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United Bible Studies - I Am Providence CD (album) cover


United Bible Studies

Prog Folk

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RIO/Avant/Zeuhl,Neo & Post/Math Teams
4 stars For a H.P. Lovecraft (the writer more than the band) fan, this album has a very particular meaning.

The band spent a night jamming by the grave of H.P. Lovecraft in Providence, Rhode Island, and this is obviuosly reflected in the music.

The album is opened by a choir containing some little dissonances. The kind of dark rituals often suggested by the novelist. If the choir doesn't sing "Cthulhu Ft'agn" it's only because it could have been too "easy", but it's horrorific enough. I wonder if a footage has been taken. Imagine a dark cemetery and a bunch of people singing this choir...I hope they have informed the neighbours before making it. In the last minute of this "I Am Providence Part I" some instruments add their effort to the choir, and the result is even more weird and horrorific than the choir alone.

Strings and female mute vocals start "Chtonic Spiral". It's not the music of Eric Zann (I know there's an experimental British musician with this name but I mean the Lovecraft's character). It's not because it's not so parossistic as described in the novel. It has a celtic flavor instead. It gives the idea of dancing driads, something that's still in line with the Lovecraft's mythology. When young, the writer was highly fascinated by the celtic legends as well as by the One Thousand and One Nights. Regardless the sensations that it can make emerge, this is an excellent track. For a while I have heard a relationship with the Japanese Ensemble Geinoh Yamashirogumi. I think who likes that band can love this album as well.

Things become more "normal" with the banjo and vocals of "Tributary Of The Styx Under Providence", which is a celtic slow ballad with a bit of psych added. Really a lovely song, quite an elegy. Less than 3 minutes for a two chords song which I think will remain impressed in my memory.

"Swan Point Petrichor" is another slow ballad. Havign vocals but no lyrics makes it a bit darker than the previous, but the feeling perceived is more sadness than other. I didn't know the meaning of the word "Petrichor", which now I know is the "scent of rain". Swan Point is the name of the cemetery. With this information in mind we can fully appreciate this sad and crepuscular song.

The weird choir which started the album is back with "Grave Trudge". There's a bit of electronic noise behind , like ghosts have started waving around the singers. The melody is dark and sad and proceeds very similarily with "I Am Providence Part 2". This reprise is more weird than the previous, more in line with what one can expect from the Providence's night owl. Even if this band is in the prog folk subgenre, this album has a RIO flavor. Who likes Art Zoyd and Shub-Niggurath will probably love this album as well.

For me it's a 4 stars album, and it has been done in one night!

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Posted Saturday, March 2, 2013 | Review Permalink

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