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


The Pax Cecilia


Experimental/Post Metal

4.06 | 42 ratings

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4 stars What an impressive piece of post-metal or music under any tag you wish. No doubt these guys are going to get tired of being compared to Kayo Dot and Maudlin in the Well but I can certainly understand why it's happening. Toby Driver is the closest reference point I have personally to Pax, although Pax is not a clone by any means. They are more animated and active than Kayo, there is more going on, you feel as if there are more possibilities. They are more fun: if Kayo is skiing, then Pax is snowboarding with all the jumps! I don't know how old these guys are but I would guess pretty young, though not because they play immaturely. They play with much control and talent. I guessed they are young simply because you can literally hear and feel the enthusiasm in every track. You can tell they don't think of this as a job, but that they are grateful for the opportunity to express such obvious musical passion. They take nothing for granted here. Listening to this album is an experience, a trip, a pleasant nightmare, an internal maze, a walk down a desolate road at night. And then some.

PA guest reviewer "N Ellingworth" already gave a nice track by track description on this one that I would refer you. I just want to say generally that Pax Cecilia quite masterfully blends a tasty combination of heavy sludgey metal with complex, focused twists and turns. In other words it's not annoyingly static just rolling along like the Blob like some bands I could mention, but quite hilly in nature, always interesting with peaks and valleys. Vocally you have a mixture of quieter pleasant singing and some occasional very harsh screaming, always placed well within the context of the song. There are also many long stretches without vocals which is nice. The playing of the main band members is really excellent on all fronts. Beyond those standard rock instruments lie great textures in ambient sound, piano, violin, trombone, and a group of string musicians. The production and sound is not perfect but it's not bad either.

This is a great album that shows incredible promise and potential. I am dying to hear what they do next. They have a unique business model where they eliminate the record company and practice DIY. But I cringe a bit when I hear people saying that they're giving away their CD for free. It's true they will send it to you without charge but nothing is "free." Make sure you do hit the "donation" button on their site at some point because the success of this model depends on everyone contributing. Even if you can't give much, give them something. It's a very cool model they're trying to use. If we can help promote music not constrained by commercial concerns, we'll get more albums like this! The artwork is really inspired and cool, far better than some of the fancy expensive nonsense that big acts have done for them. They even include a small poster. Congratulations to Pax for what will likely be on many people's best of 2007 list.

Finnforest | 4/5 |


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