk
3 stars 3.5 stars really!!

LLD's second album received a greater critical attention than their debut album, but IMHO, this didn't really help the group, because Bound To The Wheel lacks much of the charming spookiness of TDMTG.TD. Although the very worthy successor of TOMTG, the surprise is gone and there is a sense of déjà-vu, and the wiser artwork (on the outside only, though) is just not as inspiring. Actually the album is much more optimistic in its mood, almost happy and seemingly calling out for hope.

Through the excellent Awaken, calling us to feel our deep, inner, long-forgotten beliefs, then the clunky Ribbons, then onto the enthralling stirring Two Voices, with a good catchy verse-chorus and ending in a good drawn out percussive passage, before reaching the very different second part, this album starts well enough. The shameless Join Us was probably designed as the sing- along track during their concerts, at least in its first part.

The second half of the album is less interesting (especially the short title track and the childish Seven), with the exception of We Are Defeated, which benefits from a superb saw and cello layer bed, before going wild in its middle section. Indeed, Praise is another shameless sing-along track, but it was probably a public favourite, but is overly simple to these ears! The closing track Of One is spiritually very close to Espers or Woven Hand , the slow descending line helps out a lot, before gradually speeding up to its apex, just before its end.

Report this review (#134464)
Posted Thursday, August 23, 2007 | Review Permalink
Prog Folk Researcher
3 stars The second and final CD from Long Live Death is just as mysterious as their first. The band offers few clues as to their influences, inspirations or agenda in the sparse liner notes that don't include much except the names and pictures of the band members and a photo of the rotting corpse of a housecat on the inside cover. Weird.

The vocals are more mature here than on their first EP 'To Do More Than God.. To Die', and Anna Messing's cello work is decidedly more developed. There are no credits so I'm not sure who is doing the singing, but his voice is very much in the indie mode and is punctuated at times by a female I assume to be Messing since she is the only woman in the band photo.

I don't recall piano on the first record but there is some here and it makes for a nice complement to the accordion and drone that is either coming from a theremin, musical saw or both. The themes seem to be mostly about death such as on "Ribbons" ('ribbons made of our skin, we walk with Him') and "Two Voices" ("enjoy the parade marching into our doom, walk now we must we are vanity and dust"). The arrangements are more focused than their earlier work with crisp percussion along with synthesized sounds and guitar that serves a purpose rather than appearing haphazard as with their debut record.

Most of these songs are very short, two or three minutes and not quite fully developed, particularly the title track, "Seven" and the séance-like "Join Us". And speaking séances, "Praise" presents a weird, mellow acid folk rendition of a tribal chant that has all the makings of a cult worship hymn save for the lyrics that speak once again of chaos and death. A could see this one ending up on a b-list horror movie soundtrack someday.

Like the first record this one closes with a longer, rambling and musically ranging piece ("Of One") that seems more like a guitar-driven post-rock song than a progressive folk one except that the requisite crescendos aren't really here. The rolling drum cacophony toward the end blends with frenzied strummed guitar and builds to what seems like it will explode but instead ends rather abruptly with a gong and fade to silence.

I actually like their first record more than this one overall, but this one gets three out of five stars the same as that one in my mind simply because there is a bit more material here and the group has jelled and moved beyond improvisational jabber and into a place where they seem to have a cohesive message, albeit a depressing one.

Recommended to most any prog folk fan, but this band probably has limited appeal beyond that narrow band of interest.


Report this review (#466798)
Posted Wednesday, June 22, 2011 | Review Permalink

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